Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

In the traditional Roman Catholic calendar (the one they used before the implementation of the new Mass after Vatican II), the Christmas season goes until Candlemas, February 2, which is the Purification of Our Lady. (In Jewish law a newly delivered mother had to wait 40 days after birth in order to be purified. Our Lady, being Immaculately conceived, did not need to be purified, but she followed the law nonetheless.)

That being said, I just wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas season and a Happy New Year!

Photo taken by Mathew Lu.
This is the family photo we sent out with our Christmas cards. My New Years resolution is to not end up in the ER this year/not fall down the stairs again/not get a concussion/or anything else...

Friday, December 30, 2016

Blessed is She Devotion: Saint Joseph's Fiat

https://blessedisshe.net/saint-josephs-fiat/
Did you ever think of what it might be like to be Saint Joseph? At first glance, it seems kind of intimidating: his wife was sinless and his Son was God. God chose him to be foster father to Jesus, gave him the grace to live his vocation, but Saint Joseph is the one who said “Yes” in his own Fiat. Again and again in his life Saint Joseph responded with submissive obedience to God’s plan, and in return, God Incarnate submitted to Saint Joseph as a Son. This is the foundation the Holy Family, which we honor today, is built upon.
At the very end of the Nativity narrative, we hear how the Holy Family “went and dwelt in a town called Nazareth.” I like to meditate on those years they lived together in Nazareth while Saint Joseph was alive and before Jesus’ public ministry.

Read the rest at Blessed is She...

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

At the NCRegister: The Longing of Advent Does Not End With Christmas

This year it took until the third week of Advent for me to have what I call “that Advent feeling.” I discovered in our dusty pile of CDs a forgotten Advent album produced by Wyoming Catholic College made in 2015. The first track is a hymn called Behold the Dwelling of God by Andre Gouzes, O.P. about Mary and the Incarnation.

Behold, the dwelling of God among his people,
Mary, so highly favored,
shelter of heaven’s Glory,
Mother of Immanuel.
The angel of the Lord was sent to Mary,
And the Virgin was overcome by the Light.
Listen, Mary, do not be afraid:
You will conceive and bear a Son.
You are the new Eden and the Land of the Promise.
In you, the Sun of Justice has made his dwelling.

The melody causes one to feel that a promise is going to be fulfilled, that our longing will one day come to an end. It reminds me of the faithful remnant of Israel crying out to the Lord: we have been faithful, so when are you going to rescue us? In Mary the promise to Israel, to all the nations, was fulfilled. Every Advent that old familiar longing and ache for a fulfillment that we cannot have in this valley of tears returns to me as I contemplate the coming of the Infant Christ...

Read the rest at the National Catholic Register...

Friday, December 9, 2016

Seven Quick Takes: Advent Times


My stock Advent wreath photo.. this is a few years old...but looks the same this year!
1. One of the goals I have in setting family traditions is for them seamlessly be apart of our days, weeks, and years. I think that our Advent ones are pretty well established. We have not changed anything from last year or the year before. It took me about 20 minutes to set up our Advent in the home: wreath, Jesse tree, wreath on door. We fit the Jesse Tree into our night time prayer time. We sing O Come, O Come, Emmanuel with the lights out a dinner. We pray for Jesus to help us prepare to receive Him in our hearts at Christmas.

2. I was just talking to some other moms at our home school co-op this morning about how easy the internet has made Christmas shopping. You can do it in a few hours plus you get the excitement of packages almost every day!

3. The main laborious part of Advent for us is Christmas cards. We still write them all by hand, even the addresses. We purchase our cards from the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priests, and the recipients of each card is enrolled in their novena of Christmas Masses, which I think is so cool. It is worth the card writing tradition to give this gift to all our family and friends. We like to spread out the card writing. The professor and I each do ten a night until we are finished.

4. The weekend before Thanksgiving I took the advice of a few Facebook friends and let my garden Brussel Sprouts brave a cold front. I harvested them on Tuesday in my last harvest of the Spencer Garden 2016 season. They were nearly frozen when I brought them in, so we blanched and froze them immediately for use on the Immaculate Conception. I am going to try them again next year, but plant them earlier and actually space them out so they get more sun. We had a small forest of plants, that only yielded 1.3 lbs of marble sized sprouts.
5. Yesterday, for the Solemnity, I made the Professor's favorite pie, steak, stout, and mushroom, accompanied by the garden brussel sprouts braised in cream and served with bacon from our "happy" half hog. The "happy" beef is from the Professor's aunt and uncle's hobby farm; G even got to pick which of the beeves she wanted for our freezer. It was all delicious. My dear toddler son has yet to discover that Good Food is worth eating, so we had a leftover pie to freeze and eat at a later date. Maybe on the octave?
A little blurry, but perhaps that captures the mischievous glee he takes in all he does...
6. Speaking of toddler sons, I am pretty sure that God made toddler boys for the purpose of having cute haircuts. The hair cutting process itself it not cute: fussing on his part and my fear of cutting my own fingers off as he flops about. But the result is adorable. I am a little obsessed with his hair and eyes these days. But also so thankful that he naps and has an early bedtime as his favorite things to do are drag chairs around, turn lights on and off, and try to get at everything on the kitchen counters.

7. I had heard that there will be a new Rite of Marriage in the Roman Catholic Church soon, but I did not realize that it was so simple. According to my girls to get married a bride has to walk down the aisle to the singing of "Alleluia" and then "Kiss Lips" with the intended groom. When one daughter announced that she had married her balloon I informed her that she had the wrong matter to have the Sacrament of Matrimony and probably the wrong form as well...

Linking up with Kelly at This Ain't the Lyceum for Seven Quick Takes. Please pray for the repose of the soul of a friend of hers, a husband and father, who passed away suddenly this week.


Thursday, December 8, 2016

NCRegister Blog: Love of Neighbor, Like Zeal for Our Tradition, Should Burn Hot in Our Hearts

Rigidity. Pope Francis seems to talk about that a lot. And the instance that struck home for me most recently was from a recently released interview he gave in 2007 in which he spoke of the rigidity of young traditionalists. I am a recovering rigid traditionalist. Before that I was a rigid charismatic. I have experienced firsthand what is it like to be rigid, standing in cold judgment of a perceived wrong way of doing things, and I have encountered firsthand what is it like to be snubbed by the rigid, seeking to be understood and finding no sympathy.

Read the rest at the NCRegister...

Monday, November 28, 2016

Sweet at Six

We hosted my side of the family for Thanksgiving, everyone from my parents down to our two month old niece. Some people stayed with us, other people stayed elsewhere, but they all came from out of town. In all we had 9 adults and 9 children around our Thanksgiving table and through Sunday. It was a lot of fun from all of the cousins playing for hours together to staying up late with the adults.

On Saturday we celebrated L's birthday which is today. She is my Advent baby, having been born on the 1st Sunday of Advent six years ago. Upon opening her present from my parents which was also for the other November daughter of mine, L looked at the three fancy dress up dresses and said, "This is what I wanted! Remember, Mom! A chest of princess dresses to share with my sisters!"

Sweeter still though is the way she has been taking an interest in praying the rosary all on her own during her quiet time. She takes our Sacred Art Series Rosary flip book into her room, asks about the mysteries of the day, and prays devoutly in her own little way. I love to see the faith blossom in this sweet daughter of mine.

Happy Birthday to my six year old!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

NCRegister Blog: Reflections on the End of the Liturgical Year

Ever since I was a child, I have loved Advent. My mother always made it beautiful with our homemade Jesse Tree ornaments, our simple green Advent wreath, and our tradition of singing, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” in the candlelight before supper. All of our voices would rise up together in our hope for the coming Savior. This liturgical year, which has been passed down to us by tradition, and which never ceases, is the heartbeat of the liturgical life. Around and around we go. From Advent to Christmas to Lent to Easter to Pentecost and the time after up through our remembrance of the dead in November during which in our Mass readings we anticipate the Second Coming of Christ. It all fits together so beautifully and is one of the things that I love about being Catholic...

Read the rest at the National Catholic Register...