A Source of Protection

Daily recitation of the rosary in the family was once widespread. How worthwhile would such a practice be today! Mary’s rosary removes the seeds of family breakup; it is the sure bond of communion and peace. ~ Pope St. John Paul II

In our world today, there is a lot of chaos, disturbances, and insanity. As mothers, we all watch thinking to ourselves, what is going to happen to our children, how will I ever raise them during this crazy time, and how can I protect them.

The month of October is dedicated to the Rosary.  This beautiful and powerful prayer was given to us by Our Lady herself! She composed this prayer, so that we would always have a direct line to her. She asks us to pray the Rosary daily! Our Lady of Fatima, a hundred years ago, begged her children,

“Say the Rosary every day, to bring peace to the world and the end of the war.”

~Our Lady of Fatima.

One of the many beauties of the Rosary is that it is so simple to pray. It might seem long at first and seeing all of the beads might intimidate you. However, our dear Mother made it so easy that even a child can pray it! St. Maximillian Kolbe says,

“It [the rosary] is so easy to understand that children, and also simple people who do not know how to read, can use the rosary as a means to prayer.”

The Rosary is also a family weapon. It is powerful against all evils and brings Our Lady’s presence into the home. The enemy hates this prayer and anything that involves our dear Mother! Many saints, over the years, have asked us to make use of this weapon and to use it whenever we are scared or uneasy about something.

“The holy rosary is a powerful weapon. Use it with confidence and you’ll be amazed at the results.” ~ St. Josemaria Escriva

“The power of the rosary is beyond description” ~Venerable Fulton Sheen

“Love the Madonna and pray the rosary, for her rosary is the weapon against the evils of the world today.” St. Pio of Pietrelcina

Now, I know that with little toddlers it might seem impossible. However, it isn’t! One way that helps them to sit still is to have a little chair for them to sit in. Tell them it is their prayer chair and then make them stay in it. Explain to the children that there is no walking around during prayer time, just like at Mass! Another way, that might help keep their attention, is to use YouTube. There are countless videos that you can use to follow along. What makes them so great, is that they also help you stay focus with the many religious images and meditations for the decades. Children will also enjoy watching it!

So, during this rosary month, try praying a family rosary daily! See what it does for your family and form this beautiful habit. Make it a part of your daily routine and something that your children can take with them when they are all grown!

“It would hardly be possible for me to put into words how much Our Lady thinks of the holy rosary and of how she vastly prefers it to all other devotions.”

~ St. Louis de Montfort

 

Advertisements

The Importance of Sacrifice

“Without sacrifice, there is no love.” ~ St. Maximilian Kolbe

Sacrificing is something that all Catholics are asked to do. It is a way in which we are brought closer to God. By it, we are able to unite ourselves to Our Lord on the cross.

What is a sacrifice? Sacrifices originated from the Old Testament. The Jewish people were asked, by God, to offer their best animals and best foods. This was done out of reparation for sins, thanksgiving for blessings received, and when wanting to speak with the Almighty. It was also, a way of expressing their love and service to the Lord. This is why they gave Him their best.

Theses sacrifices continued to be made until God provided the ultimate sacrifice. The Perfect Lamb. The Son of God. Christ’s death on the cross was the cost that had to be paid. It was the perfect example of love. God loves us, so much, that He Himself was willing to die for us.

St. Paul tells us “Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Ephesians 5:1-2) We are called to follow in Christ’s footsteps and sacrifice. We no longer have to offer physical sacrifices of animals and food. However, we are asked to give Him our time, wants, and desires.

Sacrificing is a huge part of the homemaker’s and the mother’s life. Without it, we fail in our duties and become self-centered monsters. Our vocation is a vocation made for others. From the time we step out of bed, until the time we go back into it, we must act for those around us.

In today’s society, we are constantly told to do what we want and do whatever we “feel” like doing. This is the enemy’s message.  Satan is the complete opposite of Christ. He lives only to satisfy himself and to try to put an end to Christ’s Church. When we adhere to his messages, we only fall closer to his grasp and the loss of our soul. Christ, however, lives for others. He suffered immensely, during His passion, out of love for us. If even Our Lord had to suffer, then why should’t we?

Our vocation as wives and mother’s, gives us countless opportunities to think outside of ourselves. We think about the needs of our children and husbands. We make the home enjoyable for all who live in it and come to visit. We care for our friends and their needs. The list can go on and on.

This is not suppose to make us sad and wish for another lifestyle. This is the way of life that we said “yes” to when we stood before Our Lord and said our vows in front of Him. We must, therefore, embrace it. It is what we have been called to do. It is God’s will for us and it is only in fulfilling His will, that we will be truly happy. I have yet, to meet a person who is constantly giving and is sad. The most generous people, are the happiest.

So, when you are dreading your next chore or wish for time to yourself, think about Our Lord on the cross. Think about the love that you will show to those around you. Think about the joy you will receive at the end of the day, when you see your family satisfied and peacefully sleeping. We may not see our reward in this life, but hopefully, we will in the next.

“Without love, deeds, even the most brilliant, count as nothing.” ~ St. Therese of Lisieux

A House of Prayer

 “My house shall be called a house of prayer” Mark 11:17

20170612_122455Is your home a house of prayer? If someone came over for a visit, would they be able to say that your home is definitely a Catholic home? Are there reminders of our heavenly friends scattered throughout it? In order for our homes to be places of peace, joy, and love for Our Lord, they must be places of prayer.  They should be filled with constant reminders of our final goal.

Why is this important? One of the main jobs of a homemaker is the sanctification of her children. She is to guide them on their way to salvation. She will be held accountable for their souls and the way in which they turn out.

She is also responsible for the soul of her husband. One of the greatest tasks of marriage is to bring your spouse with you into eternity. We are called to help each other obtain Heaven and to pray for one another.

So, what are some ways that we can turn our homes into houses of prayer?

  1. Set up a prayer table/home altar. It can be as elaborate or as simple as you want it. Having this in your home will enable you to have a sacred space. It will give you a place for your rosaries, statues, Bible, etc. It will also give everyone something to look at when you have your family devotion time. I am including a picture of ours in the article, as an example. There are also some examples on the blog’s Pinterest page. 
  2. Have a family devotion time. “The Family that prays together, stays together.” This saying we have all heard and it is a very true statement. Prayer time should be incorporated into your daily routine. It should be at a time when everyone is present. I know that you are thinking, “But my older children are always gone or too busy with extra-curricular activities.” This may be true, however, it is important for them to pray with you. If they have a friend over, invite them to join you. If they have somewhere to go, do it before they go or wait until they come back. The prayer time should not be very long, especially if you have little ones.( A rosary only takes fifteen to thirty minutes. )
  3. Have images throughout your house. Religious pictures and quotes are wonderful to have. They can remind us throughout the day to offer a quick prayer for someone or something. They also remind the children of the spiritual world and how it is always present.

There are many other ways to bring prayer into your families. If prayer is continually reiterated in your homes then your children and husbands will flourish. They will be more ready to adhere to what Our Lord is calling them to be.

What are some ways that you bring prayer into the home? Please answer in the comment boxes below. We would love to hear some more ideas!

Prayer Time

Prayer. What is it? How often do we do it? Is it a common habit for us? Why must we do it?  How many hours of the day go by without ever passing a quick thank you, a thought of someone in need, or just a thought about God?

So, what is it? St. John Vianney says that “Prayer is a foretaste of heaven, a stream flowing from paradise. It never leaves us without sweetness. It is a kind of honey that sinks into the soul and sweetens everything. Troubles melt away in the presence of prayer that is made well, like snow before the sun.” (The Power of Silence, pg. 151)  The Catechism of the Catholic Church says that “Prayer is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God.” (CCC 2590) It is communication with the Creator. It is something that has been done from the beginning of time and will continue until it’s ending.

As homemakers, we are many things throughout the day! We are chefs, guidance leaders, caretakers, house cleaners, etc. . It can very easily become overwhelming and sometimes make us frustrated. Prayer, helps to remove this. By starting our days with the Lord, we are able to lay our burdens, frustrations, and worries before Him. We can have a conversation with Him. It also helps us to be reminded of what a gift our vocation is to ourselves and to those around us. In having this outlook, we can attack the day with joy and bring joy to those around us.

When should we pray? The best time is first thing in the morning. It should be one of the first things you do to start your day. This will probably mean that you have to rise a little earlier, especially before the children awake. This will give you time to clear your mind and limit your distractions. If you do not think that you have time in the morning, then you can do it during a nap time or while the kids play outside. I would recommend doing it before the evening. The evenings are times spent with your family and most importantly, with your husband. If you pray at night, pray with the family and/or with your husband.

What are some methods of prayer? Read Holy Scripture! This is a beautiful way to start your day. There are countless reading plans online that you can follow. Also, pick a spiritual book. The Saints and Church Fathers are excellent guides to the path of Salvation. They have lived it and have shown the way! St. Josemaria says, “Don’t neglect your spiritual reading. Reading has made many saints!”  After reading, you can finish with a prayer or just sit and listen to what God has to say to you that day. Your prayer time does not need to be hours long. It can be just for twenty or thirty minutes. By doing this, you will be amazed at how it will affect your day!

 

Some Catholic Scripture Reading Plans:

~ Read the Bible in a year: http://www.presentationministries.com/publications/throughbible.asp

~ Bible Reading Guide to the Old Testament: https://www.presentationministries.com/publications/bibleReadingGuide.asp?book=OT

~ Bible Reading Guide to the New Testament: https://www.presentationministries.com/publications/bibleReadingGuide.asp?book=NT

Spiritual Reading list links:

~ Fr. Richard Heilman’s list: https://www.romancatholicman.com/spiritual-reading/

~ Link to EWTN’s Church Document Library: http://ewtn.com/v/library/search.asp

~ St. Josemaria’s Works: https://www.amazon.com/Way-Furrow-Forge-Single/dp/1889334723/ref=pd_sim_14_4?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=1889334723&pd_rd_r=ZYE7XT61ZRNRX6C4M9YP&pd_rd_w=v6yiV&pd_rd_wg=0a1Kc&psc=1&refRID=ZYE7XT61ZRNRX6C4M9YP

~ Any books on the lives of the saints