Ready To Begin Again

I’m sure it’s no surprise that my family has already adopted a patron saint…..Mother Teresa.  Dad and I adopted Bl. Mother Teresa as our patron saint about 5 years ago.  Her intercession for us is powerful and her charism is imprinted on our hearts.  Each child still has their own namesake and patron saint(s).

In addition, we adopt a family patron saint for the year.  We were introduced to this practice, a few years ago.  We like to see it as having a saint select us for the year.

This custom was adopted by St. Faustina.

On the occasion of the New Year 1935 Saint Maria Faustina made this entry in her spiritual Diary:
"Jesus likes to intervene in the smallest details of our life. And He often fulfills secret wishes of mine that I sometimes hide from Him, although I know that from Him nothing can be hidden. There is a custom among us of drawing by lot on New Year's Day, special patrons for ourselves for the whole year...” ~
Saint Maria Faustina

In the past we have selected a saint from a small list.  We drew a name out of a hat. 

Last year, I used this site to select our patron saint for 2010.  Unfortunately, the site is not running at this time.

I found out about the Saint’s Name Generator from a friend.  I decided to have Dad visit the Saint Generator to have a saint select us.  Our  2011 Patron Saint is……

St. Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer

Josemaria Escriva was born in Spain on January 9, 1902 and died in Rome on June 26, 1975. On October 2, 1928, God gave him to see Opus Dei.


New Year: Beginning Again Each Day

The Christian Life is a Continuous Beginning Again Each Day
Since our first conscious decision really to follow the teaching of Christ, we have no doubt made good progress along the way of faithfulness to his word. And yet isn’t it true that there is still much to be done? Isn’t it true, particularly, that there is still so much pride in us? We need, most probably, to change again, to be more loyal and humble, so that we become less selfish and let Christ grow in us, for “He must become more and more, I must become less and less.” (St. John 3:30) ... Conversion is the task of a moment; sanctification is the work of a lifetime. The divine seed of charity, which God has sown in our souls, wants to grow, to express itself in action, to yield results which continually coincide with what God wants. Therefore, we must be ready to begin again, to find again — in new situations — the light and the stimulus of our first conversion. And that is why we must prepare with a deep examination of conscience, asking our Lord for his help, so that we’ll know him and ourselves better. If we want to be converted again, there’s no other way. ~ St. Josemaria Escriva, Christ is Passing By, 58

The Extraordinary In One’s Ordinary Life

How many mothers have you known who have been the heroines of some epic or extraordinary event? Few, very few. Yet you and I know many mothers who are indeed heroic, truly heroic, who have never figured in anything spectacular, who will never hit the headlines, as they say. They lead lives of constant self-denial, happy to curtail their own likes and preferences, their time, their opportunities for self-expression or success, so that they can carpet their children’s lives with happiness. ~ St. Josemaria Escriva, Friends of God, 134

Have you seen how that imposing building was built? One brick upon another. Thousands. But, one by one. And bags of cement, one by one. And blocks of stone, each of them insignificant compared with the massive whole. And beams of steel. And men working, the same hours, day after day... Have you seen how that imposing building was built?... By dint of little things! ~ St. Josemaria Escriva, The Way, 823


“When I think of Christian homes, I like to imagine them as being full of the light and joy that were in the home of the holy family.”

 ~ St. Josemaria Escriva, Christ is Passing By, 22

Year in Review 2010

I’ve pulled together a review of 2010.  Here are some top posts and family favs per each month of 2010.


Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

For the Greater Glory of God



It's That Time Again - Organization


Little Flowers 5th Meeting - Joy/Mirthfulness & St. Clare of Assisi


Preparation for First Holy Communion & First Communion JOY


Prayers & Activities for Pope Benedict XVI


day 3 mom and gio's hand

He's Here...


A New Creation of God

Our Lady of Mt Carmel Sandwiches

Feast Day Celebration For Our Lady of Mount Carmel


room b

High School Space



The Little Flower


Giving Thanks Craft



Our Lady of Guadalupe


We pray to continue to grow closer to Our Lord, to use our gifts for Him, to live each moment of our lives to glorify Him, to share our journey.

Father, send us the Holy Ghost to teach us the radical newness of our baptized life in Jesus.

~ Christifideles Laici - Lay Members of Christ's Faithful People, Pope John Paul II, 10

St. Francis de Sales

“Lord, I am yours, and I must belong to no one but you. My soul is yours, and must live only by you. My will is yours, and must love only for you. I must love you as my first cause, since I am from you. I must love you as my end and rest, since I am for you. I must love you more than my own being, since my being subsists by you. I must love you more than myself, since I am all yours and all in you. Amen”. ~ St. Francis de Sales, Treatise on the Love of God


Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Traditional Calendar January 29 ~ New Calendar January 24

Born on the border of Switzerland, into an old aristocratic family of Savoy, Francis of Sales became one of the foremost missioners of the Catholic Restoration. He drew Calvinists to the Church by his Christlike kindness; but after the winning of the heretics, the saint was very exacting in the direction of his converts. His writings are Christian classics in which he emphasizes the importance of a staunch Catholic laity, holding that it is an error to believe that piety is incompatible with any state of life. Francis of Sales was appointed bishop of Geneva in 1603. Seven years later, together with St. Jane de Chantal, he founded the Order of the Visitation. This holy and gentle apostle died in 1622.

He joyfully undertook this mission, and amid many dangers and struggles, is said to have recalled seventy-two thousand of these heretics to the Catholic Faith.

"Do you seek the higher things, such as prayer and meditation, the Sacraments leading souls to God and kindling good thoughts in them? Do all these good works according to your vocation; but meanwhile do not neglect your spindle and distaff. I mean, cultivate those little virtues which spring like flowers round the foot of the Cross, such as ministering to the poor and sick, family cares, and the duties arising therefrom, and practical diligence and activity; and amid all these things cultivate such spiritual thoughts. . . . Great occasions for serving God come seldom, but little ones surround us daily; and our Lord Himself has told us that 'he that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much.' If you do all in God’s Name, all you do will be well done." ~St. Francis de Sales


Patron: Authors; Diocese of Baker, Oregon; Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Ohio; Catholic press; Diocese of Columbus, Ohio; confessors; deaf people; deafness; Diocese of Wilmington, Delaware; educators; journalists; teachers; writers.

Symbols: Bald man with a long beard wearing a bishop's robes holding a book; heart pierced with thorns or picture of the Virgin.



“O love eternal, my soul needs and chooses you eternally! Ah, come Holy Spirit, and inflame our hearts with your love! To love -- or to die! To die -- and to love! To die to all other love in order to live in Jesus' love, so that we may not die eternally. But that we may live in your eternal love, O Savior of our souls, we eternally sing, "Live, Jesus! Jesus, I love! Live, Jesus, whom I love! Jesus, I love, Jesus who lives and reigns forever and ever." Amen. ~ Treatise on the Love of God by Saint Francis de Sales

“Holy detachment is one of the virtues which Our Lord Jesus Christ spread abroad with a delightful scent. It was a lovely flower in His most holy passion. It is the most excellent of virtues because it shares in the firmness of charity, in the perfume of humiliy, in the merit of patience and in the fruit of perseverance. Great is this virtue, worthy of being practiced by all the children of God.” (Sermons 29; O. IX, p. 283)

"As soon as worldly people see that you wish to follow a devout life they aim a thousand darts of mockery and even detraction at you. The most malicious of them will slander your conversion as hypocrisy, bigotry, and trickery. . . .” ~St. Francis de Sales

“Do not look forward to what may happen tomorrow.  The same Everlasting Father, who takes care of you today, will take care of you tomorrow.  He will either shield you from suffering, or give you unfailing strength to bear it.  Be at peace then, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.”     ~St. Francis de Sales


originall posted - 1/29/2011 02:07:00 AM

The Holy Innocents



Within the Octave of Christmas

There is mixed joy and sorrow in the feast of the innocent victims of the first persecution. The Church rejoices at the spiritual victory of the young witnesses to Christ. The purple vestments of the Mass denote the Church's common grief with the mothers of Bethlehem, who saw their babies massacred by the jealousy of Herod.


Triumph of the Innocents, by William Holman Hunt, 1883-4

While it is easy to get lost in the nightmare of what happened to the Innocents, it's to be remembered that they ultimately triumphed! They are Saints of God, as this painting by William Holman Hunt shows. The Innocents are seen with the Holy Family, in spirit, during the Family's Flight to Egypt. ~ Fisheaters


  • A new tradition has been born in our home.  The youngest child will “rule for the day.”  I read about this custom here and here.  I thought it would be a nice plan for the day.  Papi (my 3 year old) had the same idea.  He woke up early and went downstairs to help himself to some left over candy pretxels and a movie.  He is always one step ahead of us.

Let us pray. O Lord Jesus Christ, once You embraced and placed Your hands upon the little children who came to You, and said: "Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven, and their angels always see the face of my Father!" Look now with fatherly eyes on the innocence of these children and their parents' devotion, and bless them this day through our ministry. (The father signs the forehead of each child with the sign of the cross.) In Your grace and goodness let them advance continually, longing for You, loving You, fearing You, keeping Your commandments. Then they will surely come to their destined home, through You, Savior of the world. Who lives and reigns forever and ever. ~ Blessing of Children on Holy Innocents

May God bless you, and may He be the Guardian of your heart and mind —  In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.

Merry Christmas

dragonfly is keeping his eyes on papi to be sure that he doesn’t try any funny stuff.

Faithfilled Gifts

I am praying for you during this Holy season and throughout the New Year.  I also wanted to share my latest FREE online find.

I love creating things and always try to make my crafts faithfilled.  I usually  make my gifts and my gift tags.  However, this year I’ve spent more time giving the gift of myself, being present for my family and less time focusing on presents.   Needless to say, there has not been much time for handmade gifts this year.  I did keep it simple but the gifts lacked the faithfilled touch that (I believe) should always be present.  That led me on a search for Holy gift tags.

I found the most charming faithfilled CATHOLIC gift tags.  They are free and printable.  Did I mention that they are FREE!!! 


The site is Holy Reflections.  It is a creation of Mildred Lee Bozeman. 

I received my love of God from my Mother, my love of collecting from my Father, and my love for antiques from his two sisters, so it seems only natural that one day I would begin a collection of antique holy cards. These old holy card images enhance your meditation during prayers and they assist you in expressing the deepest feelings of your heart and soul to God. My holy card collection has enriched my faith, renewed my spirit, and increased my joy. That is why it is so important to me to be able to share it with you. I add prayers to the back of the scanned images, laminate them and give them away to people as gifts. I have given them to strangers, the homeless, family, and friends. It is my small way of giving back what God has given to me. Remaining always grateful to my Lord Jesus Christ whom without I can do nothing. ~ Mildred

The collection at Holy Reflections is endless!

Here are some items that I used for Christmas gift giving and wrapping…..

FREE Printable Religious Gift Tags      Prayer For Peace Card     Advent Stationary     Prayer to the Most Loving Infant Jesus     The Joys of a Divine Advent    

Here are a few more items that I have used or will be using in the very near future.

First Communion Prayer Card     The Hearts of Jesus and Mary Consecration Prayer Cards     Ava Maria Prayer Cards  Our Lady of Perpetual Help      Adoration   Holy Souls Reflections and Prayer Cards      Images from a 1870 French Catholic Prayer Book  FREE Printable Stationary  Antique Holy Card Slide Show    



Check out Holy Reflections FaceBook Page for site updates.

Mildred also provided a link to her friend’s site.  Julie Brown offers an additional array of antique holy cards for a fee at Holy Cards.

Chocolate Peppermint Crinkle Cookies

cookie exchangeA friend hosted a Cookie Exchange during the first week of December for moms and daughters.  It was a great outing and jump start for Christmas baking.

Rose and I decided to try a new recipe.  We were in a chocolatey mood and liked the look of Chocolate Crinkles.  We used Bakers Royal recipe for Chocolate Peppermint Crinkle Cookies.

Rose found this to be a simple and fun recipe.  She noted that she would use less powdered sugar.   Also, we tried the Crinkles with and without peppermint.  Peppermint is the way to go!

I printed the recipe on the JOY cards for all to take home.

A tall glass of milk is definitely needed.  This is one rich cookie, just the way my kids like them!

sweetie cookie exchange
check out more cookie ideas at Catholic Cuisine’s Christmas Cookie Recipe Exchange and our last year’s Christmas cookie post.

Last Week Of Advent

Reflections with Mother Teresa

Judges 13:2–7, 24–25a; Luke 1:5–25
“His ways are so beautiful—to think that we have God almighty to stoop so low as to love you and me and make use of us—and make us feel that He really needs us—as I grow older my wonder at His humility grows….” ~ Mother Teresa

Isaiah 7:10–14; Luke 1:26–38
“Please pray for me that I may have the courage to complete my Sacrifice as He has given me the inspiration and Grace to begin...I have very little courage—but I trust Him blindly, in spite of all feelings.” ~ Mother Teresa

Song of Songs 2:8–14; Luke 1:39–45
“Every Sunday I visit the poor in Calcutta’s slums. I cannot help them, because I do not have anything, but I go to give them joy....O God how easily I make them happy! Give me strength to be always the light of their lives and so lead them to You!” ~ Mother Teresa

1 Samuel 1:24–28; Luke 1:46–56
“My soul at present is in perfect peace and joy.” ~ Mother Teresa

Malachi 3:1-4, 23-24; Luke 1:57-66
“We need to tell the poor that they are somebody to us, that they, too, have been created, by the same loving hand of God, to love and be loved.” ~ Mother Teresa

2 Samuel 7:1–5, 8b–12, 14a, 16; Luke 1:67–79
“There is in my heart a very deep union with the will of God. I accept not in my feelings—but with my will, the Will of God....The hardest to bear—is this terrible longing for God.” ~ Mother Teresa

~Day by Day Through Advent With Mother Teresa


"Let us pray that we shall be able to welcome Jesus at Christmas not in the cold manger of a selfish heart, but in a heart full of love, compassion, joy and peace, a heart warm with love for one another." ~ Blessed Teresa of Calcutta


Let us now turn our gaze again to Mary and Joseph who were awaiting the birth of Jesus and learn from them the secret of reflection in order to taste the joy of Christmas. Let us prepare ourselves to welcome with faith the Redeemer who
comes to be with us, the Word of God’s love for humanity of every epoch.
~ Pope Benedict XVI, Angelus December 21, 2008


JOY is the true gift of Christmas, not expensive presents that demand time and money. We can transmit this joy simply:
with a smile, with a kind gesture, with some small help, with forgiveness.
Let us give this joy and the joy given will be returned to us. ~ Pope Benedict XVI, Homily for the Fourth Sunday of Advent December 18, 2005


Thanksgiving and Prayers

We have sought simpler times.  This year a Christmas Topiary is part of the plan.  We decided to decorate our tree early this year in honor of our gift from above, Dragonfly.

He turned 7 months on Dec. 17.

JOYfilled Christmas 2010He is a precious baby with a sweet disposition.  He is easy and always happy.  Dragonfly…sits up on his own.  has 6 teeth.  wears 9-12 months clothes.  pulls himself to a standing position, on his own.  eats avocados.  loves to fight with dad and brother.  enjoys his adventures with sweetie.  prefers men to women. is ready for a hair cut.  crawls everywhere.……brings us much JOY!

7 months

seven months

prayers for a

JOYfilled CHRISTmas

We pray that we continue to be filled with the JOY that only Christ can provide.  We extend this prayer to all our blog friends and their loved ones.


Waiting For Jesus Christ

We are anxiously awaiting the birth of Christ.  On Christmas Day, the children will add Baby Jesus to the Nativity Scenes in our home, that do not have Him present.  He is the true gift of Christmas!

nativity in fireplace mantle – Fontanini Nativity

tree topper JOY tree topper

nativity in livingroom living room side table – Jim Shore Nativity

kitchen nativity immaculate shrine calendar kitchen calendar – Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

bookshelf nativitybookshelf – Dollar Tree Nativity trinket box

gian's nativitypapi – Oriental Trading Nativity

nativity on altaraltar

nativity in schoolroomschoolroom - Oriental Trading Nativity

nativity on entry tableentry table - Fontanini

nativity on piano in holy room piano in Holy Room (on display year-round)

nativity snow globesnow globe nativity

seto calendar in schoolroomschoolroom calendar – Seton Homeschool

outdoor nativity v2 front yard

not pictured: bedroom nativity sets, veggietale nativity, little people nativity, cloth nativity, …..

more nativity scenes can be viewed at the Nativity Parade.

San Juan de la Cruz


Dec. 14 - Memorial of St. John of the Cross, priest and doctor

Old Calendar: Nov. 24 - St. John of the Cross, confessor and doctor; St. Chrysogonus, martyr; Sts. Flora & Mary, virgins & martyrs (Hist)

"With what procrastinations do you wait, since from this very moment you can love God in your heart?" ~ St. John of the Cross, Prayer of a Soul Taken with Love

John of the Cross was born near Avila in Spain in 1542. Educated by the Jesuits, he entered the Carmelite Order at the age of 21. He felt attracted to the life of a Carthusian, but Teresa of Avila asked him to co-operate with her in the restoration of the primitive Carmelite rule. After John established several monasteries of Discalced Carmelites, those opposed to the reform had him imprisoned at Toledo. During the nine months of his imprisonment, he wrote many of the poems and prose works that have made him one of the foremost authorities on mysticism in the West. He had asked God for suffering, and he received an abundance of both physical and spiritual torment right up to his death in 1591.


you endowed our Father Saint John of the Cross
with a spirit of self-denial and a love of the cross.
By following his example
may we come to the eternal vision of your glory.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
~ Prayer from the Proper




“Preserve a loving attentiveness to God with no desire to feel or understand any particular thing concerning him.”  ~ St. John of the Cross, The Sayings of Light and Love. #88


Saint of Light

lucia breakfast sweet

Dad coordinated St. Lucy’s breakfast in bed.  He made eggs, lil’ smokies, oatmeal and MinibonThe little girls St. Lucy(s) wore their crowns and delivered the food to Rose and I.  It was a lovely surprise.

Dad tried to take pictures but the camera battery was dead, go figure.

starboy Dad also made star cookies for Star Boy.

We will be doing activities from last year’s celebration and additional ones from Jessica at Shower of Roses.

I’ll be back with updates, Dad is on a roll. 


LITURGICAL PRAYER: Hear us, O God, our salvation, as we rejoice on the feast of Saint Lucy, Thy virgin and Martyr, and grant us to learn the spirit of pious devotion.



Not much of an update.  Dad capped out at the cookies but did take the kids on a procession (a.k.a.walk to the park).

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