Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Mirror of Conscience

                       'Many persons are fond of looking at themselves in a glass, 
                       to observe and improve their bodily appearance.  
                       Few are fond of looking at themselves in the mirror of conscience, 
                       to observe and improve their spiritual condition.  
                       They dread to meet their souls face to face, 
                       or to behold them reflected in their lives.  
                       Like Adam after his fall, they would fain hide themselves, if they could, 
                       from their own eyes, as well as from the Eyes of God.

                       And yet, what could be more profitable to all of us,
                       than to observe and improve our spiritual condition?  
                       What more conducive to our happiness, in time and in eternity?'

(from "Listening to the Indwelling Presence," compiled by a Religious, Pellegrini, Australia, 1940, pp. 159-160) 

                                  Painting:  Charles Edward Perugini, in US public domain due to age

                                 This post is linked to Catholic Bloggers Network Linkup Blitz 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

God is an Embrace

                                  'To most, even good people, God is a belief.
                                   To the saints, He is an embrace.'

   Francis Thompson

Painting:  Wilhelm Bernatzik, Vision of St Bernard, detail

This post is linked to Catholic Bloggers Network Linkup Blitz

Monday, February 17, 2014

Thank You...

It's still awards season in the blog world.  I suppose it always is, as long as someone has been kind enough to pass along such treasures as the Semper Fidelis Award.  Thank you, Anabelle at Written by the Finger of God, for nominating The Breadbox Letters for this!

But alas.  It seems this blog does not technically qualify.  Intrigued by the words 'may you never howl alone,' I checked on the award, and from what I can tell it's for Word Press blogs.  Which The Breadbox Letters is not.  However, I hope no one minds if I slip a teeny picture of the award on this teeny post, along with a teeny bit of information about ... well, about never going it alone.

Semper Fidelis is Latin for always faithful.  Wolves are used to exemplify this (here) because they have strong links with their pack.  Put simply: they need one another.

A quick look at blogs listed under 'we have mail' on my sidebar will reveal a number of bloggers whose companionship I 'need.'   There is quite a variety.  Homeschoolers, crafters, prayer-sharers, apologists, priests, cooks, poets, nuns, grandparents, painters, photographers, and a few who cause their readers to laugh out loud.  Different ages, personalities, writing styles; yes, it's a remarkable mix.  But all have the same core goal.


'The most wonderful thing about the saints, after their dissimilarity, is their similarity, which is a golden chain binding them all together.  In the Calendar of saints we find all sorts and conditions of men: all trades and professions, from the tramp to the king, from the former wanton to the virgin, from the child to the centenarian.  Some particular vice, or tendency to vice, had to be overcome by nearly all of them.  But when all is said and done, the bedrock principle underlying each life is an intense, personal love of God, showing itself outwardly in sanctity of life, and in zeal to bring souls to Him.  To get to Heaven each of us must be a saint...

'The saint is one who makes Christ his Friend, Confidant and Companion; who walks arm-in-arm with Christ through life; who makes God's opinion his opinion, God's laws his laws, God's judgments his judgments, God's will his will...

'Is this easy?  By no means.  Try it for awhile, and see what daily, hourly repression of self it implies; what stabs of self-love and self-esteem, what patience and sweetness with others.'  (from Fervorinos From the Lips of the Master, compiled by a Religious, Pelligrini, Australia, 1940, pp. 339-341)

I thank God for the faithful bloggers who help me on the path to heaven.

And I thank God for the saints who have already made it Home.  They are the ones who inspire and pray for us as we continue to stumble along. 

If I were able to accept this award, I'd pass it on to some of my friends the saints.  I would link to their stories and their writings.  So thank you, Francis de Sales, Jane de Chantal, Margaret Mary, Faustina, Teresa of Avila, Paul of the Cross, Therese of Lisieux, John of the Cross, Bernard of Clairvaux, Francis of Assisi, the writers of the Gospels (and dear Sts. Peter and Paul), and all saints of Heaven.  Thank you for your prayer, your witness, and for the writings you have left us (and we all know you're the primary writers of this blog, so this one's definitely for you).   

I've only mentioned a handful of your number, but you are our Heavenly family.  You are our 'pack.' 

Thank you that we need not walk alone.

Painting:  James Sant, A Thorn amidst the Roses 1887

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Give Us A Smile

'God deliver me from sullen saints!'

St. Teresa of Avila

Painting: Dos NiƱas, Pere Borrell Del Caso

Thursday, February 13, 2014

To Find Him

'To fall in love 
with God 
is the greatest 
of all romances;
to seek Him, 
the greatest adventure;
to find Him, 
the greatest 
human achievement.'

St. Augustine

Painting:  Edward John Poynter, Sweet Pea Blossoms

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A Life in Tune

'Happy are those souls
who have learned not only
to ask all things of God
in the Name of Jesus,
but whose whole life
is in tune,
as a prayer might be,
with that Sacred Name.
On this earth,
their one longing
is to allow Him to dwell in them,
to be identified with Him,
to be absorbed in Him.'

(from Fervorinos From the Lips of the Master, 
compiled by a Religious, Pelligrini, Australia, 1940, p. 177)


Painting:  Degas, l'orchestre

Sunday, February 9, 2014

By Whatever Means

'What matters it, to a truly loving soul, whether God be served by this means or by another?'

St. Francis de Sales

Painting: Viktor Schramm, The Fitting, 1900

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Ice and Snow, Bless the Lord

'Frost and chill, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt Him above all forever.
Ice and snow, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt Him above all forever.
Nights and days, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt Him above all forever.
Light and darkness, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt Him above all forever.
Lightnings and clouds, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt Him above all forever.
Let the earth bless the Lord;
praise and exalt Him above all forever.'

Daniel 3:69-74, 
from Azariah's hymn of
praise in the fiery furnace 

Painting:  Endogurov Zimniy 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Sanctity Achieved

'Our Lord has created persons for all states in life, 
and in all of them we see people who have achieved sanctity 
by fulfilling their obligations well.'

St. Anthony Mary Claret

Painting:  Samuel Melton Fisher, Flower Makers 1896 

This post is linked to Catholic Bloggers Network Linkup Blitz

Sunday, February 2, 2014

On Candlemas Day

'The light has come 
and has shone upon 
a world enveloped in shadows; 
the Dayspring 
from on high has visited us 
and given light
to those who lived in darkness. 
This, then, is our feast, 
and we join in procession 
with lighted candles 
to reveal the light 
that has shone upon us 
and the glory that is yet 
to come to us through him.

So let us hasten all together
to meet our God.'

St. Sophronius; from Candlemas Day OOR

El Greco painting; digitally enhanced