Perpetual Sanctification (part two)


I wake up feeling like I had never slept. Why am I so tired?  Then it comes crashing back to me, the whole scene, like reliving a movie, the finding of porn on my daughters twitter feed.  Does she honestly think I believe that she doesn’t know whose it is or how it got on her feed?  I cannot wrap my mind around it.

Taking it to the Lord, I decide to go to another Parish for daily Mass, because I need to be alone, I need to sort this through, and I need to be anonymous.  I feel the weight of 100 bricks on my shoulders.  In the pew, I beg for guidance and answers. I lift my needs up to the Lord, I ask mamma Mary to help me, mother her daughter. Continue reading

Join me for the next post to read what the Grace of the Sacrament of Marriage reveals, please pray for me!!!

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Perpetual Sanctification (part one)

Did you ever have one of those weeks that you thought you just might not survive?  I mean emotionally, not physically, although, sometimes emotional stress is worse than the most strenuous physical workout.  Well that’s the kind of week I had.

It not only left me battered and bruised, but it had me questioning every decision I have ever made as a wife, mother and friend.  I would no sooner  think I was on solid ground and the rug would be pulled out again!

In those times, although, not much fun, much growth can occur.  I found myself swept away in a current that had been building for quite some time.  Continue reading……


Last Night, I Rocked Baby Jesus

For the life of me, I have no idea why my 17-month-old couldn’t sleep last night. Finally at 2:00 a.m., I brought him downstairs so my husband could get some sleep.

We rocked. I got him a cup of almond milk. We rocked some more. I turned on cartoons. I sang to him. I got him a snack, which he gobbled up. I gave him some water, and we rocked a million times more.

Was he still feeling sick? No, his ears and tummy seemed fine. Teething? Maybe. All I knew was he was fussy and just wouldn’t go back to sleep.

I started to half-ignore him, my patience wearing thin. I dutifully rocked him, sleepily browsing Facebook on my phone and trying not to snap. Nothing was helping him anyway!

Out of the blue, the Holy Spirit made me think of this scripture:

“…for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.”  Matthew 25:35-36

I began picturing Mother Mary rocking baby Jesus. Surely he was fussy or sick at times and she felt the same exhaustion!



To read about the rest of my challenging night that turned into a huge blessing, click here to visit The Fruitful Mama!Your Read More Link Text

Unconditional Love: Parental Love

Have you experienced the unconditional love of a parent? How about from God, the Father? Read more to learn about the connection between the two…

Unconditional Love – I was blessed to have two wonderful parents, who were married for 54 years prior to my father’s passing in 1999. My mother died 28 weeks later. (The photo was taken at my First Communion in 1965, at age 8). For the first 42 years of my life, they were living examples of parental love to me. They loved me unconditionally, as all parents do so well.

I did not come from a wealthy family. My father worked in a printer’s shop, and my mother was a stay-at-home mom, until I turned 10 years of age. Read more…

Helping your choleric child grow in holiness

Today I’m taking a break from talking about my book to return to the new project I’ve talked about a little before–making a spiritual growth plan for children of each temperament. First I’ll give a little overview of the four classic temperaments, tell you a little more about this project, then delve in deeper to help you with your choleric children. At the bottom you’ll find a special download to help you.

 What are the four temperaments?The four classic temperaments are choleric, melancholic, phlegmatic, and sanguine. Catholic philosophers adpoted them from the Greeks. There are several good sources for learning about the temperaments from a Catholic perspective. Art and Laraine Bennett have written several books on the temperaments. Fr. Conrad Hock’s treatment of the temperaments can be read online. Traditional books on spiritual direction usually address the temperaments as well.

To figure out which temperament you have, ask yourself two questions:
Are my initial reactions to stimuli intense or dull?Do my impressions last or do they quickly fade?
Intense & lasting=choleric
Intense & fading=sanguine
Dull but lasting=melancholic
Dull and fading=phlegmatic

Continue reading at Contemplative Homeschool.

Becoming your children's spiritual director

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Have you ever thought of having a spiritual director for your kids or grandkids? Have you ever thought of being one? It’s not enough to teach children “religion”–i.e., Catechism. We also need to teach them how to become saints.

I am developing a spiritual growth plan for my three older children. (J is a little too young at age three!) Here are the areas I am considering:
TemperamentD is almost purely choleric, M is melancholic-phlegmatic, and C is primarily phlegmatic. (I haven’t completely figured him out yet–he’s eight and doesn’t know himself as well as the others do.)

Each of the four classical temperaments has a different perspective on life. Each has typical strengths and weaknesses. I seek to encourage my boys in their strengths and help them fight their weaknesses. I plan to do much of this through reading. Books will inspire them where lectures won’t.

Talents and interestsTemperament is only one part of personality. Each child has unique talents. For example, cholerics are bursting with energy, but one may be good at football and another at track.

Quiet and reserved M has a surprising acting ability.

How can my children use their gifts to glorify God? How can their talents help them choose a vocation and a career?

Continue reading at Contemplative Homeschool.

Sing the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary with children

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Back in Advent, Dan and I sang The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came as part of our Evening Prayer. It struck me how perfect this hymn was for teaching children about the Annunciation. I conceived the idea (yes, that’s a pun) of teaching children the meaning of the mysteries of the Rosary through song. Here it was I came up with for the Joyful Mysteries.

My primary goal in our Contemplative Homeschool is to teach our children how to grow in union with God. Christian meditation is a vital part of that process, teaching all of us to listen to God’s voice in the Scriptures, and to ponder His character in order to love Him better.

The Rosary provides a bridge between the vocal prayers we learn as children and more mature mental prayer. Through the Rosary, we meditate on the most important mysteries of our faith.
Many people have created ways to share the Rosary with children. In Singing the Rosary, I have the following goals:
leading children to see the Rosary as a means of meditation, so they are not just trying to concentrate on the words of the vocal prayersteaching them in detail about each of the mysteries, so they have plenty to meditate onlimiting the number of prayer repetitions until they understand what the Rosary is for
Continue reading at Contemplative Homeschool.

Create a guided Christian meditation for kids, step by step

David and Goliath from the Breviari di Marti, 14th-15th century
(photo credit: Wikipedia).

I’ve had a lot of requests lately, especially since my interview on Carmelite Conversations, for more details on teaching children to pray. So I’ve decided to write a step-by-step post to help you create these meditations for your children or students.

I will walk you through a meditation I created for my boys. We’ll use the story of David and Goliath as a basis for this meditation, because everyone is familiar with it.

You can write a meditation for your kids without first praying over the Scripture passage yourself. I was making a Bible-based curriculum for the boys for a few years before I realized how akin it was to Christian meditation. At that point, I tried meditating on the Scripture passage first. What happened?

The lesson became more personal. I was more excited about it. My kids and I were then focusing on the same things in our spiritual lives. How cool is that? I taught with more enthusiasm and gained a deeper connection with them.
 Step 1: Read and Meditate on the story yourselfSo, find a Bible and read I Kings 17. This is a long story, so I encourage you to read it outside your prayer time. You don’t want to spend all your time with God reading. You want to spend your time in conversation with Him.

Then set aside about thirty minutes for prayer, alone in a quiet place where no one will interrupt you. Place yourself in God’s presence. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide your meditation.

Read the rest at  Contemplative Homeschool.

10 ways dads can help their children grow in holiness

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Today is my dad’s 75th birthday. I’ve been thinking about my relationship with him a lot lately, especially while writing a chapter on fathers in my upcoming book, Trusting God with St. Therese. Louis Martin was St. Therese’s prime example of God’s character. God made all human fathers to be mediators between Himself and their children. Fathers are the priests of their family.
Here are 10 ways dads can help their children grow in holiness.
Practice authoritative parenting.
Authoritative dads are firm, but affectionate. They discipline when their kids break the rules. They show mercy when their kids are repentant. They kiss owies when moms aren’t available.Love and respect your wife.
Fathers represent God in their families. Mothers represent the Church. Lay down your life for your wife. Tell her you love her often–in front of the kids. Never tolerate a child’s disrespect for her.Be humble.
Don’t pretend you have all the answers. Any kid above 10 knows it isn’t true. Admit your mistakes. Apologize. Take your whole family to Confession.
Read the rest at Contemplative Homeschool.