Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Celebration of the Feast of the Archangels

St. Michael battles Lucifer
 St. Michael, the Archangel - Feast day - September 29th.  The name Michael signifies "Who is like to God?" and was the warcry of the good angels in the battle fought in heaven against satan and his followers. Holy Scripture describes St. Michael as "one of the chief princes," and leader of the forces of heaven in their triumph over the powers of hell. He has been especially honored and invoked as patron and protector by the Church from the time of the Apostles.

Although he is always called "the Archangel," the Greek Fathers and many others place him over all the angels - as Prince of the Seraphim. St. Michael is the patron of grocers, mariners, paratroopers, police and sickness.

St. Raphael with Tobiah
 St. Raphael is one of seven Archangels who stand before the throne of the Lord. He was sent by God to help Tobit, Tobiah and Sarah. At the time, Tobit was blind and Tobiah's betrothed, Sarah, had had seven bridegrooms perish on the night of their weddings. Raphael accompanied Tobiah into Media disguised as a man named Azariah. Raphael helped him through his difficulties and taught him how to safely enter marriage with Sarah. Tobiah said that Raphael caused him to have his wife and that he gave joy to Sarah's parents for driving out the evil spirit in her. He also gave Raphael credit for his father's seeing the light of heaven and for receiving all good things through his intercession. Besides Raphael, Michael and Gabriel are the only Archangels mentioned by name in the bible. Raphael's name means "God heals." This identity came about because of the biblical story which claims that he "healed" the earth when it was defiled by the sins of the fallen angels in the apocryphal book of Enoch. Raphael is also identified as the angel who moved the waters of the healing sheep pool. He is also the patron of the blind, of happy meetings, of nurses, of physicians and of travelers. His feast day is celebrated on September 29th.

St. Gabriel at the Annunciation
 The name Gabriel means "man of God," or "God has shown himself mighty." It appears first in the prophesies of Daniel in the Old Testament. The angel announced to Daniel the prophecy of the seventy weeks....He was the angel who appeared to Zachariah to announce the birth of St. John the Baptizer. Finally, he announced to Mary that she would bear a Son Who would be conceived of the Holy Spirit, Son of the Most High, and Saviour of the world. The feast day is September 29th. St. Gabriel is the patron of communications workers.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Another Anniversary but NOT a Celebration

Unfortunately it is the tenth anniversary of the approval of the dangerous and deadly RU-486 "abortion pill" (mifepristone) by the FDA under the Clinton administration.  A article on the drug and its unfortunate effects can be read here.  I read some of the research and statistics on its use in Europe before it was approved in the US.  I could see the disaster coming, but the government doesn't care about the health of individual women or their unborn babies, just their agenda.

Here is moving blog post by a pro-life friend of mine and her experience with RU-486. 

Proverbs 24:11,12 "Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter.  If you say, "But we knew nothing about this," does not He who weighs the heart perceive it?  Does not He who guards your life know it?  Will He not repay each person according to what he has done?" (NIV)

Image from Christian World Shirt Shop from a tee shirt that can be purchased here.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Feast Day-Blessed Herman the Cripple

Ever heard of the Salve Regina or the Alma Redemptoris Mater?  Then you know just some of the work produced by Blessed Herman the Cripple (1013-1054).

"Born with a cleft palate, cerebral palsy, and spina bifida to a farm family.  His parents cared for him until the age of seven, but in 1020 they gave him over to the abbey of Reichenau Island in Lake Constance in southern German; he spent the rest of his life there.  He became a Benedictine monk at age twenty.  A genius, he studied and wrote on astronomy, theology, math, history, poetry, Arabic, Greek and Latin.  He built musical instruments, and astronomical equipment.  In later life he became blind, and had to give up his academic writing."  He was the most famous poet of his day.

Feast Day:  September 25.


Salve Regina:
Hail holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us. And after this our exile show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary. Amen.

V. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.

R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Alma Redemptoris Mater  can be read here.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Controversy on St. Augustine

Here is an article on a friend's blog about St. Augustine.  I find it amusing that a small controversy stirred up around it.  Only proving to me that protestants are indeed trying to hijack St. Augustine.  Many try to say that Sl. Augustine was not Catholic nor supported the Catholic Church.  The facts that St. Augustine was a priest and bishop of the Church, that his great works "Confession" and "City of God" are Catholic apologetic works through and through, that St. Augustine supported the magesterium and the papacy, seem to escape them time and time again.  St. Augustine was a passionate supporter of the Church founded by Christ on the Rock, Peter.  No matter how protestants try to rationalize what he said, they cannot seriously prove that St. Augustine was anything but Catholic.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Best Pro-Life Blog to Date

Baby eight weeks after conception
Please all pro-lifers who might read my blog and have never discovered "Little Catholic Bubble", please read Answering Sophie: Mother Teresa vs. Margaret Sanger.  Her answers are wise.  Stop reading and go over there now. 

God Bless.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Catechetical Congress

Archbishop Aymond
Today I attended a catechetical congress with several catechists of my parish.  In fact, there were 13 people from our little church.  I attend the conference every year.  Every single time I come home with a new sense of purpose, and a new goal in mind.  This year my goal is to give the children the best I can give.  They deserve the best.  Many don't have anyone at home to nurture them or to listen to them.  Some don't get much attention.  Many come from broken homes.  Even though we catechists only see them for about an hour on Sunday, we must make it clear that we are open to them and that we care.  We must be their source of hope, and they must see God's love in us.

This is the message I brought away from hearing our keynote speaker Archbishop Greg Aymond of the Archdiocese of New Orleans.  He gave us renewed energy about our ministry as catechists.  It is a ministry he said, attested to by the church's choosing us.  He pleaded with us to continue our education as catechists, then chuckled that he is probably "preaching to the choir" since over 200 of us were there on a Saturday morning listening to him.  He gave us good advice on understanding our students' world, and adjusting our teaching style, approach, and vocabulary accordingly.  We have a lot riding on what we say and what we model for those children.  It is up to us to build up our relationship with God, so that we can be a good example for the children's relationship with Him. 

If you are a catechist, and your diocese offers such conferences, I encourage you to go.  Don't miss this wonderful opportunity for spiritual growth and networking with other catechists.  I also enjoy seeing what the vendors have to offer.  I always come away with some gems for my class.  I must finish up my preparation for class...

Friday, September 10, 2010


Last night I went to a meeting of a "club" to which I belong.  (I won't mention the name because it is a good organization with really good people in it.)  The man in charge just quit.  The "club" is one year old.  He was so excited to get the "club" going (he's been trying for years) that he had about 20 projects going all at once.  We only have 28 members, with only about 8 of them active.  All of us have job, family, and Church obligations as well.  I can absolutely understand why he feels burnt out and his health is deteriorating, but I don't feel sorry for him.  He did it to himself.  If you know you have a handful of people that help you with projects but can't run one of the programs you installed, why would you take it on?  No one has ESP and no on is going to take on more than they can handle--except him.  A new "club" with few active members can't do a couple of dozen projects and programs all at once.  You can't just throw a baby tantrum, especially in front of a new member who you're trying to talk into bringing in new members, and expect sympathy. 

I am a Catholic mother of five children whom I home school .   Two of my children are in High School this year.  We have appointments and trips.  I teach religious education.  I just transitioned to second grade first sacraments class, which took a lot of time in planning this summer.  I have children with health concerns.  I am now taking a course to complete my Bachelor's degree.

I have participated in "club" meetings and activities as I can.  Have I made every activity?  Of course not.  But I am a trustee of the "club".  I've been to all but one regular meeting, every officer's meeting, and 2 of the 3 special meetings this year.  I've been in a parade, gone to Tulsa for an award ceremony, been to one funeral, all the memorial day activities, and participated in several flag ceremonies.  I've folded hundreds of flags, placed them on graves, and helped pick them up again. I refuse to feel guilty because the head of the "club" feels put upon.  I did, however, control my feelings.  I came within a hair of quitting myself.  Our leader is angry that he didn't get enough help.  Well, I feel that I didn't get enough thank yous for my time either.  I don't believe he reads my blog, and I'm still deciding if I should say anything.  If the "club" falls apart because of this, I won't feel one bit regretful of my actions and I will try my best not to be bitter.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Adventure Begins

Well, we are now in our third week of the home school year.  One of my five students is up where he should be.  I can't keep my Freshman busy.  My Junior is about 3 days behind schedule already.  I'm pushing him to catch up because once you get behind on High School work it is impossible to make any semblance of a schedule work.  I have high hopes that my fifth grader will be 90% caught up by tomorrow.  My sixth grader is going down in flames.  He pays too much attention to his kindergarten brother's work and not his own.  I got fooled last week into thinking he was doing work.  He pulls out a book, shuffles pages, waves his pencil around, and makes me think he is doing his work.  Well, mom is on to him now.  He is more than a week behind in two of his subjects, and a couple of days behind in most of his others.  I have hope that he will be about 75% there by tomorrow.  My goal is to have him back on track by next Friday.  Now, my kindergartner is not as big a deal, except that I can already see that he is bored.  I can't keep him busy and I can't keep up with the other kids' questions and help requirements while I spend more time with the Kindergartner.  How did those in the one-room school house do it?  I really admire them greatly, now.

In the meantime, I have started my new odyssey in degree completion.  I have an Associates that I earned over 15 years ago.  I started my skills course and my Latin course this week.  My first written assignment for Latin is due Tuesday.  I almost turned in a written assignment for my skills class last night, but didn't trust my bleary brain to make my 2-4 paragraph assignment make sense.  The teacher was really grilling the students' work and I got a little intimidated.  As a Latin course, I'm having my Freshman "shadow" my college course.  He will be reading the same text and doing the same exercises along with me, but I will give him the "school" tests for his High School course.  I hope in that way to fulfill both our requirements.  My older son missed out.  He only completed one semester of Latin.  I have no knowledge of Latin and couldn't help him.  No one I knew could help.  Hopefully, my learning Latin, will help me, help my kids.  Yes, it is a requirement for my degree completion--I have to have a year of foreign language and the school just happens to offer Latin.  However, my main goal for taking the class is to be able to teach my kids.

Math is not a problem for anyone this year.  Praise God for Life of Fred!  I love Stan Schmidt's books.  I can't praise his High School Math series enough.  My son has learned Algebra I, II, Geometry, and is now on to Trig--in 11th grade.  They are wonderful, almost self-taught books.  I've had to help him with a few hurdles along the way, but very few.  My Junior, as I said, is learning Trigonometry this year.  My Freshman is in Algebra I.  My other three are too young but I plan on using Life of Fred Fractions and Life of Fred Decimals and Percents for 7th grade next year, and Pre Algebra for 8th grade.  Looking for a good upper-middle school to High School mathematics program?  Look into Life of Fred.  You won't regret it.

Keeping up with the chores and outside activities becomes the hard part.  I have gotten my lesson plans in for my R.E. year already.  Yay!  All the credit cannot be mine though, as I relied heavily on the Faith and Life Parish guided lesson plans on their website.  It helped me tremendously and got the job done in time and off my shoulders.  I can't wait to get started with class.  I have to contact my assistant teachers and go over all the material with them so they know what is going on and will be able to help me teach.  I also like to consider their ideas.  Fresh perspectives always bring new ideas.

Anyway, that is just the beginning of this year's adventure.  I hope and pray that anyone who home schools and reads this humble blog is also having a great beginning to their school year.