Saturday, June 27, 2009

Honest Scrap

Alright, I know I said I'd be gone for awhile, but I had a few minutes to put this together on Friday and I did receive this very cool award, so I just had to share it with you all. Feel free to continue working on that quiz from Friday, however!

So thanks to Theresa over at Carmelitmom, I received this award and this is what I have to do:
1) Say thanks and give a link to the presenter of the award.
2) Share "ten honest things" about myself.

3) Present this award to 7 others whose blogs I find brilliant in content and/or design, or those who have encouraged me.
4) Tell those 7 people that they've been awarded HONEST SCRAP and inform them of these guidelines in receiving it.

Okay, #1 done! Now #2, hmmmmm

1. I can be obsessive about things. What, this doesn't come as a surprise to some of you?? Well, it is true. Give me a new idea and it can totally consume me! And not only that, but I tend to talk a lot about it, too. It takes a lot to keep that under control.

2. I am losing my hair, my memory and my physical shape, but all I have to do is look at the seven blessings that have taken all those things from me and I am okay with it :) !

3. I love to take photos but I seem to be missing that critical artistic eye. Some of my kids have it, both my parents have it, but somehow it skipped me. Any good pictures I take I can attribute to the Holy Spirit.

4. I think the reason that God didn't give me that eye, or why I don't have a HUGELY successful blog, that my ego couldn't handle it. It would be difficult for me to practice humility if I was successful at something :)

5. I love to read good Catholic books. Give me a good one and I can have it read in a day. Unfortunately that means that I usually end up neglecting things.

6. Sometimes I wish I could sit down, kick my feet up and drink a nice cold beer. (you said "honest"). Unfortunately, my body (a.k.a. my already stressed liver) can't handle it, so I have to settle for a sip here and there.

7. Before I became obsessed with the internet (see #1), I used to love to bake. Now, I'd rather look at interesting web sites that tell you about all the good things you can bake.

8. I would much rather stay up till midnight every night and sleep in until 8:00 than go to bed at 9:30 and get up at 5:30. I consider getting up that early a necessary evil.

9. I am so incredibly thankful to God that he gave me the loving, supportive parents that he did. I hope I can be as non-judgmental, non-intrusive and supportive of my own children when they grow up. (NOT, see #1)

10. I secretly enjoyed having to wash the clothes and hang them out to dry last week while my daughter (whose job it is to do the wash) was helping out at our parish's VBS. Don't tell her, though, she might try to get me to do it all the time!
Now the fun part. I get to pass this on to 7 people whose blogs have encouraged me and inspired me:

1. Lady Rose. She never ceases to amaze me with the things she comes up with (in a good way, of course!)
2. Roger. The title of this award fits his blog to a tee!
3. Jennifer. She doesn't get around here often, but I am always inspired by the things she writes.
4. Marcus. An incredibly insightful young man!
5. Rebecca. I'm new to her blog, but I like visiting there.
6. Allison. Always some good up-to-date info for us.
7. Momma Snail. This is a cool blog! I love her look and all of the neat ideas she shares.

As for the last requirement, since I am supposed to be doing many other things right now (like baking for our trip), I will have to leave it up to these people to visit here and find out they "won" this award.

God Bless! (sorry, couldn't get my signature to load right, and I really do have to go!)

Friday, June 26, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday Vol 29


Welcome to Friday! Like last Friday, this is an exciting day for us because it means that tomorrow we will be in one of our most favorite places in the whole world! When we were last there almost two years ago my camera was in the process of breaking, so hopefully this time I will get some nice pictures to share. Unfortunately you cannot take pictures of the beautiful interior, although I understand why - it would totally ruin the peace.


Well, it is about time that our neighborhood finally went green!

Here it is almost July and the beans are just starting to come up. I never thought that I'd see a 4th of July where the corn wasn't knee high, either. Although I suppose it could still pass depending on whose knee you're comparing it to!


Since I don't have much time to put this together and I will be gone most of next week, I'll share with you an email I got the other day. In it was a supposed (sorry, I just don't believe things I get in emails are really legit anymore!) 8th Grade Final Exam from 1895. Even if it isn't legit, it still makes me shudder because I know I would not have passed. Is this what we should be teaching our kids????? Oh well, I figure if you're like me, it will take you all of next week to figure out the answers and by the time you get done, I'll be back! Ready, set, GO...

Grammar (Time, one hour)
1. Give nine rules for the use of capital letters.
2. Name the parts of speech and define those that have no modifications
3. Define verse, stanza and paragraph
4. What are the principal parts of a verb? Give principal parts of 'lie,''play,' and 'run.'
5. Define case; illustrate each case.
6 What is punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of punctuation.
7 - 10. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.


Arithmetic (Time,1 hour 15 minutes)
1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.
2. A wagon box is 2 ft. Deep, 10 feet long, and 3 ft. Wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold?
3. If a load of wheat weighs 3,942 lbs., what is it worth at 50cts/bushel, deducting 1,050 lbs. For tare?
4. District No 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for incidentals?
5. Find the cost of 6,720 lbs. Coal at $6.00 per ton.
6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent.
7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft.. Long at $20 per metre?
8.. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.
9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance of which is 640 rods?
10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt

(I'll combine History and Geography since this is "7 Quick Takes" and not "8")

U.S. History (Time, 45 minutes)
1. Give the epochs into which U.S.. History is divided
2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus
3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.
4. Show the territorial growth of the United States
5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas
6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.
7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton , Bell , Lincoln , Penn, and Howe?
8. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849, 1865.

Geography (Time, one hour)
1 What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas ?
3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?
4. Describe the mountains of North America
5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia , Odessa , Denver , Manitoba , Hecla , Yukon , St. Helena, Juan Fernandez, Aspinwall and Orinoco
6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S. Name all the republics of Europe and give the capital of each.
8. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?
9. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers.
10. Describe the movements of the earth. Give the inclination of the earth.


Orthography (Time, one hour)
[Do we even know what this is??]

1. What is meant by the following: alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, syllabication
2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?
3. What are the following, and give examples of each: trigraph, subvocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals
4. Give four substitutes for caret 'u.' (HUH?)
5. Give two rules for spelling words with final 'e.' Name two exceptions under each rule.
6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.
7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: bi, dis-mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, sup.
8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the sign that indicates the sound: card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise, blood, fare, last..
9. Use the following correctly in sentences: cite, site, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane , vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.
10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

About St. John the Baptist

So I was going to post about how hot it has been and how my daughter's dress shrunk because we hung it out on the line in the heat, but then last night we went to our parish feast day celebration. During Father's homily, he said something about St. John the Baptist that really struck me, so I felt that would make a better, more thought-provoking post than cotton dresses that shrink in the heat.

Most of us know the basics about John the Baptist: His father lost his voice until John was circumcised, he, John, lived in the desert, wore a camel hair shirt, ate locusts and honey and got his head cut off after being in prison for awhile.

One thing that is often downplayed or overlooked, at least by me, is what it was that got St. John sent to prison and which ultimately got his head cut off. As Father put it last night, St. John the Baptist died defending marriage. He was speaking out about Herod marrying his own brother's wife, which got him put in jail and which caused Herod's wife (through her daughter) to demand his head on a platter.

It was the way Father said it that got me thinking that St. John would be a great intercessor for the battle we are fighting today - the battle to defeat traditional, Christian marriage. I think we should make St. John the Baptist the patron saint of our fight and invoke his intercession in this very crucial battle. Spread the word! Let's see if we can start a movement!

St. John the Baptist, defender of marriage, pray for us!

P.S. Another interesting thing I was reminded about last night came from a prayer sheet the parish had for us at the celebration dinner. It said:

"This saint, whom we honor as our parish patron, said, 'I must decrease that He may increase.' Early Christians in the Northern Hemisphere saw in the summer solstice a natural response to that saying. The sun begins its decrease so that Christ may be born at its time of initial increase."

Pretty cool, huh? Who says there isn't a God who ordains all things and a Holy Spirit guiding His church??

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sacred Heart of Jesus Part VI

Even though the Feast of the Sacred Heart is behind us, it is still the month of the Sacred Heart and I'd been thinking that I should post the litany of the Sacred Heart up here during this month when low-and-behold, it showed up in my mail today via a newsletter from Our Lady of the Angels Monastery. So, here it is for your prayerful consideration:

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven ~have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the World
God, the Holy Ghost
Holy Trinity, one God
Heart of Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father
Heart of Jesus, formed in the womb of the Virgin Mother by the Holy Ghost
Heart of Jesus, united substantially with the word of God
Heart of Jesus, of infinite majesty
Heart of Jesus, holy temple of God
Heart of Jesus, tabernacle of the Most High
Heart of Jesus, house of God and gate of heaven
Heart of Jesus, glowing furnace of charity
Heart of Jesus, vessel of justice and love
Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love
Heart of Jesus, abyss of all virtues
Heart of Jesus, most worthy of all praise
Heart of Jesus, king and center of all hearts
Heart of Jesus, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge
Heart of Jesus, in whom dwelleth all the fullness of Divinity
Heart of Jesus, in whom the Father is well pleased
Heart of Jesus, of whose fullness we have all received
Heart of Jesus, desire of the everlasting hills
Heart of Jesus, patient and rich in mercy
Heart of Jesus, rich to all who invoke Thee
Heart of Jesus, fount of life and holiness
Heart of Jesus, propitiation for our sins
Heart of Jesus, saturated with revilings
Heart of Jesus, crushed for our iniquities
Heart of Jesus, made obedient unto death
Heart of Jesus, pierced with a lance
Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation
Heart of Jesus, our life and resurrection
Heart of Jesus, our peace and reconciliation
Heart of Jesus, victim for our sins
Heart of Jesus, salvation of those who hope in Thee
Heart of Jesus, hope of those who die in Thee
Heart of Jesus, delight of all saints
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, spare us O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

V. Jesus, meek and humble of Heart
R. Make our hearts like unto Thine.

Let us pray:

Almighty and everlasting God, look upon the Heart of Thy well-beloved Son and upon the acts of praise and satisfaction which He renders unto Thee in the name of sinners; and do Thou, in Thy great goodness, grant pardon to them who seek Thy mercy, in the name of the same, Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with Thee, world without end. Amen

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

45 Life Lessons

I'd like to share with you something that my dad sent me in an email. It says it was written by a lady named Regina Brett from Cleveland, Ohio. Don't know if that info is accurate, but it sounds good :) Anyhow, here it is:

To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I've ever written. My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.

16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone elses, we'd grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

42. The best is yet to come.

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

Many of these are great things to remember each and every day. In keeping with my post yesterday about the "Our Father" I liked the fact that there were three points that dealt with forgiving people (#s 3, 11 and 28).

If more people could just forgive the past hurts of their life and not hang on to things for so long, the world would be a much better place. Life is too short to carry hatred around in your heart.

I have to admit that sometimes I'll be upset with someone and I'll feel this desire to hang onto the hatred. It is as if the devil doesn't want me to let go of the hurt and the anger. As I mentioned yesterday, whenever I'm having a particularly hard time forgiving someone, I beg God to give me the gift of forgiveness and He always delivers!

Hopefully something in this list has jumped out at you and will help you along your way today!

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Our Father

Somewhat recently I either heard or read that if we all lived the "Our Father" the world would be an amazing place. Seems pretty simple, doesn't it? I thought about what that would entail and here is my take on it:

"Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name"

I believe this is reminding us that we should spend a portion of every day thanking God for all of the blessings He has bestowed upon us as well as praise His holy name throughout the day, not use it in an off-handed or profane way.

"Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven."

I guess it gets a little harder, here, doesn't it? Discerning God's will for ourselves can be difficult. I figure the best thing we can do is to live in the present moment and ask ourselves (not necessarily make it a conscious question at every moment, but maybe at the beginning of each new task) if what we are doing is what we think God would want us to be doing at that moment. If we live in the present and keep God at the forefront, we will probably stay on track. It seems that when we start living in the past or future too much, or don't stay recollected that we begin to stray from God's will for us.

"Give us this day, our daily bread"

For me, if I make it to Mass every day, then I feel I've lived this part of the prayer. If that is not possible, then a good Spiritual Communion can help me to come close.

"And forgive us our trespasses"

Aside from going to confession every day :), nothing helps to fulfill this part of the prayer better than a thorough, nightly examination of conscience. I usually try to do one mid-way through the day just so that the one at night doesn't take so long (since I'm usually falling asleep while trying to do it :) Asking God to point out my sins and omissions of the day and then asking for His forgiveness sure helps to make my sleep more peaceful.

"As we forgive those who trespass against us"

HMMM, another tough one. It is soooo hard sometimes to go to bed having forgiven someone for something they may have said or done to me that day. Usually, if I can't bring myself to do it that day, I tell God that I would like to forgive that person, but since I can't seem to do it right yet, could He give me the grace to do it soon. He always comes through for me!

"And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil."

Okay, I know that God never leads us into temptation, so in trying to live this part of the prayer, I think we should try to stay away from things that might be near occassions of sin for us. Whether it is a website, a conversation or a place that might cause us to weaken and then sin, we need to ask for the grace every day to avoid those things that might lead us into temptation. If we ask for this grace, then God, in His Goodness, will deliver us from that evil.


So be it! When you break it down, it really doesn't seem like a lot to remember and do every day. I guess by ourselves we cannot do it, but with the grace of God it is possible. Imagine the world we would live in if everyone even TRIED to live this prayer out. I guess it truly would be Heaven on Earth!

Friday, June 19, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday Vol 28


Wow, today is a day full of important things. First - May you have a Blessed Feast of the Sacred Heart! Next - today begins the Year of the Priest. I think this is going to prove to be very important. Third - Ms. 5 yo officially becomes Ms. 6 yo today. Lots to celebrate - I think it calls for double dessert!


My daughters got this new book for their Confirmation from friends of ours called "The Confirmed Catholic's Companion". In it they had a humorous saint quiz. I thought I'd put the questions here and then the answers in #7. See how well you do.

Guess the following patron saints (just for fun):
a. Patron saint of shoppers
b. Patron saint of boaters
c. Patron saint of candy makers
d. Patron saint of mortgage payers
e. Patron saint of lawyers
f. Patron saint of necklace makers
g. Patron saint of weight watchers
h. Patron saint of travel agents
i. Patron saint of pool players
j. Patron saint of sweater wearers


So today starts the Year of the Priest and what a great time to show support for all of those good and holy priests we know. We thought it might be nice to devote each of the 12 months to 12 different priests and offer them our prayers, rosaries and masses. It might also be nice to send them a note to thank them for all they do for us. Also, if you're looking for prayers to say, I've found some here, here and here.


The other day my husband took Mr. 4 yo out for his birthday dinner with dad. Mr. 4 yo was shoveling his pancakes into his mouth, all the while trying to carry on a conversation with my husband. Being the good father he is, he told him that he shouldn't talk with his mouth full. Being the wise 4 yo he is, my son replied, "It's okay, dad, I have my food on this side of my mouth (left side) and I'm talking out of this side of my mouth (right side)." They're so logical, aren't they?


I just received word that the Rockford Diocese is in the planning stages of a Catholic college called St. Athanasius College. I plan on sending for the prospectus, but a friend already saw it and said it sounds promising. How exciting!

Emily update - We heard from Emily's mother this week with an update on her recuperation. She is slowly recovering from her massive chemo and radiation. She is gaining weight and ever so slowly the burns on her face and neck as well as the sores on her tongue are healing. She was even able to walk the first lap for cancer survivors at a local relay for life! Let's pray that she is on her way to a complete recovery.


Okay, here are the answers. Hope you did better than I did!

a. St. Francis de Sales
b. Joan of Arc
c. Our Lady of Mt. Carmel
d. St. Bernadette
e. Our Lady of Good Counsel
f. St. Bede
g. St. Josephat
h. St. Martin of Tours
i. St. Julie Billiart
j. St. Casimir

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sacred Heart of Jesus Part V

Today I would like to share with you a prayer written by the late Bishop Roger Kaffer. He loved to write prayers and poetry and this is one that he wrote to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Bishop Kaffer prayed this prayer every day after he received Holy Communion. He even had it printed on little cards and handed out thousands of them.

As another part in my series on the Sacred Heart, here is the "Prayer of the Sacred Heart" written at Calvary, Jerusalem on the Feast of the Sacred Heart, June 29, 1984.

The Prayer of the Sacred Heart
by Bishop Roger Kaffer

O my Jesus, I love You! I love You! I love You! Most Sacred Heart, Most Sacred Love of my lover, My Savior, My God and my all! How can you love me? So unworthy, so fragile, so fickle! Yet You do and I know it and I cannot tell You how deeply, how immensely and how intensely and completely I wish to return Your love for me - by living, dying and bringing honor and glory to You by helping in a priestly and selfless way to spread Your kingdom. O Christ My King! All that I am, have and do I give to You! No strings! No conditions! Just total, confident love. There is nothing, Lord Jesus, nothing at all that You cannot have - nothing at all that I will not give - or give up - if You want me to. I know this is easier to say than to do. I know that I am a coward and a sinner and a weakling. But my confidence and love for You is such that I know whatever You ask, You will more than give the strength to give You - not fearfully, reluctantly, begrudgingly - but cheerfully and gladly. Your Will! Let me do Your Will my Jesus! Completely, totally, unreservedly - with no strings attached! I love You! I love You! I love You! I wish to be completely and totally Yours. Come Lord Jesus! Come into my heart, come into my soul, come into my body and take me, possess me, transform me, only keep me always close to You - then dispose of me as You will! Amen.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sacred Heart of Jesus Part IV

Since the first thing that St. Margaret Mary said was important was consecration, I thought I would share with you a consecration prayer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. While I am sure that there are different versions of this, this particular one was written by St. Claude de la Colombiere.

My adorable Redeemer, I give and consecrate myself totally to Thy Sacred Heart in the fullest and most complete way of which I am capable.

Nail Me to Thy cross by my baptismal promises, by the duties of my state of life and by my resolution to serve you always. I renew all these before heaven and earth in Thy Sacred Heart.

Thy holy service is for me an easy yoke and its bonds do not burden me. Moreover, I would desire to fasten even more closely its tight knots.

Therefore, I embrace the beloved cross of my vocation even unto death. It shall be all my delight, my pleasure, my glory. God forbid that I should glory save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world is crucified to me, and I to the world. Thy poverty shall be my treasure; Thy sufferings my delight; Thy person my only love.

I will never abandon Thee, my Savior; I will unite myself intimately with Thee. I do not fear the narrow path of holiness, because Thou art my light and my strength.

I hope, therefore, O my Lord, that Thou willest make me firm to resist all temptations and that Thou willest make me victorious over all the enemies of my soul. Continue to stretch out Thy hand over me, and to bestow Thy favors upon me.

By Thy Blood, by Thy Wounds and by Thy Sacred Heart, I implore Thee, O adorable Jesus, by this act of consecration grant that I may become a new creation of Thy love. Amen.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sacred Heart of Jesus Part III

I thought I would devote today to some background on where the devotion to the Sacred Heart came from. If you know of some info that might be interesting to others that I have left off, please feel free to comment.

According to Pius XII, the main promoter of the devotion to the Sacred Heart is St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, who was a Visitation sister from Lyon, France. She lived from 1647-1690, with the main revelations from Jesus occurring between 1673 and 1675. We received a newsletter from Miles Christi with this information:

"Jesus Christ appeared to her with His Heart enthroned in flames, bearing a wound and surrounded with a crown of thorns signifying the wounds our sins made in it and a cross above signifying that from the first instant of the was filled with all the sorrow to be inflicted on it by the humiliations, poverty, pain and scorn that he was to endure throughout His life and Passion.

St. Margaret Mary continued, "Jesus made me see that he intensely desired to be loved by men and to snatch them from the path of perdition onto which satan was driving them in throngs. It was this that made Him decide to manifest His Heart to men - with all the treasures of love, mercy, graces, sanctification and salvation it contained...and that this devotion is the
final effort of His love. He wanted to bestow upon men during these last centuries such a loving redemption."
That part about this being Jeus' "final effort of His love" really hit me. What patience our God has. These revelations occurred over 300 years ago and we still haven't gotten it right, yet He still continues to love us and to bestow His mercy on us.

St. Margaret Mary goes on to tell us that Jesus said:

"Behold this heart which has so loved men that it has spared nothing, even to the point of spending itself and being consumed to prove its love to them. And in return, I receive from most men only ingratitude...coldness and contempt. I feel this more than all that I suffered during My Passion. If only they would make Me some return for My Love, I should think but little of all I have done for them."
I think that last line is very important. Maybe we can take this month of June, at this time in history when Jesus is more and more being spat upon by the world, to show Him some love by spreading devotion to His Sacred Heart. "But what can we do?," you ask? Well, according to the Miles Christi newsletter, St. Margaret Mary insisted on:

1. Consecration, that is, a surrender that implies abandonment into His hands with full trust.
2. Reparation to the Sacred Heart, paying honor to this Heart, suffering in expiation for sins and consoling His Heart.
3. Valuing the cross, as demanded by love, to unite ourselves with the Heart of Jesus and to reach exquisite holiness.
4. Charity toward our neighbor, to pray to Him for our neighbor as we would for ourselves, for one of the special goals of this devotion is to unite hearts divided.

Besides implementing these in our own lives, let us try to find a way to tell others about them, too.

Friday, June 12, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday Vol 27


Hee Hee. An alert reader noticed in the picture below of my two daughters that one of them was doing a balancing act with the Blessed Mother. Funny thing is is that I didn't notice that until they pointed it out. Maybe the Blessed Mother is levitating over her head to make sure we knew she was with us on that special day :) Oh well, it is much better than a potted plant sitting on top of her head (which I have been known to do before).


Well, this weekend I get the chance to receive one of my Mother's Day presents. DH is taking all of the kids on an overnight campout! So, you may be wondering, what will I do with my nearly 24 hours to myself? I was thinking I would start by grilling a steak for dinner and pouring myself a glass of wine. After dinner, I thought I might put on a good movie and put my feet up for awhile. On Saturday I was thinking of getting up late and then making myself a nice breakfast of pancakes and then enjoying the sunshine for the rest of the day while reading a good book.


Okay, here's what's wrong with the above scenario. First, its Friday, so I won't eat meat. I can't drink wine because it makes my nose itch like crazy. If I sat down to watch a movie I would probably fall asleep because Friday is our early morning formation group. As for Saturday, I can't sleep late even when I want to and I can't make pancakes because the family is bringing all the stuff with for their breakfast! Maybe it will be sunny, but I won't know because I plan on being in the basement the whole time wrapping up the school year. You know how it is: there's papers to sort through and file, grades to calculate and high school transcripts to write up before I forget what was done. That will be my reality and I plan on enjoying every minute of it (although #2 did sound nice, didn't it??)


If I do chill out for awhile, I might put on some good country music. This happens to be my current favorite. I think it would make a great 25th Anniversary song, don't you??


We just finished watching a movie that came highly recommended from a few of my Irish friends and even my mother who isn't Irish! We just watched "The Quiet Man" with John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara. Not quite sure what we missed, but we must have missed something. Please help me to understand oh dear Irish friends....... :)


I got the most recent newsletter from the Carmelite Monks from the sidebar (you know, the coffee monks). In it they talk about how they get up every night at midnight to pray. Here is their explanation as to why they do it:

"The monk wakes at midnight to love a God that is forgotten by men. He rises from his sleep to entrust to the Lord's Sacred Heart the prayers of His church and the intentions of others. In the darkness of night, he rushes to the chapel to find his God and to bring each of you and the troubles of our world to the depths of His Loving Mercy. In the darkness of the night, the Carmelite monk whispers to Jesus and Mary between the verses of the psalmody, "I love you". This is the secret of the monk and the cause of his joy."

How come I don't feel that way when I wake up in the middle of the night??


Thought I'd leave you with this great quote that I found via this post from Totus Tuus. Have a great weekend!

“Today more than ever, our nation is in need of Catholics who know their faith deeply and express their faith, with integrity, by their daily living.” Archbishop Raymond Burke

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Sacred Heart of Jesus Part II

Last Friday we had one of the Miles Christi priests lead our weekly formation group. One of the talks he gave was on the Sacred Heart of Jesus. He said something that was very interesting and which is prompting me to spend some time this month posting more about the Sacred Heart. Over the next few weeks, I will try to post different prayers and background information that will help us to grow in our devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Father told us that when Jesus had appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in the late 1600's, He did so because it was at a time when Jesus was being despised, most especially by consecrated people. Jesus appeared to St. Margaret Mary because He wanted to express His deep sadness at not being loved. He was asking for reparation against these sins, especially those committed by His consecrated people.

At that point in the talk, one of the women made a comment that led to the discussion of how Jesus must feel at this time in history. If it was bad enough back then for Jesus to appear, how must He feel right now????? Father told us that that is why the devotion to the Sacred Heart is so important for our time. We need a renewal of this devotion, which has as its main goal to increase love for Jesus in the world. The devotion focuses on the human heart of Jesus because the heart represents the essence or goodness of a person. According to Father, when we grow in this love, we grow in goodness.

So during the course of this month, look for other posts on this much needed devotion. We need to spread it so that we can help compensate for all of the sins committed against the most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Three Holy Events

In the past week we've had a Trinitarian experience - 3 very holy events to attend. Last week I mentioned that we attended the funeral Mass for Bishop Kaffer. A very beautiful tribute to a very holy man.

On Saturday, we once again found ourselves back in the Cathedral for the diocesan ordination Mass. Three men were ordained into the church and, having never been to an ordination before, I have to say it was a very beautiful and moving experience. A friend of mine said he was thinking about how the young men must have felt the night before and that it probably was a lot like how we all felt the day before we got married - nervous, excited and a bit fearful of what it would be like.

At one point during the ordination ceremony, after the men were actually ordained, the Bishop presented each new priest with a chalice filled with wine and a paten with a host on it and said to them, "Understand what you do and imitate what you celebrate". What a beautiful saying for a priest to remember. It was too bad that there weren't as many priests at the ordination as there had been at the funeral, for I think it would be a good reminder to them of what their own ordination had been like and it might help to rekindle any flames that might be dying out (you know, kind of like how a good anniversary celebration with your spouse does the same thing :)

Unfortunately, due to the length of the Mass and the fact that we had another event to go to, we did not get our new priest blessing. However, we often go to the parish where one of the priests is now "stationed" and so I intend on finding him and asking him for it soon!

During both Masses at the Cathedral, the choir was outstanding. They sang a rendition of the Alleluia that I have never heard before. It is called the Salisbury Alleluia. If you've never heard it before, either, it is very dramatic. I was hoping to find someone's rendition of it to put up here but unfortunately I could only find one and it didn't do it justice. Anyhow, during this Alleluia, the Deacon, escorted by seminanrians with candles, processed around the front of the altar and up the steps to the ambo. By the time he got there, you really felt the awe of what he was about to proclaim. With the dramatic music and the deacon holding up the Gospels, you really felt like the Word of God was present. I must pass on the advise given to me: If you've not been to an ordination before, I would highly encourage you to go!

The third event was last night. Two of our daughters received the Sacrament of Confirmation by a Bishop who performed it according to the Latin Rite. While I could not understand any of it, the ceremony was very beautiful. You could just feel the reverence of the Bishop and his love for the church. There were 28 girls and boys that came from three different states to be a part of this awesome experience. I am so glad that we had the chance to participate in this very intimate and holy gathering. Welcome into the fullness of the church, our two new Soldiers of Christ: Joan and Mary-Agnes. (Notice their oily foreheads. The girls said the Bishop made the sign of the cross and then rubbed the oil in with quite a bit of enthusiasm!)

Through all of the events of this past week, I got the sense that God has been showing me the beauty of the Catholic Church. I know that sometimes we get bogged down by the problems we encounter in it, but if we take a moment to search it out, the beauty, the splendor and the majesty of our beloved Church is still there.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Trusting God

I've had a few interesting experiences this past week that have made me really think about trusting God. Last week on day 3 of our week-long marathon of activities, for a variety of reasons, we were running VERY late for Mass. We got in the car at 8:15 for our 25 minute drive to make it to 8:30 Mass. Do the math and you will realize that it just wasn't adding up. I decided that speeding wouldn't even get me there on time, so I starting praying that God would suspend time. When that didn't seem to be working (my watch hands were still moving :) I started hoping that we would at least be there for the start of the Consecration. At 8:40 we pulled up, jumped out of the car, ran to the front door of the church and noticed that Father was just beginning Mass. You see, it was "change the missal day" and they had just finished up. Thank you God!

A few days later (day 5 of our marathon), we were again running late. This time we were late leaving for a ballet recital that was to begin at 2:00. It was 1:10 and I wasn't sure how long it was going to take us to get there (not my fault - the ordination was 2 hours and 10 minutes long!). Despite my DH trying to give me the quickest directions possible to this place on the far side of the earth, we didn't arrive until 2:30. As we flew into some empty seats, we quickly realized that all of the people that we had come to see were just about to go on stage for the first time. It seems that the recital got started late, the teacher talked for about 10 minutes and the first part of the recital didn't involve our friends at all. Thank you God!

Yesterday, day 6, we had our cast and crew party scheduled at a local park. In addition to the picnic, the girls were going to be performing some skits and dances on the outdoor stage. There was an 80% chance of rain all day, and it had already rained in the morning. Low and behold, it didn't rain again until we got home, and it was late enough that everyone else would have gotten home, too, without getting wet. Thank you God!

So how is it, with all these wonderful examples of how God looks out for us in even these small and insignificant ways, that I can doubt that He is looking out for us in the big ways. With some major issues facing us in the near future, how come I still panic when we get another piece of news that doesn't sound good? These things shouldn't phase me. I know I should trust that whatever happens, Jesus is completely guiding this ship. Even if there is silence, I have to trust that He knows what is going on and that He has things under control. Isn't that what He has been trying to show me this past week???

*Note - Two of my daughters will be receiving the sacrament of Confirmation this evening. Please pray for them and for all who will be attending! Thanks.

Friday, June 5, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday Vol 26


Emily update - Well, this week for Emily has been one of severe trial and yet joy. The other day was probably the closest she has come to dying. She had a very rough day with radiation and collapsed and was rushed to the ER. Her heart rate and blood pressure were all over the place. After awhile they finally got her stabilized and she began to do much better. In fact, yesterday was her last chemo treatment and today is her last radiation treatment. Thank you so very much for all of your prayers because her mother truly believes that it was all the prayers that have gotten her this far. I will let you know if there are any further developments during her recuperation time.


I know there is a lot that one can find to complain about in the Catholic Church today, but we had the incredible honor of seeing the Church in all Her glory. On Wednesday we attended the funeral Mass for Bishop Roger Kaffer. Words cannot describe the beauty of this Mass. There is something that just moves me almost to tears to see that many priests and bishops at one altar. There was at least 10 bishops, probably about 150 priests and countless deacons and seminarians. We were even honored with the presence of His Eminence Francis Cardinal George. It was a very moving tribute to a very holy man.


I'll never forget one of Bishop Kaffer's favorite homilies. I heard it for the first time when we were at Catholic Familyland with him. He was talking about the true presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. Of course I cannot remember the entire thing, but he founded his argument on the statement that either Jesus was telling the truth about Himself in John chapter 6 (the Eucharistic discourse), or He was not. If Jesus was not telling the truth then that meant that either He was a fool, because He was essentially delusional, or He was a liar. I can see Bishop Kaffer even now getting revved up and saying "I know Jesus and He isn't a liar and He isn't a fool". I wish someone would circulate that talk, it is quite powerful!


Because we never have enough to do, we decided to slip in an ordination this weekend. There are three men being ordained this Saturday in the Joliet diocese. Please say a quick prayer for them! I've had a number of people tell me that I should go to an ordination because they are something to behold. I also have heard that the blessings of a newly ordained priest are very special. Can't wait to get those!


Our garden is in, watered and weeded. Actually, it isn't looking too bad. I don't expect that to last for too long, however. We always seem to start out good, but somewhere along the line something happens and our garden ends up a mess. Anyhow, here is a picture of our very first (and very cute) green pepper.


Well, I ordered a new bathing suit from a modest bathing suit company online a few weeks ago. Let me just state that I have a very hard time "seeing" the big picture of things. I cannot envision what a room will look like by looking at a paint chip. Therefore, I also have a very hard time envisioning what a bathing suit will look like from a small rectangular swatch on my computer screen. Let's just say that when I put it on, I looked like a large, florescent house. Thankfully the lady where I ordered it from is allowing me to return it for a darker, solid colored suit.


Well, this shall be all for today because I can't really come up with anything else. We've had a very busy week and my head is still spinning. Unfortunately it won't stop spinning until next Thursday (I hope). Of course, all this running around we've been doing to far off places just when gas prices decide to skyrocket. Oh well. Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Ever Think of Building your Own Website?

Now that school is over for most families, and you'll have so much more time on your hands, I thought I'd bring up the subject of building your own website. About a year and a half ago, my husband and I stumbled onto Site Build It and we really were impressed with what they had to offer.

Since then, as you know, I've been working on my website. I knew absolutely nothing about website building, and at times it has been frustrating, but with a little perseverance, I've been able to put together my site and learn a lot in the process. I find it to be a lot of fun and wish I had more time to work on it.

My husband has put together a site for the company he works for (his family's business). He hasn't had much time to work on it, but because it is a service business, it is fun to watch the contact forms come in from people who want work done.

Ms 17 yo has recently gotten to the point that her website has a home page. We decided to make this part of her Junior year schoolwork. She, too, has had no prior website experience, but is enjoying learning about how to do it. Hopefully she can build her site big enough to help her pay for college.

The main thing that SBI requires from someone who signs up with them is that you have a passion for something. Is there something you love to talk about or know a lot about? Then build a website about it. That is what makes it fun and not work. That is what will keep you going when you might be struggling. We all have something we are passionate about or know a lot about. Heck, I just stumbled across an SBI site about apple cider vinegar! The possibilities are endless.

If you'd like more info and you're a SAHM, then you can click here.
Are you a student looking to generate some extra income? If so, click here.
If you just want the basics, click here.

Give it some serious thought. It really is loads of fun!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Auxiliary Bishop Roger L Kaffer RIP

The Joliet Diocese has suffered a tremendous loss with the death last week of our Auxiliary Bishop Roger Kaffer. Bishop Kaffer was a friendly, very approachable man who loved the youth. When he was the principal of one of the local Catholic high schools, Bishop Kaffer made it a point to visit the home of every family that had a student in the high school.

Bishop Kaffer was the auxiliary bishop of the diocese for 24 years. He was also the State Chaplin for the Illinois Knights of Columbus for 16 years.

On a personal level, we were privileged to have Bishop Kaffer come to our home back in 1996 to enthrone our home to the Sacred Heart. This was one of his personal apostolates to which he was very devoted. He loved spreading devotion to the Sacred Heart and would try hard to find a spot in his very busy schedule for anyone who was interested.

We also had the honor of having him preside over some of our homeschool group graduation Masses. When our two eldest daughters graduated from 8th grade, Bishop Kaffer was the presider and handed them their diplomas.

Based on what I've known and seen of Bishop Kaffer, I'm sure that he heard those beloved words of our Lord, "Well done, my good and faithful servant."

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon him and may his soul, and all the souls of the faithful departed, rest in peace. Amen.

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Sacred Heart of Jesus

Welcome to June, the month dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Last year, in one of his weekly addresses, Pope Benedict the XVI urged Catholics

"to renew, in this month of June, their devotion to the Heart of Jesus." The Holy Father also explained that the Sacred Heart is a symbol "of the Christian faith that is especially dear, to ordinary people as well as to mystics and theologians, because it expresses the 'good news' of love in a simple and authentic way, encapsulating the mystery of Incarnation and Redemption."

We can spend the month focusing on our relationship with Jesus and His loving heart, so often wounded by our many sins. We can spend the month making reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus for all of these sins committed. It is also a good month to renew our consecration to the Sacred Heart. Here is a consecration prayer from St. Margaret Mary Alacoque that can be used:

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, to Thee I consecrate and offer up my person and my life, my actions, trials, and sufferings, that my entire being may henceforth only be employed in loving, honoring and glorifying Thee. This is my irrevocable will, to belong entirely to Thee, and to do all for Thy love, renouncing with my whole heart all that can displease Thee.
I take Thee, O Sacred Heart, for the sole object of my love, the protection of my life, the pledge of my salvation, the remedy of my frailty and inconstancy, the reparation for all the defects of my life, and my secure refuge at the hour of my death. Be Thou, O Most Merciful Heart, my justification before God Thy Father, and screen me from His anger which I have so justly merited. I fear all from my own weakness and malice, but placing my entire confidence in Thee, O Heart of Love, I hope all from Thine infinite Goodness. Annihilate in me all that can displease or resist Thee. Imprint Thy pure love so deeply in my heart that I may never forget Thee or be separated from Thee.
I beseech Thee, through Thine infinite Goodness, grant that my name be engraved upon Thy Heart, for in this I place all my happiness and all my glory, to live and to die as one of Thy devoted servants.
When Jesus appeared to St. Margaret Mary and asked her to spread this devotion to the Sacred Heart, He told her of these twelve promises for anyone who follows this devotion. They are as follows:

1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
2. I will give peace in their families.
3. I will console them in all their troubles.
4. I will be their refuge in life and especially in death.
5. I will abundantly bless all their undertakings.
6. Sinners shall find in my Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
7. Tepid souls shall become fervent.
8. Fervent souls shall rise speedily to great perfection.
9. I will bless those places wherein the image of My Sacred Heart shall be exposed and venerated.
10. I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.
11. Persons who propagate this devotion shall have their names eternally written in my Heart.
12. In the excess of the mercy of my Heart, I promise you that my all powerful love will grant to all those who will receive Communion on the First Fridays, for nine consecutive months, the grace of final repentance: they will not die in my displeasure, nor without receiving the sacraments; and my Heart will be their secure refuge in that last hour.

Let us honor our Lord and His most Sacred Heart during this month and make reparation for all of the ways in which His heart is wounded.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.