Soccer Days

Sweetie and Sparkles started their soccer season.  They play for the same coach but on separate teams.  Their first games were on March 12, after the Nun Run.

3.12 sweetie's first soccer game   This was Sweetie’s first game, ever!  She was a bit nervous at the start of the game.  She plays on a co-ed team and holds her own.  She plays with strength and sheer determination.  Gotta love her wristband.

3.12 sparkles soccerSparkles was eager to join Coach E for a second year.  He is great with the kids and respects our family priorities.  Sparkles is the complete opposite of Sweetie (in many ways).  In terms of soccer, she plays with grace and a smile.  She loves to use her head.  She’s been working on scoring with headers.  She perfects every move I show her.  Sparkles didn’t play with her wristband because it was too big for her tiny self.

3.12 soccer days  Dragonfly was happy to be outdoors.  Papi was exhausted from his 1 mile run/walk.  Nana put him to bed while Papa kept company with Sparkles.  Rose relaxed since her game was canceled.  Dad enjoyed his seeds while he nursed his aching feet from the 10k.  I was still pumped about running with Team ALL FOR!

lena uop soccer 96-97Just for fun!  This is me at the end of my soccer career.  I hung up my dreams to serve my family.  Deo gratias!

Keeping It Real

I was feeling guilty for not having posted before pics for my Lenten cleaning.  I struggle with doing it all.  My home is usually the first to go.  I try to do a quick clean in between nursing, homeschooling, cooking…but my home seldom stays this clean for longer than a few minutes, and it almost never gets this clean for regular company, only special guests.

It’s one of my many crosses. I strive to do better each day but often come up short.  I'm thankful that I have a husband who always lends a hand and lifts me up to try again.
Here it is, my late night act of humility…..
keeping it real

Top 10 Facts About My Love and Me

i was inspired to do this post by betty beguiles.  it’s the perfect birthday reflection for me!
my husband and i have been together for longer than we’ve been apart.  we were high school sweethearts and have been together ever since, 19 years!
because we’ve been together 19 years, we know every cross and weakness of one another.  we also know the great gifts that He has blessed the other with.
we did not always practice our faith, despite the fact that we were both cradle Catholics and in a Catholic high school.  but one yes was our saving grace.  that yes turned 16 on tues.
we have a secret longing to form a Catholic homestead community.
he takes care of the bedtime time routine (while i’m pregnant or nursing). i’ve been pregnant or nursing perpetually for roughly the past 7 years.  : ) 

he gives a blessing to me and the children every morning and night.
we have three angels in heaven and long to be untied with them.
we have been stripped of our material wealth and health.  we trust that He is refining us.
we are in our final year of LMC formation and God willing, we will be starting a local community.
The spirit of the LMC is one of total abandonment to God's holy will, child-like trust in His Fatherly care and readiness for service in profound humility after the example of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
Slaves to Jesus through Mary. 
we trust that we were designed for each other and we give thanks to the Good Lord for bringing us together and offering us the graces to persevere through our own failings -- to lead us to a life that glorifies Him.

"To me Jesus is the Life I want to live, the Light I want to reflect, the Way to the Father, the Love I want to express, the JOY I want to share, the Peace I want to sow around me.  Jesus is my everything."  ~ Bl. Mother Teresa of  Calcutta
our song

Home Organization

It was part of our Lenten program, to have a Father over for dinner and to entertain friends that we have not seen in some time.  We hadn’t planned to have them all in the same visit.

One priest turned into two priests plus Sweetie’s Godfamily with five children.

Needless to say, we had a surge in our Lenten cleaning.

The pressure was on. We had less than a week’s notice.  And if that weren’t enough, Rose, my #1 helper was miserably ill.

Praise God, we were able to persevere.  With a couple of all nighters and a scurry in the eleventh hour, the house was ready for our special guests.

We are just about 50% done with our entire Lenten cleaning.

Here’s a peek at some of our progress, minus the before pictures. Let’s just say, I’m still working on humility.  : )

  entryway & hallwayJOYfilledfamily entry way

holy roomJOYfilledfamily holy room

schoolroom JOYfilledfamily school room

family roomJOYfilledfamily living room

kitchenJOYfilledfamily kitchen

high school schoolroom, craft room & office JOYfilledfamily high school space  


You can see more about our Lenten cleaning program resources here


I have also been watching some great Women of Grace episodes on the topic of organization.  I listed the links below.

Women of Grace Shows on Organization: 

Possessed by the Mess: Clean Up and Clean Out with guest Dale O'Leary - Some time ago we aired a program called "Saver, Collector, Hoarder - Which One Are You?" The viewer response was overwhelming and we just knew it was important to revisit this topic in more detail. Our guest is going to tell us why saving is not a virtue, and why, in fact, it could be detrimental to your soul. But she is also going to give us a four step spiritual approach to cleaning up and cleaning out.

Getting Organized and Staying that Way – Getting organized is one thing. Staying that way is quite another. How do we put our homes in right order and maintain a predictable environment for our family - one that yields security, hominess, comfort, and peace? Today's guest has the answers for us. She is a professional organizer who has helped many people find the way to the joy that comes from a well-ordered home.


Here is an examination of Conscience for home cleaning, created by Dale O’Leary.

Possessed by the Mess

Getting the Heart Ready to Unload the House

Step 1: Examination of Conscience

  • Have I desired things that I didn’t really need?
  • Have I bought items I’ve never used?
  • Have I coveted things that belong to another?
  • Have I envied those who have more than me?
  • Do I trust God to meet my needs?
  • Have I failed to return items I have borrowed?



Whenever you begin any good work you should first of all make a most pressing appeal to Christ our Lord to bring it to perfection.  ~ St. Benedict

Blessed Sixteen

Rose's pic


Fiori Principessa

caring, sweet, humble, generous, big sissy, slave to Jesus through Mary, reliable, trustworthy, beautiful, self-less, athletic, craftyJOYfilled, Mary’s flower, Jesus’s Princess…

Yes Day

The Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a beautiful feast day that is also known as YES Day in our home.

We usually start the day with Mass and a renewal of our vows of Total Consecration to Mary.  Last year didn’t go as planned.  This year was almost a repeat.  Rose, Papi and Sparkles were all sick.  In addition, I was becoming preoccupied with prepping for a special dinner with Father M & Father Louis Baudon de Mony.  Dad was running on 3 hours of sleep.  The trials were building up.

Praise God that we did not let these very small obstacles steal our joy. 

We did not get to attend Mass but we did complete a renewal of vows in our home as a family. 

We were also able to keep our tradition -- our simple way to celebrate the big feast day of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Dad and I say yes all day to all reasonable requests.  The children are also encouraged to say a profound and JOYfilled yes to all requests asked of them.  In addition, the children must give all praise to God for the granting of their requests.

Let’s just say there was plenty of praise giving happening in our home.  Deo gratias!


This was my yes to dad.  He asked me to turn my Marian ParFIAT into a Marian SmoothYES with whip cream on top, of course.  And If you give a dad some whip cream, he’ll find some kids to spray.

Notice that my littles already had a popsicle, a result of dad’s earlier yes.


JOY Journal

3.14 papi finding the perfect position to eat without pain

 3.20 dragonfly céil 3.20 rose céil 3.20 sparkles at céil  3.27 dragonfly with licorice

Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

"Ecce ancilla Domini; fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum." ~ Luke 1:38


New Calendar - Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord
Every year this feast recalls anew Mary's reply to God's angelic messenger: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to thy word." Every work of the Creator is called to perfection, and perfection consists in obedience. The heavens and the earth inevitably announce the glory of God, but to human beings alone God granted a free will to serve Him. At the Annunciation, the obedience of Mary brought Christ down on earth to save fallen humanity. we, too, are called upon to co-operate with the Creator. The glory of God awaits our human word of obedient consent.



"Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee! Not only is God the Son with you, to whom you gave your blood, but also God the Holy Spirit, by means of whose operation you conceived, and also God the Father, who generated from all eternity Him whom you conceived. The Father, who gives you His Son, is with you; the Son is with you, who, wishing to accomplish a prodigious mystery, conceals Himself in. your maternal bosom without violating your virginal integrity; the Holy Spirit is with you, who, together with the Father and the Son, sanctifies you. God is truly with you" (St. Bernard).  

"0 Mary, my sweet love, you opened to the eternal Divinity the door of your will, and the Word immediately became incarnate within you. BY THIS YOU TEACH ME THAT GOD,  WHO CREATED ME WITHOUT MY HELP, WILL NOT SAVE ME WITHOUT IT…but knocks at the door of my will and waits for me to open it to Him.  (St. Catherine of Siena) 

O Mother Mary, I beg you to teach me and help me always to open wide the door of my soul to every divine appeal, to every solicitation of grace. At each manifestation of the divine will, may I repeat with you a humble, prompt, " Ecce, fiat!"

~ Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen OCD (Divine Intimacy)


"Like Mary, let us be full of zeal to go in haste to give Jesus to others. She was full of grace when, at the annunciation, she received Jesus. Like her, we too become full of grace every time we receive Holy Communion. It is the same Jesus whom she received and whom we receive at Mass. As soon as we receive Jesus in Holy Communion, let us go in haste to give Him to our sisters, to our poor, to the sick, to the dying, to the lepers, to the unwanted, and the unloved. By this we make Jesus present in the world today." ~ Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta







"O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in your mercy hear and answer me. Amen" (Memorare).

St. Gabriel the Archangel



"Man of God" or "God Has Shown Himself Mightily."

Traditional Calendar – March 24 ~ New Calendar – September 29

Gabriel the Archangel announced to Daniel the time of the coming of the Messias (Dan. 9:21), and to Zachary the future birth of the Precursor of the Word Incarnate (Luke 1:10). Then came the sublime message to Mary at Nazareth and the God-inspired salutation, "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women" (Luke 1:28).
In the "Hail Mary," the words of the Angel of the Annunciation have been repeated through the centuries by countless millions of human beings. Thrice daily the church bells ring the "Angelus" to recall through the ages how the strong angel who stands before God bowed in reverence to a humble Jewish virgin, soon to become the Mother of Christ and the Queen of heaven and earth.



Novena for the Annunciation

O most holy Virgin Mary, to whom God sent the Angel Gabriel to announce that you should be the mother of His Only-Begotten Son, pray for us who have recourse to you. Holy, lovely Mary We give our all to you What is past and present, And the future, too. Blessed be the holy and Immaculate Conception of the most blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God.

300 days. Plenary, under usual conditions, if said daily for a month. S. Pen., Nov. 8, 1934.


Let us all exult with joyous hearts,
and strike the tuneful lyre;
'tis the great Gabriel that comes
in all his brightness from the high heavens.
This is the feast of the glorious Virgin's messenger,
and with him comes the whole host of Angels,
singing in varied hymns
the praise of Christ.
Let our choir, therefore,
sing the praises of Gabriel the prince,
for he is one of the seven that stand
before the Lord and do His biddings.
Gabriel cheerfully descends whithersoever God wills,
for he is the messenger of Heaven,
nay the mediator that reveals to the world
the secret decrees of the omnipotent God.
Be thou, O Gabriel, we beseech thee,
messenger to us of the special gift of eternal peace,
wherewith we may finally reach Heaven,
and everlastingly rejoice.
May the Godhead ever blessed of
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
Whose glory is proclaimed through the whole world,
grant us this our prayer. Amen.




Pray, O Gabriel, for the Church militant, and defend her against the attacks of hell. The times are evil; the spirits of malice are let loose, nor can we make stand against them, unless with God's help. It is by His holy angels that He gives victory to His bride. Be thou, O strength of God! foremost in the ranks. Drive heresy back, keep schism down, foil the false wisdom of men, frustrate the policy of the world, arouse the well-minded from apathy; that over the earth He has redeemed, and that we may sing together with thee and the whole angelic choir: 'Glory be to God, peace to men!'

~ Dom Prosper Gueranger

The Way of the Cross

We adore Thee O Christ and we praise Thee ~ Because by Thy holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

3.18 stations of the cross papi 3.19 stations of the cross

3.18 papi with rosary JOY

3.18 – We pray the Stations of the Cross in front of our home altar when we are unable to make it to mass.  We use The Way of the Cross for Children and these wonderful candles.


Stabat Mater

At the cross her station keeping,
Stood the mournful Mother weeping,
Close to Jesus to the last:
Through her heart, His sorrow sharing,
All His bitter anguish bearing,
Lo! the piercing sword had passed!

O how sad, and sore distressed,
Now was she, that Mother Blessed
Of the Sole-begotten One;
Woe-begone, with heart's prostration,
Mother meek, the bitter Passion
Saw she of her glorious son

Who could mark, from tears refraining,
Christ's dear Mother uncomplaining,
In so great a sorrow bowed?
Who, unmoved, behold her languish
Underneath His Cross of anguish,
'Mid the fierce, unpitying crowd?

For His people's sins rejected,
She her Jesus, unprotected,
Saw with thorns, with scourges rent;
Saw her Son from judgment taken,
Her beloved in death forsaken,
Till His Spirit forth He sent.

Fount of love and holy sorrow,
Mother! may my spirit borrow
Somewhat of thy woe profound;
Unto Christ, with pure emotion,
Raise my contrite heart's devotion,
Love to read in every Wound.

Those five Wounds on Jesus smitten,
Mother! in my heart be written,
Deep as in thine won they be:
Thou, my Savior's cross who bearest,
Thou, thy Son's rebuke who sharest,
Let me share them both with thee!

In the Passion of my Maker
Be my sinful soul partaker,
Weep till death, and weep with thee;
Mine with thee be that sad station,
There to watch the great Salvation
Wrought upon the atoning Tree.

Virgin thou of virgins fairest,
May the bitter woe thou sharest
Make on me impression deep:
Thus Christ's dying may I carry,
With Him in His Passion tarry,
And His wounds in memory keep.

May His Wounds transfix me wholly,
May His Cross and Life Blood holy
Ebriate my heart and mind;
Thus inflamed with pure affection,
In the Virgin's Son protection
May I at the judgment find.

When in death my limbs are failing,
Let Thy Mother's prayer prevailing
Lift me, Jesus! to Thy throne;
To my parting soul be given
Entrance through the gate of Heaven,
There confess me for Thine own.

How to Attend Mass

My dear love sent me a love note (email) this morning.  He attached a beautiful reflection/letter from Fr. Padre Pio.

Below is a snippet of the letter.  The letter is from St. Padre Pio to Annita Rodote - Pietrelcina, July 25, 1915.  The full letter is taken from Volume III of Padre Pio's Letters, "Correspondence with his Spiritual Daughters (1915-1923)" and can be found here.


Comportment at Holy Mass and Afterwards

…Enter the church in silence and with great respect, considering yourself unworthy to appear before the Lord's Majesty.  Amongst other pious considerations, remember that our soul is the temple of God and, as such, we must keep it pure and spotless before God and his angels. Let us blush for having given access to the devil and his snares many times (with his enticements to the world, his pomp, his calling to the flesh) by not being able to keep our hearts pure and our bodies chaste; for having allowed our enemies to insinuate themselves into our hearts, thus desecrating the temple of God which we became through holy Baptism.

Then take holy water and make the sign of the cross carefully and slowly.

As soon as you are before God in the Blessed Sacrament, devoutly genuflect.  Once you have found your place, kneel down and render the tribute of your presence and devotion to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.  Confide all your needs to him along with those of others.  Speak to him with filial abandonment, give free rein to your heart and give him complete freedom to work in you as he thinks best.

When assisting at Holy Mass and the sacred functions, be very composed when standing up, kneeling down, and sitting, and carry out every religious act with the greatest devotion.  Be modest in your glances; don't turn your head here and there to see who enters and leaves.  Don't laugh, out of reverence for this holy place and also out of respect for those who are near you.  Try not to speak to anybody, except when charity or strict necessity requests this.

If you pray with others, say the words of the prayer distinctly, observe the pauses well and never hurry.

In short, behave in such a way that all present are edified by it and, through you, are urged to glorify and love the heavenly Father.

On leaving the church, you should be recollected and calm.   Firstly take your leave of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament; ask his forgiveness for the shortcomings committed in his divine presence and do not leave him without asking for and having received his paternal blessing.

Once you are outside the church, be as every follower of the Nazarene should be.  Above all, be extremely modest in everything, as this is the virtue which, more than any other, reveals the affections of the heart.  Nothing represents an object more faithfully or clearly than a mirror.  In the same way, nothing more widely represents the good or bad qualities of a soul than the greater or lesser regulation of the exterior, as when one appears more or less modest.  You must be modest in speech, modest in laughter, modest in your bearing, modest in walking.   All this must be practiced, not out of vanity in order to display one's self, nor out of hypocrisy in order to appear to be good to the eyes of others, but rather, for the internal virtue of modesty, which regulates the external workings of the body.

Therefore, be humble of heart, circumspect in words, prudent in your resolutions.  Always be sparing in your speech, assiduous in good reading, attentive in your work, modest in your conversation.  Don't be disgusting to anybody but be benevolent towards all and respectful towards your elders.   May any sinister glance be far from you, may no daring word escape your lips, may you never carry out any immodest or somewhat free action; never a rather free action or a petulant tone of voice.

In short let your whole exterior be a vivid image of the composure of your soul…

~ Fra Pio, Capuchin

Viva San Giuseppe

On March 19th, the Festa San Giuseppe takes place. Although traditionally it began in Sicily, the Feast of San Giuseppe (St. Joseph) is now celebrated throughout most of Italy. According to legend, during the Middle Ages a terrible drought and famine plagued the people of Sicily. It virtually destroyed most of their crops and many people in the western part of Sicily died of starvation. The people began praying to St. Joseph and begged for his intercession to their plight. In return they promised to celebrate his feast day by having special altars abundant in food that would be shared with all people rich and poor as their thanksgiving to him.image

This is dad’s family crest from his maternal grandfather.


We had a simple celebration for the feast of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Virgin Mary.  We honored our earthly father (husband) and St. Joseph.

dad with his treat

Sparkles coordinated a surprise for dad.  She led her siblings in a St. Joseph procession around the house.  Then she presented dad with his treat, a yummy peanut butter, and chocolate, caramel ice-cream sundae.

dad's treatWe had not planned to create a St. Joseph’s Altar but we decided to improvise while dad went out for an errand.  Our St. Joseph Altar was simple and non-traditional.

We placed some of dad’s favorites on the altar.  It was our first official break in our Lenten fast.  Dad was elated to see what we worked on for him in honor of St. Joseph.  All, including Papa & Nana, enjoyed it.

dad's st joseph's altar

Sparkles invented a sweet game for the feast of St. Joseph.  She hid St. Joseph's heart (chocolate heart candies) in the sawdust (breadcrumbs).  Everyone took turns finding his heart in the sawdust.  Papi (3) loved this game and insisted he needed more hearts.

May St. Joseph Always Smile Upon Us.


~~~San Giuseppe

 “Day after day, at home in the carpenter’s shop, his eyes rested on Jesus: he  protected Him against the dangers of childhood; he guided His advancing years, and by hard work and with religious devotedness he provided for the increasing needs of the Mother and the Son… And there was Joseph, modest, self effacing, yet exercising authority over the family.  How holy he must have been!  Under his fatherly protection and ceaseless tireless care the young Boy grew into manhood...Don’t you think that now in heaven he is the same loving father and guardian of the whole Church, of all its members, as he was of its Head on earth?  We hear your answer; Yes.  And does he not know that oh so many of its children are terribly in need of help?  They need help for their souls – grace of repentance, the grace of humble, unstinted surrender to the holy will of God; and Joseph turns to Jesus, of old his Boy of Nazareth and at once graces flow abundantly for the souls of men.”  ~ Fr.  Gilsdorf, Go to Joseph





Lenten Resolution Renewal

I am finding it necessary for me to renew my Lenten resolutions on a regular basis.  My spirit is willing but my flesh is weak. Matthew 26:41
Below is an excerpt from a sermon on Audio Sancto.  It has helped me stay firm in my resolve.
Lent: Our Spiritual Tithe – Audio Sancto Sermon
It is urgent that we return to the pristine spirit of the great fast, which is so badly needed, in our materialistic world.
Corporal: (external practices)
  • Take less of what you like today and more of what you dislike at meals today.
  • Take nothing to drink between meals.
  • Do not use seasoning on your food today.
  • Do not use any sweeteners with your food or drinks today.
  • Avoid listening to the radio at all today.
  • Take nothing to eat between meals today.
  • Avoid any TV or videos, instead, read the passion of the Christ in your bible or missal.
  • Take only one helping of each item at meals today.
  • Say an extra rosary.
Spiritual: (internal practices)
  • Don’t do any unnecessary talking instead say little prayers, aspiration throughout the day – My Jesus Mercy.
  • Exercise your patience today in all things.
  • Don’t make any complaints today.
  • Restrain any anger and go out of your way to be kind to the person who caused you anger.
  • Don’t be distracted with someone else’s business.
  • Avoid any gossip today. Instead, say an extra rosary to overcome this great fall.
  • When asked to do something extra, do it with a joyful and pleasant attitude today.
  • Speak in a pleasant tone to everyone today.
  • Avoid using the phone today.
  • Tell the truth in all your dealings today.
  • Avoid any vanity or self-seeking today.
Practices to Grow in Virtue & Good Works:
  • Practice humility today in all your actions.
  • Be generous today. Help someone in need.
  • Look for ways to be helpful throughout the day.
  • Do a job that needs to be done without being asked.
  • Be courageous, walk away from any impure situations today.
  • Don’t be idle at all today, always be doing something for others or for your spiritual growth.
  • Go out of your way today to help or talk to someone who is usually difficult.
  • Volunteer for an extra job today.
  • Say an extra rosary today for the conversion of a sinner.
  • Visit someone who is sick or lonesome today and offer to say the rosary with them
Pray & Sacrifice
I resolve to have the holiest Lent that I’ve ever had.

Second Sunday in Lent




Knowing what Christ taught and lived, we perceive the contrast between what we are and what we are meant to be. What we are, if patiently accepted, is a help toward that Christian humility which is the foundation of personal holiness. Original sin and personal sins have upset our inner harmony. Still, even though appetites are greedy, they are not our masters.
"God has called us unto holiness" -- that is, to be mature, balanced, happy Christians who share the responsibility of bringing persons of every race to holiness in Christ. Inner transformation ought to shine outwardly in apostolic zeal. resurrection to glory is life's reward.


GOSPEL Matth. 17. 1-9.
Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Matthew.
[Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ on Mount Thabor: manifestation of the divinity of Jesus.]

   At that time Jesus took Peter and James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into a high mountain apart: and He was transfigured before them. And His face did shine as the sun, and His garments became white as snow. And behold there appeared to them Moses and Elias talking with Him. Then Peter answering said to Jesus: Lord, it is good for us to be here: if Thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles, one for Thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. And as he was yet speaking, behold a bright cloud overshadowed them. And lo, a voice out of the cloud, saying: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased: hear ye Him. And the disciples hearing, fell upon their face and were very much afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said to them: Arise, and fear not. And they, lifting up their eyes, saw no one, but only Jesus. And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying: Tell the vision to no man till the Son of Man be risen from the dead.


The below meditation is taken from Rev. Fr. Leonard Goffine's - The Church’s Year.

Grant, O God, that I may live an honest, chaste and holy life in accordance with my vocation, and go not after earthly and carnal pleasures, as the heathens who know Thee not.image

Why was Christ transfigured in the presence of His apostles on Mount Thabor?

To permit them to see the glorious majesty of His divinity; to guard them from doubts when they should afterwards see Him die on Mount Calvary; to encourage the disciples and all the faithful to be patient in all crosses and afflictions, for the bodies of the just at the resurrection will be made like the glorified body of Christ. (Phil. III. 21.)

Why did Moses and Elias appear there?

That they might testify, that Jesus was really the Saviour announced by the law and the prophets, and that the law and the prophets received fulfillment in Him. The former was represented by Moses, the latter by Elias.

Why, did Peter wish to build three tabernacles there?

The delightful sweetness of the apparition in which Jesus made him participator so enraptured him, that he knew not what he said, not considering that glory can be attained only through sufferings, the crown through fight, joy through crosses and afflictions.

ASPIRATION Draw us, O Jesus, to Thee, that by the contemplation of the sacred joys awaiting us, we, by Thy grace, may not be defeated in the spiritual contest, but conquer through Thy grace and carry off the unfading crown of victory.



A Saint for ALL

Today, the feast of St. Joseph,  is ‘father’s day” in our home.   We honor St. Joseph and give thanks for our earthly father, husband, and papa.

We attended a High Mass in honor of the spouse of the Virgin Mary.  Dad gets dictate the plans for the day.

We pray to grow in devotion to Saint Joseph, just as St. Teresa of Avila prescribes. 

Jesus and Mary had a special devotion to St. Joseph – we can do no better than Mary & Jesus. ~ Fr. L, Sermon March 19, 2011


St. Joseph spouse of the Virgin Mary

The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus

The Great Debt She Owed to Our Lord for His Mercy to Her. She Takes St. Joseph for Her Patron.

I took for my patron and lord the glorious St. Joseph, and recommended myself earnestly to him. I saw clearly that both out of this my present trouble, and out of others of greater importance, relating to my honour and the loss of my soul, this my father and lord delivered me, and rendered me greater services than I knew how to ask for. I cannot call to mind that I have ever asked him at any time for anything which he has not granted; and I am filled with amazement when I consider the great favours which God hath given me through this blessed Saint; the dangers from which he hath delivered me, both of body and of soul. To other Saints, our Lord seems to have given grace to succour men in some special necessity; but to this glorious Saint, I know by experience, to help us in all: and our Lord would have us understand that as He was Himself subject to him upon earth—for St. Joseph having the title of father, and being His guardian, could command Him—so now in heaven He performs all his petitions. I have asked others to recommend themselves to St. Joseph, and they too know this by experience; and 37 there are many who are now of late devout to him, having had experience of this truth. ~ Chapter 6 (9)

Would that I could persuade all men to be devout to this glorious Saint; for I know by long experience what blessings he can obtain for us from God. I have never known any one who was really devout to him, and who honoured him by particular services, who did not visibly grow more and more in virtue; for he helps in a special way those souls who commend themselves to him. It is now some years since I have always on his feast asked him for something, and I always have it. If the petition be in any way amiss, he directs it aright for my greater good. ~ Chapter 6 (11)

I ask, for the love of God, that he who does not believe me will make the trial for himself—when he will see by experience the great good that results from commending oneself to this glorious patriarch, and being devout to him. Those who give themselves to prayer should in a special manner have always a devotion to St. Joseph; for I know not how any man can think of the Queen of the angels, during the time that she suffered so much with the Infant Jesus, without giving thanks to St. Joseph for the services he rendered them then. He who cannot find any one to teach him how to pray, let him take this glorious Saint for his master, and he will not wander out of the way. ~ Chapter 6 (12)


O God, who in your unspeakable providence chose blessed Joseph to be the spouse of your most holy Mother, grant, we beseech you, that we may deserve to have him as our intercessor in Heaven, whom we venerate on earth as our protector. Who lives and reigns world without end.
(MP, p. 212; derived from the Collect of the Votive Mass of St. Joseph from the Roman Missal)

Deus, Qui ineffabile providentia
beatum Joseph sanctissimae Genitricis Filii tui sponsum
eligere dignatus es,
praesta, quaesumus,
ut quem protectorem veneramur in terris,
intercessorem habere mereamur in caelis.

St. Frances Xavier Cabrini ~ Industry

“O my God, I will do everything for the love of Thee.”

I held my last Little Flower’s meeting of the 2010-2011 session on March 5 – First Saturday .  LF moms and I decided to opt out of rescheduling a meeting in April so that we could observe the Lenten season.  I will, however, provide all members with their Saint/Virtue packet so that they can complete their study at home.  The May meeting will be our participation in a May Procession.  It will be a splendid way to officially close this year’s LF session. 

Ad Jesum per Mariam


May Procession 2010


The girls attended Mass with help from two Sodality members.  We had 25 girls in attendance.  The First Communicants joined us after their lessons with Father L.

I had a limited time to introduce the Little Flowers lesson since we were expecting special visitors.  As we waited, we briefly recapped last months saint and virtue - St. Jane Frances de Chantal & Love of Our Neighbor

~ St. Frances Xavier Cabrini & Industry ~

Then I introduced St. Frances Xavier Cabrini and the virtue of industry.  I used the following excerpt from Fr. Lasance, Catholic Girl's Guide.

Christianity teaches us to regard work as something sacred, honorable, and exalted.  Work is your duty.

You must not only value work very highly, you must also love it.

We are taught by daily experience that industrious, active girls who are fond of work are almost without exception virtuous and pure. 

A girl ought to learn every kind of work which she will be expected to know later in life; she ought to help her mother as much as she possible can. 

~ Fr. Lasance, Catholic Girl’s Guide

I was able to share fresh daffodils since they had just bloomed.  Majority of the girls immediately recognized the industrious flower.

I mean the daffodil.  I have chosen it from among its brethren and sisters, the fair children of spring and I have called it industry’s flower because of hastens to blossom as soon as possible.  I wish to place it before your eyes, Christian maiden, as an emblem of industry, that virtue which should find a place in the garland which decks your youthful brow. ~ Fr. Lasance, Catholic Girl’s Guide

The girls brainstormed ways in which thy could be industrious (or work) at home.  I also prepared them for this month’s activity in place of the usual craft.  I planned for the girls to be industrious around the parish. 

~ Special Visitors ~

Our lesson led into the introduction of our special visitors, two Missionaries of Charity sisters.  Father L coordinated this visit for all the girl groups of the parish.  Sr. Miram and Sr. Lourdes spoke to the Little Flowers and Sodality members.


industry missionaries joy

The sisters shared their beautiful testimony and gave a brief on their daily lives.  They encouraged the girls to find silence in their hearts among a world full of noise. 

“God speaks in the silence of our heart.” Sr. Lourdes, MC

The sisters also emphasized the need to grow close to Jesus through Our Blessed Mother.  They were a beautiful witness on finding “simple JOY” in all we do.

The sisters left and the girls immediately went to apply their direction, work for Jesus with great love.

~ Industrious Work ~

industry group JOYMy local Lowe’s Build and Grow Workshop donated aprons and craft kits.  Unfortunately, I requested the donation prior to this year’s registration and I only estimated 20 girls – I’m short by 10 aprons. 

A few Sodality members generously offered to help the LF clean the parish.  I had 4 groups:

  • trash pick-up
  • office
  • narthex
  • 3 bathrooms

industry work joy

I tried to have the girls rotate through the different stations.  My goal was to have the girls experience the work that they can do for their community, to serve and share their JOY with others.

“Little things with great love.” ~ St. Therese of Lisieux


~ Handouts ~

industry craft page


Keep your gaze constantly fixed upon that workshop [of the Holy Family] and thence learn to be faithful and assiduous in your work, and to regard it as honorable.  Whether it be easy or difficult, servile or otherwise, consider it to be a precious remembrance, a priceless relic of the house at Nazareth.  Within those walls was work also exalted and sanctified…~ St. Frances Xavier Cabrini

Lenten Family Joy Journal

Through the traditional practices of fasting, almsgiving and prayer, which are an expression of our commitment to conversion, Lent teaches us how to live the love of Christ in an ever more radical way. ~ Pope Benedict XVI, 2011 Lenten Message (3)
Finding JOY in my life has been a call of mine for sometime.  I’ve been recording my JOY for several years now, in efforts to grow a JOYfilled heart.  It has been a much needed spiritual practice for me. 
I have recently been renewed by friends, Ann and other bloggers.
Jenny at A Moment Captured and Melody at Blossoming Joy inspired me to step it up for Lent.
In order to undertake more seriously our journey towards Easter and prepare ourselves to celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord – the most joyous and solemn feast of the entire liturgical year… ~ Pope Benedict XVI, 2011 Lenten Message (2)
Here is the JOY Journal that I made for my family.  We’ve been entering our JOY each day after family prayer.
lenten joy journal JOY  All members of the family, each according to his or her own gift, have the grace and responsibility of building, day by day, the communion of persons, making the family "a school of deeper humanity"(59): this happens where there is care and love for the little ones, the sick, the aged; where there is mutual service every day; when there is a sharing of goods, of joys and of sorrows. ~ Pope John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio (21)
JOY Journal
lenten joy journal supplies
supplies:  note book, mod podge, foam brush, nail file, and holy images.  (i prefer to upcycle items.  i used an old religious catalog.)
  • hand tear or cut the images as desired.
lenten joy journal front cover
  • glue the images to the  cover.  overlap images for complete coverage.
  • trim the edges with a nail file.  be sure that there is not glue on top of the images for this step.
lenten joy journal filed cover
  • repeat the above steps for the back cover.
  • apply another coat of mod podge over the images.
  • let dry.

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