Dedication of St. Michael the Archangel

Old Calendar: Dedication of the Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel (Michaelmas Day)

This prayer was composed by Pope Leo XIII. He wrote it after experiencing a vision that showed the battle between between the Church and Satan. In 1886, this prayer and the Hail Holy Queen (Salve Regina) were to be recited at the end of the "low" Mass ("low" meaning the Mass that was spoken, with no music, compared to the "high", or sung Masses). This practice was discontinued around 1970.

In April 1994, during the International Year of the Family, Pope John Paul II during his Regina Coeli message asked all Catholics to pray this prayer daily. We invoke the help of St. Michael in our struggle against Satan and sin.

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do thou, O prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the other evil spirits who roam about the world, seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Catholic Encyclopedia - St. Michael the Archangel
One of the principal angels; his name, "Who is Like Unto God", was the war-cry of the good angels in the battle fought in heaven against the enemy and his followers.

St. Micahel & All Angels
Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they were defeated and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world -- he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. -- Revelation 12:7-9 [RSV]

Feast of Michaelmas

St. Michael Coloring Page from Waltzing Matilda

I'm a Sewing Machine

....O.K. not really but I did sew last week.  I found a cute idea in blogland and thought I'd give it a try.  The directions said it would take about 10 min.  Try 10 min x 3...or 6.  I have a long way to go!  Sew simple is an oxymoron in my world.

The directions can be found at Trey & Lucy. 

Sweetie was so proud of her new creation.  The candy corns fit her perfectly.  I'm thankful that her brother's shirt that she had been wearing for days, matched the dress.  I doubt she would have changed had I tried.

Rose will be making a second dress for Sparkles.  I hope to post pictures.

Novena to Saint Therese of Lisieux

As our devotion to Blessed Teresa of Calcutta grows so does our love for her patron saint, St. Therese.  Today we started a novena* to St. Therese of Lisieux.  The novena will end on Sept. 30,  The Little Flower's feast day is October 1.

Little Flower Novena

Prayers to be said each day:

Come Holy Spirit and fill the hearts of the faithful, and kindle in them the fire of divine love.

V. Send forth Your Spirit and they shall be created.
R. And You shall renew the face of the earth.

Let us pray: O God, who have instructed the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit; grant that by the gift of the same Spirit, we may be ever truly wise and rejoice in His consolation, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Acts of Faith, Hope, and Love: O my God! I believe in Thee: strengthen my faith. All my hopes are in Thee: do Thou secure them. I love Thee: teach me to love Thee daily more and more.

The Act of Contrition: O my God! I am heartily sorry for having offended You, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend You, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance , and to amend my life. Amen.

Concluding Prayer Prayed Each Day:
O Lord, You have said: Unless you become as little children you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven; grant us, we beg You, so to follow, in humility and simplicity of heart, the footsteps of the Virgin blessed Thérèse, that we may attain to an everlasting reward. Amen.

Special Prayers for Each Day:

First Day

St. Thérèse, privileged Little Flower of Jesus and Mary, I approach you with childlike confidence and deep humility. I lay before you my desires, and beg that through your intercession they may be realized. Did you not promise to spend your heaven doing good upon earth? Grant me according to this promise the favors I am asking from you.

Intercede for us all the days of our life, but specially during this Novena and obtain for us from God the graces and favors we ask through your intercession. Amen.

Thought for the day: Confidence in God. We can never have too much confidence in the good God who is so powerful and so merciful. We obtain from Him as much as we hope for.

If you are nothing, do you forget that Jesus is everything? You have only to lose your nothingness in His Infinity and think only of loving Him.

Concluding Prayer

Second Day

O dear little Saint, now that you see the crucified Jesus in heaven, still bearing the wounds caused by sin, you know still more clearly than you did upon earth the value of souls, and the priceless worth of that Precious Blood which He shed to save them. As I am one of those children for whom Christ died, obtain for me all the graces I need in order to profit by that Precious Blood. Use your great power with our divine Lord and pray for me.

Intercede for us all the days of our life, but especially during this Novena and obtain for us from God the graces and favors we ask through your intercession. Amen.

Thought for the day: Sin. The only grace I ask, O Jesus, is never to offend Thee.

By love and not by fear, does a soul avoid committing the least fault.

Yes, even if I have on my conscience every possible crime, I should lose none of my confidence; my heart breaking with sorrow, I should go and throw myself into the arms of my Savior.

The remembrance of my faults humbles me and makes me afraid to rely on my own strength, which is nothing but weakness.

Concluding Prayer

Third Day

Dear Little Flower, make all things lead me to heaven and God, Whether I look at the sun, the moon, the stars and the vast expanse in which they float, or whether I look at the flowers of the field, the trees of the forest, the beauties of the earth so full of color and so glorious, may they speak to me of the love and power of God; may they all sing His praises in my ear. Like you may I daily love Him more and more in return for His gifts. Teach me often to deny myself in my dealings with others, that I may offer to Jesus many little sacrifices.

Intercede for us all the days of our life, but especially during this Novena and obtain for us from God the graces and favors we ask through your intercession. Amen.

Thought for the day: The Use of God’s Gifts. How much benefit have I received from the beauties of nature, bestowed in such abundance. How they raise me to Him who placed such wonders in this land of exile which is only to last a day.

O sparkling nature, if I did not see God in you, you would be naught but a great tomb.

With your little hand which caresses Mary, You sustain the universe and bestow life; and You think of me, O Jesus my little King.

I do not wish creatures to have one atom of my love. I wish to give all to Jesus, since He has shown me that He alone is perfect happiness.

Concluding Prayer

Fourth Day

Dear Little Flower of Carmel, bearing so patiently the disappointments and delays allowed by God, and preserving in the depths of your soul an unchanging peace because you sought only God’s will, ask for me complete conformity to that adorable Will in all the trials and disappointments of life. If the favors I am asking during this Novena are pleasing to God, obtain them for me. If not, it is true I shall feel the refusal keenly, but I too wish only God’s Will, and pray in the words you used, that I "may ever be perfectly fulfilled in me."

Intercede for us all the days of our life, but especially during this Novena and obtain for us from God the graces and favors we ask through your intercession. Amen.

Thought for the day: Abandonment to God. I fear only one thing---to keep my own will; take it, my God, for I choose all that You choose.

The only happiness here below is to strive to be always content with what Jesus gives us.

I can demand nothing with fervor, except the perfect accomplishment of God’s will in my soul.

O my Beloved, I offer myself to You, that You may perfectly accomplish in me Your holy designs, and I will not allow anything created to be an obstacle in their path.

Concluding Prayer

Fifth Day

Little Flower of Jesus, from the very first moment of your religious life you thought only of denying yourself in all things so as to follow Jesus more perfectly; help me to bear patiently the trials of my daily life. Teach me to make use of the trials, the sufferings, the humiliations, that come my way, to learn to know myself better and to love God more.

Intercede for us all the days of our life, but especially during this Novena and obtain for us from God the graces and favors we ask through your intercession. Amen.

Thought for the day: Patience in Sufferings. I do not fear trials sent by Jesus, for even in the most bitter suffering we can see that it is His loving hand which causes it.

When we are expecting nothing but suffering, we are quite surprised at the least joy; but then suffering itself becomes the greatest of joys when we seek it as a precious treasure.

Far from resembling those beautiful saints who practiced all sorts of austerities from childhood, my penance consisted in breaking my self-will, in keeping back a sharp reply, in doing little kindnesses to those about me, but considering these deeds as nothing.

Concluding Prayer

Sixth Day

St. Thérèse, Patroness of the Missions, be a great missionary throughout the world to the end of time. Remind our Master of His own words, "The harvest is great, but the laborers are few." Your zeal for souls was so great, obtain a like zeal for those now working for souls, and beg God to multiply their numbers, that the millions to whom Jesus is yet unknown may be brought to know, love and follow Him.

Intercede for us all the days of our life, but especially during this Novena and obtain for us from God the graces and favors we ask through your intercession. Amen.

Thought for the day: Zeal for souls. Let us work together for the salvation of souls. We have only the day of this life to save souls and to give them to the Lord as proofs of our love.

I tell Jesus that I am glad not to be able to see, with the eyes of my soul, this beautiful heaven which awaits me, in order that He may vouchsafe to open it forever to poor unbelievers.

I cannot perform brilliant works; I cannot preach the Gospel or shed my blood. But what matter? My brothers work in place of me, and I a little child, keep very close to the royal throne. I love for those who are carrying on the warfare.

My deeds, my little sufferings, can make God loved all over the world.

Concluding Prayer

Seventh Day

O little martyr of Love, you know now even better than in the days of your pilgrimage that Love embraces all vocations; that it is Love alone which counts, which unites us perfectly to God and conforms our will with His. All you sought on earth was love; to love Jesus as He had never yet been loved. Use your power in heaven to make us love Him. If only we love Him we shall desire to make Him loved by others; we shall pray much for souls. We shall no longer fear death, for it will unite us to Him forever. Obtain for us the grace to do all for the love of God, to give Him pleasure, to love Him so well that He may be pleased with us as He was with you.

Intercede for us all the days of our life, but especially during this Novena and obtain for us from God the graces and favors we ask through your intercession. Amen.

Thought for the day: Love of God. I will love God alone and will not have the misfortune of attaching myself to creatures, now that my heart perceive what He has in store for those who love Him.

What attracts me to the kingdom of Heaven is the call of our Lord, the hope of loving Him as I have so desired and the thought that I shall be able to make Him loved by a great number of souls who will bless Him forever.

When Christ said, "Give Me a Drink," it was the love of His poor creatures that He, the Creator of all things, desired. He thirsted for love.

Remember that the dear Jesus is there in the tabernacle expressly for you, for you alone. Remember that He is consumed with a desire to come into your heart.

Concluding Prayer

Eighth Day

Dear St. Thérèse, like you I have to die one day. I beseech you, obtain from God, by reminding Him of your own precious death, that I may have a holy death, strengthened by the Sacraments of the Church, entirely resigned to the most holy Will of God, and burning with love for Him. May my last words on earth be, "My God. I love You."

Intercede for us all the days of our life, but especially during this Novena and obtain for us from God the graces and favors we ask through your intercession. Amen.

Thought for the day: Death. It says in the catechism that death is nothing but the separation of the soul and body. Well, I have no fear of a separation which will unite me forever with the good God.

I am happy to die because I shall be able to help souls who are dear to me, far more than I can here below.

Life is not sad; it is very joyous. If you say, "This exile is sad," I understand you. We are wrong to give the name "life" to something which will end; it is only to the things of Heaven that we should apply this beautiful name.

Concluding Prayer

Ninth Day

Dear Little St. Thérèse, by love and suffering while you were on earth, you won the power with God which you now enjoy in heaven. Since your life there began, you have showered down countless blessings on this poor world; you have been an instrument made use of by your divine Spouse to work countless miracles. I beg of you to remember all my wants. Sufferings must come to me also, may I use them to love God more, and follow my Jesus better. You are especially the little missionary of love. Make me love Jesus more, and all others for His sake. With all my heart I thank the most Holy Trinity for the wonderful blessings conferred on you, and upon the world through you.

Intercede for us all the days of our life, but especially during this Novena and obtain for us from God the graces and favors we ask through your intercession. Amen.

Thought for the day: The Mission of the Little Flower. I do not intend to remain inactive in Heaven. I want to work for the Church and for souls. I have asked this of God and I am certain that He will grant my request.

I will spend my Heaven doing good upon earth. This is not impossible, since the angels though always enjoying the beatific vision, watch over us. No, I cannot be at rest until the end of the world.

I beseech Thee, O Jesus, to cast Thy divine glance on a great number of little souls. I beg of Thee to choose in this world a legion of little victims, worthy of Thy Love.

Concluding Prayer

O Lord, You have said: Unless you become as little children you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven; grant us, we beg You, so to follow, in humility and simplicity of heart, the footsteps of the Virgin blessed Thérèse, that we may attain to an everlasting reward. Amen.

I have never wished for human glory, contempt it was that had attraction for my heart; but having recognized that this again was too glorious for me, I ardently desire to be forgotten.
~ Saint Thérèse of Lisieux

* A novena is a nine-day period of private or public prayer to obtain special graces, to implore special  favors, or to make special petitions. (Novena is derived from the Latin "novem", meaning nine.) As the definition suggests, the novena has always had more of a sense of urgency and neediness.

Most Holy Name of Mary

Old Calendar: Most Holy Name of Mary
Litany of the Holy Name of Mary
The Feast of the Holy Name of Mary was established by Pope Innocent XI upon the victory of Christian forces against the Moslems beseiging Vienna in 1683. This litany, reflecting the nature of  the feast, is for private devotion.

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Son of Mary, hear us. Son of Mary, graciously hear us.

Heavenly Father, of Whom Mary is the Daughter, have mercy on us. Eternal Word, of Whom Mary is the Mother, have mercy on us.
Holy Spirit, of Whom Mary is the spouse, have mercy on us.
Divine Trinity, of Whom Mary is the Handmaid, have mercy on us.

Mary, Mother of the Living God, pray for us
Mary, daughter of the Light Eternal, pray for us
Mary, our light, pray for us
Mary, our sister, pray for us
Mary, flower of Jesse, pray for us
Mary, issue of kings, pray for us
Mary, chief work of God, pray for us
Mary, the beloved of God, pray for us
Mary, Immaculate Virgin, pray for us
Mary, all fair, pray for us
Mary, light in darkness, pray for us
Mary, our sure rest, pray for us
Mary, house of God, pray for us
Mary, sanctuary of the Lord, pray for us
Mary, altar of the Divinity, pray for us
Mary, Virgin Mother, pray for us
Mary, embracing your Infant God, pray for us
Mary, reposing with Eternal Wisdom, pray for us
Mary, ocean of bitterness, pray for us
Mary, Star of the Sea, pray for us
Mary, suffering with your only Son, pray for us
Mary, pierced with a sword of sorrow, pray for us
Mary, torn with a cruel wound, pray for us
Mary, sorrowful even unto death, pray for us
Mary, bereft of all consolation, pray for us
Mary, submissive to the law of God, pray for us
Mary, standing by the Cross of Jesus, pray for us
Mary, Our Lady, pray for us
Mary, Our Queen, pray for us
Mary, Queen of glory, pray for us
Mary glory of the Church Triumphant, pray for us
Mary, Blessed Queen, pray for us
Mary, advocate of the Church Militant, pray for us
Mary, Queen of Mercy, pray for us
Mary, consoler of the Church Suffering, pray for us
Mary, exalted above the angels,
Mary, crowned with twelve stars, pray for us
Mary, fair as the moon, pray for us
Mary, bright as the sun, pray for us
Mary, distinguished above all, pray for us
Mary, seated at the right hand of Jesus, pray for us
Mary, our hope, pray for us
Mary, our sweetness, pray for us
Mary, glory of Jerusalem, pray for us
Mary, joy of Israel, pray for us
Mary, honor of our people, pray for us
Mary, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, pray for us
Mary, Our Lady of the Assumption, pray for us
Mary, Our Lady of Loreto, pray for us
Mary, Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us
Mary, Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us
Mary, Our Lady of Czestochowa, pray for us
Mary, Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, pray for us
Mary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us
Mary, Our Lady of the Angels, pray for us
Mary, Our Lady of Dolors, pray for us
Mary, Our Lady of Mercy, pray for us
Mary, Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us
Mary, Our Lady of Victory, pray for us
Mary, Our Lady of La Trappe, pray for us
Mary, Our Lady of Divine Providence, pray for us

Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord Jesus.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord Jesus.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, O Lord Jesus.

Son of Mary, hear us. Son of Mary, graciously hear us.

I will declare your name unto my brethren. I will praise you in the assembly of the faithful.

Let Us Pray (Oremus) O Almighty God, Who beholds Thy servants earnestly desiring to place themselves under the shadow of the name and protection of the Most Holy Virgin Mary, grant, we beseech You, that by her charitable intercession, we may be delivered from all evil on earth, and may arrive at everlasting joys in Heaven, through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Simple Bulletin Board & Bookshelf Makeover

Before: damaged bulletin board that was given to me
(Not pictured: large old oak wood frame found at Goodwill for $6 & Ikea MARKÖR (light brown) bookshelves)

1. Spray painted oak frame with black gloss.
Used paint sprayer with Behr black semi-gloss to paint bookshelves.

2. Covered board with Better Home & Garden fabric from JoAnn that was on clearance. Used staple gun to secure fabric

3. Inserted bulletin board into back of frame. It was a perfect fit that I didn't even plan.

The framed bulletin board is a finishing touch to our office, school room, craft room.......multi-purpose room. I hope to show a more finished photo soon.

I'm planning on skirting the desk and have a blank adjoining wall (painted Lettuce Alone) that needs some help. Any ideas are welcomed!

Happy Birthday Blessed Mother Mary

Old Calendar: Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary; St. Adrian, martyr

On Our Lady's birthday the Church celebrates the first dawning of redemption with the appearance in the world of the Savior's mother, Mary. The Blessed Virgin occupies a unique place in the history of salvation, and she has the highest mission ever commended to any creature. We rejoice that the Mother of God is our Mother, too. Let us often call upon the Blessed Virgin as "Cause of our JOY", one of the most beautiful titles in her litany.

Inspiring Meditation to Spiritually Celebrate Our Lady's Birthday

The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Thy birth, O Virgin Mother of God,
heralded joy to all the world.
For from thou hast risen the Sun of justice,
Christ our God.
Destroying the curse, He gave blessing;
and damning death,
He bestowed on us life everlasting.
Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the
fruit of thy womb.
For from thou hast risen of Sun of justice,

Little Flowers First Meeting of the Year

This year we have a total of 12 girls. Two are returning SS Little Flowers. We start every meeting with First Saturday Mass. For many of the girls it was their first time without being with their parents at Holy Mass. Nonetheless, the girls were thrilled to be together to attend mass and even more elated about being able to sit up front, close to Jesus.
They wore the kerchiefs, which they referred to as veils, proudly. The girls participated in Mass without one trial and not one of the girls asked to be excused for a restroom break. Praise be to God!

After mass, the girls joined Rosa Mystica (the older girls' group) for recreation and snacks. Some of the girls went to tackling jump rope, some had girl talk, and others admired the snack table. We retreated to our room when Father S came to talk to Rosa Mystica.

We took that short time before snack to become acquainted with each other. We had an ice breaker where I read a series of statements. The girls had to identify if the statement applied to them. If so, they would stand and share briefly. The girls are very perceptive and started identifying another LF that the statement applied to. Some girls even learned new facts about themselves due to a temporary memory loss. Overall, they loved sharing about themselves. I may quiz them on the statements from time to time to see how their relations flourish.

Fr. L dropped in for an impromptu visit. He will be the Little Flowers' advisor this year. He introduced himself to the girls and had the girls share their name. He became further acquainted with them and introduced the girls to our topic of the day, St. Therese and Mother Teresa of Calcutta. He reassured the girls that he would be praying for them and requested their prayers. The girls professed their commitment to pray for him with a splendid and loud, "YES!!"

Father left and the girls continued with their snack (having never really stopped). We role played the proper way to greet a Priest when he enters a room; stop what you're doing, stand, make eye contact and greet him with the proper salutation.

I then re-introduced them to the Saint and beatified nun that we would be discussing. The first clue was the letter 'Tt.' ( I will be assigning a letter to each meeting). I then read a page from An Alphabet of Catholic Saints, T - St. Therese of Lisieux. I gave them an overview of her family life and call to the religious life.

I discussed the number of siblings she had (9, 4 of which died early), her order (the baby of the family) and the fact that it was an all-girl household. The girls became giddy at the fact that it was an all-girl household. Each Little Flower has at least one brother and just as they began to imagine their family life without brothers we had a timely surprise.....all of our eyes were caught off guard by T, a brother of G and C. He was peeking through the window with his mouth wide open and hands waving in the air. It was a typical brother move that brought us all to laughter. We gave thanks for brothers.

The girls were reminded of her endearing title, Little Flower. I informed them that she is the patron of the Little Flowers Catholic Girls' Clubs. I honed in on her Little Way and desire to be pleasing to God at an early age. We then focused on a gift that St. Therese's sister gave her, Sacrifice Beads. They were used by Therese to track her sacrifices to offer as presents to Jesus. She identified the beads as a tool to become a saint. Each LF acknowledged that they are called and desire to become a saint.

We started on our craft for the day, Sacrifice Beads (each meeting will have a craft that relates to the saint and/or virtue that is discussed). As I distributed beads we worked on our counting skills. The girls counted aloud (from 1-11) as each girl received her beads. They counted fast, slow and even backwards. The girls worked diligently and required minimal direction. Miss. C and I kept them together at the same pace so no one girl was finished far before another. They were very encouraging of each other and were invited to help their neighbor move along. The girls even brainstormed ways that they have sacrificed and/or can sacrifice. Moms, be on the watch for tidy rooms. As they continued working on their beads I introduced the girls to Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. Saturday was her feast day. She had a devotion to St. Therese of Lisieux and took the name as her religious name. Many of the girls were acquainted with Mother Teresa of Calcutta. She too had a call to the religious life at an early age. We spoke of those that Mother Teresa helped, the poorest of the poor. I described the condition of Calcutta and the girls identified why she served those in destitution, "because she loves God." It amazes me how easily the young girls get the message of love. I believe it is the same language they speak.

We ran slightly over on time and we're unable to get to the housekeeping. So, for now the girls are to be focusing on sacrifices, small things they can do JOYfully and with great love. They should be trying to use their sacrifice beads, moving a bead (for each sacrifice) towards Jesus on the crucifix. If called to, they can even move a bead away from Jesus back to the medal if they fail to JOYfully sacrifice. This was a pious act that St. Therese adopted. The beads should be kept in their pockets and secretly* used. The girls can review the beads at the end of the day and offer up all their sacrifices to Jesus as a presents. They can then place the beads under their pillow until morning. The sacrifice beads are not to be bragged about or used for competition.

The resounding message that the girls reiterated was,
"Do all things with love, for Jesus."

Feast Day of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

Saturday, September 5 was the feast day of Mother Teresa of Calcutta and the last day of our Novena to Blessed Teresa. Her intercession in our lives has taken us on a journey to Christ that we desire to continue. Our devotion to her and her charism continue to flourish. We pray to bring her way to our vocation as a married couple and parents, to be JOYfully obedient to our Heavenly Father and become clay that He molds.

It was also first Saturday, a day we devote to Mass and recollection. Our recollection was postponed since the MC's were celebrating this glorious day.

My day was also filled with our first Little Flower's meeting. We of course focused on Blessed Teresa and her patron, St. Therese of Lisieux. The girls started the day with First Saturday Mass and then had their meeting. They made Sacrifice Beads and discussed ways to become a Saint.

As a family, we celebrated this feast day with ice cream. It was simple but JOYful, Mother Teresa style.

Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Cause of our JOY,
Pray for us.
Blessed Mother Teresa,
Pray for us.
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