Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Lumen Christi Award

A heartfelt thank you to Amy at Beautiful Whispers of Catholicism for nominating this blog for the Lumen Christi Award.  I am deeply touched and honored. 

There are three rules if you accept this award: 

(1) Name your favorite saint and why
(2) Name your favorite part of the Mass, and why
(3) Name your favorite thing about being a Catholic

Great questions, aren't they?  I love this opportunity to answer them.

(1)  Oh, how I love the saints!  Such examples of courage they are, often in the midst of great trials, but my favorite would have to be St. Francis de Sales.  You probably saw that one coming, as I quote him often But why?  I'll try to boil it down, at least a bit.  Bishop Francis de Sales worked tirelessly to spread solid Catholic truth during a time when such was being sorely challenged.  He wrote and distributed truth-filled documents, and became patron of Catholic writers.  He taught that the devout life is not only for those in monasteries, but also for people living in the world.  This was a rather novel idea in the early 1600s in France.  Francis also wrote warm, human, rich letters of spiritual direction to people from all walks of lifeHis love of God was obvious.  He founded the Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary, charging the Visitation Sisters to live in "profound humility toward God and great gentleness toward the neighbor" (a call I strive to keep in mind for myself).  Francis de Sales reminds all of us to “Always remember… to retire at various times into the solitude of your own heart even while outwardly engaged in discussions or transactions with others.  This mental solitude cannot be violated by the many people who surround you since they are not standing around your heart but only around your body.  Your heart remains alone in the presence of God.” 

(2)  My favorite part of the Mass is the Consecration.  I am speechless in the face of it.  And wordless as I try to write of it.  I think that if we had the merest glimpse of What is really happening in that moment - if the veil were lifted and our eyes of flesh could see Our Lord truly before us - we would fall on our faces and not even know, or care, how we got there.  

(3)  My favorite part of being Catholic is the fact that this is the Church Christ founded.  A look back into church history shows that clearly.  I say this as one who has, in the past, read Protestant as well as Catholic church history.  But I must admit that I have another favorite part of being Catholic: the miracle of the Mass.  And if I may be allowed to pick another (admittedly lesser) part, that would be the communion of saints.  Which brings us, in a way, full circle.... and maybe this is where I get to say "thank you" again....

With this nomination, I also have the privilege of nominating another blogger (or more) if I wish to do so.  That's the hard part, because there are so many great ones that I'd like to name at least twenty!  To make it easier on myself, I have decided to go with one.   

For its support of authentic Catholic femininity in today's (confused and challenging) world, and for enjoyable writing on a variety of topics related to that theme, I nominate:

The Feminine Gift

All Tints of Light

Nature loves, as lady bright,
In gayest guise to shine;
All forms of grace, all tints of light,
Fringe her robe divine
Cardinal John Henry Newman

Let all Your works, made from the sublimity of Your majesty, praise You.
St. Gemma Galgani 


This post is linked to Catholic Bloggers Network Monthly Roundup

Walter Moras paintings in US public domain

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Tell the Story, Serious Version

I will admit it.  This is the picture I'd originally felt drawn to post, inviting you to add your own  prayers (personal or quoted), poems, scriptures, stories, etc., in the comments.  I decided to go with something "lighter" as a beginning (see post just below).

But I still feel drawn to use this one as well.

So let's see if the Lord is drawing anyone else in response.....

Painting: Apocalypse, in US public domain

Tell My Story!

I received the following comment on yesterday's post:  "I love this beautiful picture, but - more - that you knew exactly what it seems to say..."

I wonder if we all find "stories," at times, in paintings (The Painter's Honeymoon springs immediately to mind).  To find out, I've decided to try an experiment.

I am putting no quote, no story, no scripture, with the painting on this post.  I'm leaving that up to you.  "What scripture or prayer could possibly go with this?!," I can imagine you thinking.  Oh, I know there are a few.

Does anything come to your mind as you look at this woman?  If so, please put brief stories, scriptures, quotes, poems, or snippets of G-rated humor in the comment box, to be shared with all of us.  What is contributed does not have to be "religious," but anything not G-rated or otherwise inappropriate for a Catholic blog will not be posted.

It's your turn.

Any thoughts? 

This post is linked to Catholic Bloggers Network Monthly Roundup

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Comes the Winter..

                  'I see that all the seasons are to be found in your soul
                  for at one time you feel the winter of sterility, 
                  distractions, disgust, and weariness; 
                  at another time the dews of the month of May
                  with the odour of the holy little flowers....  
                  In heaven it shall be all a springtime of beauty, 
                  all an autumn of enjoyment, 
                  all a summer of love.  
                  Winter there shall be none;
                  but here winter is necessary 
                  for the exercise of abnegation 
                  and of the thousand beautiful little virtues 
                  which are practiced in the time of barrenness.  
                  Let us keep on always at a quiet little pace...' 

                        St. Francis de Sales, letter to St. Jane de Chantal

                        Painting:  Jules Breton, Last Flowers, in US  public domain

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Center of My Longings

The country in which I live
is not my native country;
THAT lies elsewhere,
and it must always be
the center of my longings.  
                                                                                                                         St. Therese of Lisieux

Painting:  Giovanni Battista Carlone, Virgin and Child in Glory with Saints

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Most Useful Cross

'Sometimes it will be a cross... to keep silence, to receive correction, admonitions, penances, to be in want of something, to suffer little daily pains without speaking of them... 

It is a good and most useful cross to bear with our neighbor, to subject ourselves to great modesty, and a thousand other practices of daily occurrence.  

These are the crosses you have to carry and not only to carry, but to carry joyfully.' 

                                                                                                St. Jane de Chantal 

Painting:  Poynter, A Day Dream, in US public domain

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Thousand Graces

Pouring out a thousand graces,
He passed these groves in haste;
and having looked at them, 
with His image alone,
clothed them in beauty.

 St. John of the Cross, Spiritual Canticle, Stanza Five

Painting:  Thomas Cole, Falls of the Kaaterskill, in US public domain

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Do Not Conform...

"The simplicity of the just man is laughed to scorn.  This is the wisdom of this world.... to make falsehood appear truth, and the truth falsehood."  (Pope St. Gregory the Great) 

"Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, so that you may judge what is God's will, what is good, pleasing and perfect."  (Romans 12:2)

(Painting: Renoir, Luncheon of the Boating Party, 1881, in US public domain) 

Sunday Snippets, Trust Edition

It seems that, without realizing it, I seem to be falling into patterns of weekly themes for this blog.

This time, the "theme" is obviously trust.

I posted a song on "Only in God," and have returned to it daily for personal inspiration. 

A brief quote from St. Augustine captured how I WANT to "Trust."

The rediscovery of a truly breathtaking (to me, at least) quote from Blessed John Paul II made me realize that nothing we see happening around us ... now or in the future... is a surprise to God.  I found this on Nunblog, and put a link to it on "That the Grace of God May Come."  

Join RAnn and a group of Catholic bloggers for this week's Sunday Snippets, a Catholic Carnival, at This That and the Other thing!  Click here to visit the others!

Friday, November 9, 2012

That the Grace of Christ May Come

This morning as I read through a few blogs, I rediscovered a quote I'd first seen years ago... from no less than Blessed John Paul II.  It's the sort of thing that could make a person quake in her boots.  Yet, amazingly, it did no such thing to me when I first encountered it.  Now, years later, I find its assurance of divine providence, well - somehow comforting.  Intrigued?  Click here to visit Nunblog and read Pope John Paul II's words for yourself.   

"You victorious martyrs
who endured torments gladly
for the sake of our God and Savior,
you who have boldness of speech
towards the Lord Himself, 
you saints, 
intercede for us
who are timid and sinful men,
full of sloth, 
that the grace 
of Christ
may come upon us."
                         St. Ephraim

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Trust the past
to God's mercy;
the present
to God's love;
and the future
to God's providence.

          St. Augustine

Sunday, November 4, 2012


As election day is upon us, this is my heartfelt PRAYER

(Painting of Our Banner in the Sky attributed to Frederic Edwin Church, 1861, US public domain)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Sunday Snippets, A Catholic Carnival, and Storms

Again I'm joining up with the wonderful group of bloggers over at This That and the Other Thing.  This week my mind has been on the storm that slammed the northeastern US.  I was not in the direct path of it, but I've been affected - as we all are, really.  I found a couple of things expressing my prayers, and posted those at Amid These Difficulties and When Storms Have Passed. 

I am also aware of an even more wretched storm that has been upon us for oh... so many years.  The loss of life in that one has been staggering.  I shared something from Pope John Paul II on this in The Mere Probability.  

May God strengthen His battlers in the storms....

The Mere Probability

"The mere probability
 that a human person is involved
would suffice to justify 
an absolutely clear prohibition
of any intervention aimed at
killing a human embryo."
                                                                          Pope John Paul II (Evangelium Vitae)

(Léon Bazile Perrault painting US public domain) 

This post is linked to Catholic Bloggers Network Monthly Round Up

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Make Up Your Mind

Make up your mind to become a saint.
                                                            St. Mary Mazzarello

(Franz Xaver Simm painting in US public domain)