Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Feast of the Visitation Today!

When St. Luke tells us that, after the angel left, Mary "went with haste over the meadows" to visit her aged cousin, Elizabeth, the Church wants us to remember this in the feast of the Visitation on the second of July, so that we may always feel assured that Mary is ever ready to come to our aid.
~ Maria Von Trapp

The Magnificat
My soul doth magnify the Lord.
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is his name.
And his mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear him.
He hath shewed might in his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble.
He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He hath received Israel his servant, being mindful of his mercy:
As he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed for ever.

Magníficat ánima mea Dóminum,et exsultávit spíritus meusin Deo salvatóre meo,
quia respéxit humilitátemancíllæ suæ.
Ecce enim ex hoc beátamme dicent omnes generatiónes,quia fecit mihi magna,qui potens est,et sanctum nomen eius,et misericórdia eius in progénieset progénies timéntibus eum.
Fecit poténtiam in bráchio suo,dispérsit supérbos mente cordis sui;depósuit poténtes de sedeet exaltávit húmiles.
Esuriéntes implévit boniset dívites dimísit inánes.
Suscépit Ísrael púerum suum,recordátus misericórdiæ,sicut locútus est ad patres nostros,
Ábraham et sémini eius in sæcula.
Glória Patri et Fílioet Spirítui Sancto.Sicut erat in princípio,et nunc et semper,
et in sæcula sæculórum.


The Feast of the Visitation is one of the anniversaries I like best to think about; like all the joyful mysteries, its details are particularly accessible for a mother and housewife like me. The scene is founded in the mystery of Heaven and radiates the sublime, but is also grounded in realities that I understand. Our Blessed Mother, having just agreed to the most important task ever asked a human being and only just carrying the life of God in the Second Person in her womb, discovers the miracle of her elderly cousin's approaching motherhood. Miracle upon miracle!

And, what does she do? She packs her bags and goes on a visit. Of course! Is this not what any of us would do -- or would try to do? If we found out that a dear friend and relation, one who had assumed after many years that she was infertile, was soon to be a mother at last -- the least we would do would be to call her up or send her an e-mail congratulating her. Better than that, I'm sure most of us would do what Our Blessed Mother did: get ourselves in hugging distance as soon as possible. To praise God with her.

And then, I just bet that the rest of the visit was full of the homey things we would recognize ourselves. I can imagine the scenes of them sewing baby clothes together and preparing little St. John's bed. Mary would have helped with the cleaning and bread baking. Maybe she would have milked the goats or fetched the water for her older cousin who was farther along in her pregnancy. There would have been much smiling and laughing and quiet moments of awed reflection. And God would have been there with them, truly.

As He can and should be with us as we share with one another at any get-together: having coffee, one to one, with a good friend; catching up on the phone; chatting outside the church doors with a group of other mothers after Mass; hobnobbing on the internet... If we gather in His Name, there He is in the midst of us. Just like at the Visitation.

Happy Feast Day to all the Marys and Elizabeths out there! (And Lisas and Maries, etc...)

** Here's a Coloring Page for the day, by the way!
** You can click on the title of this post for the full explanation of the feast day at Fisheaters.
** The rendition of The Magnificat, above, was sung by our three boys, Kevin, Jon and Dominic, and their friend Tim, at school last Easter. I've used this video before -- it's my favorite; The Magnificat gives me goosebumps every time I hear it, but especially when I hear my boys singing it.
** If you recognized this post, you're a longtime friend! God bless you! :)  This is a repost from 2009!


Our family recreation.  Instead of fancy vacations or expensive toys, we do this.  
We snaughle a lot.

And bake cookies.

We're a fun bunch, I tell ya.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

July: Month of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

Thoughts of the Saints Regarding the Precious Blood of Jesus:

"I adore You, O Precious Blood of Jesus, flower of creation, fruit of virginity, ineffable instrument of the Holy Spirit, and I rejoice at the thought that You came from the drop of virginal blood on which eternal Love impressed its movement; You were assumed by the Word and deified in His person. I am overcome with emotion when I think of Your passing from the Blessed Virgin's heart into the heart of the Word, and, being vivified by the breath of the Divinity, becoming adorable because You became the Blood of God." 

--St. Albert the Great


St. Catherine of Siena:

"Take caution to see priests only as the dispensers of the Blood of the humble, Immaculate Lamb and overlook the faults you may see in them. A priest is a man and therefore fallible and capable of making mistakes, but this does not prevent him from being the Anointed of the Lord, marked forever with the indelible sign and having the power to consecrate the Body of Christ and administer the sacraments and to preach to the people in the name of God."


St Mary Magdalene de Pazzi:
“It is not as severed from Jesus' Sacred Body that the Precious Blood 
is now to be adored and offered, but as It is, at this moment, 
within the living Jesus, in heaven and in the Blessed Sacrament. 
Therefore, the soul that possesses the Precious Blood 
has everything and desires nothing more. 
The offering of the Precious Blood is of infinite efficacy. 
It begs remission for past sins or rather exacts it; 
It is a remedy against future sin; 
It returns thanks for all graces general or personal; 
It procures help from on high and brings comfort 
to the living and the dead. 
The practice of offering the Precious Blood is most pleasing to God; because, through It, He is glorified in the most sublime 
and excellent manner. 
As often as a creature offers the Precious Blood by which it was redeemed, it offers a gift of unequaled and infinite price." 

St. Gaspar del Bufalo, from Letter No. 57 to Countess Lucrezia Ginnasi, April 14, 1813
"By the effusion of his holy blood, [he] has given so great efficacy and strength to the holy sacraments of his church, that when we receive any one of them, we shall be sprinkled and made clean by the virtue of his precious blood."

--St. John Fisher
"He opened up for us in his most sacred wounds four founts, as St. Bernard says: a fount of mercy, a fount of peace, a fount of devotion, a fount of love and summons all to quench their thirst there" 
St. John Chrysostom says "When you see the Lord immolated and lying upon the altar, and the priest bent over that sacrifice praying, and all the people empurpled by that precious blood, can you think that you are still among men and on earth? Or are you not lifted up to heaven?" 


Prayer from the Racolta (188) Offering the Precious Blood 

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the most Precious Blood of Jesus Christ, in satisfaction for my sins, in supplication for the holy souls in Purgatory and for the needs of Holy Church [especially for the soul of (Name)]. 

This Blood, when worthily received, drives away demons and puts them at a distance from us, and even summons to us angels and the Lord of angels. . . This Blood, poured out in abundance, has washed the whole world clean. . . This is the price of the world; by it Christ purchased the Church... This thought will check in us unruly passions. How long, in truth, shall we be attached to present things? How long shall we remain asleep? How long shall we not take thought for our own salvation? Let us remember what privileges God has bestowed on us, let us give thanks, let us glorify him, not only by faith, but also by our very works.

 -- St. John Chrysostom


"I adore You, O Precious Blood of Jesus, flower of creation, fruit of virginity, ineffable instrument of the Holy Spirit, and I rejoice at the thought that You came from the drop of virginal blood on which eternal Love impressed its movement; You were assumed by the Word and deified in His person. I am overcome with emotion when I think of Your passing from the Blessed Virgin's heart into the heart of the Word, and, being vivified by the breath of the Divinity, becoming adorable because You became the Blood of God."

---St. Albert the Great

Activities for the Month of the Precious Blood

Catholic Cuisine has a file full of recipe ideas for the month of July,  and, though, I couldn't find anything specifically in honor of the Precious Blood online, I've been brainstorming, and find it's not at all difficult to come up with "feasting" ideas, from cookie-cutting sliced cranberry sauce into heart shapes, to making a heart shaped red-velvet cake, similar to a Sacred Heart cake, but emphasizing the droplets of blood, perhaps using jello-mold "droplets" on top.  

Aussie Annie has a host of ideas and activities for children for the month of the Precious Blood! Do run over and have a visit.  This reverent devotional, for instance, can be found at her blog, Under Her Starry Mantle:

Here is a lovely coloring page to print:
And another, more intricate one, for your hard core artists:

Prayers for Devotion to the Sacred Blood of Jesus

"O Sacred Blood,
that flowed so copiously seven times for my salvation, I love Thee, I
praise Thee, I adore Thee with the deepest feeling of gratitude! The purest fountain from which Thou didst flow makes Thy memory so sweet. O Precious Blood, with trumpet tones Thou speakest to me of the love of my God and Redeemer. How I deplore my coldness and indifference towards Thee! Now, at last, I wish to return love for love, blood for blood, if necessary. As often as my pulse beats, it shall greet Thee, Thou sweet Guest of my soul, and shall return to the arteries warmed and purified by Thy love. As long as the blood courses through my veins, it shall flow only for love of Thee; it shall circulate only for Thy interests and it shall turn cold and stand still only because I am about to love Thee in eternity. Oh, let this stream of Thy love flow through every heart and inebriate it with holy joy!

My dearest Mother Mary, I beseech Thee with confidence, obtain for me, although thy unworthy child, the blessing of God the Father, by covering me with the merits of thy Son Jesus, that I may regain my eternal birthright in Heaven. Clothe me every evening, Sweet Lady of Mt. Carmel, but especially on the eve of my life, with the "Dyed Garments" of the Precious Blood. Amen."

Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy. 
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us. 
God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.
Blood of Christ, only-begotten Son of the eternal Father, save us.
Blood of Christ, Incarnate Word of God, save us.
Blood of Christ, of the New and Eternal Testament, save us.
Blood of Christ, falling upon the earth in Agony, save us.
Blood of Christ, shed profusely in the Scourging, save us.
Blood of Christ, flowing forth in the Crowning with Thorns, save us.
Blood of Christ, poured out on the Cross, save us.
Blood of Christ, price of our salvation, save us.
Blood of Christ, without which there is no forgiveness, save us.
Blood of Christ, Eucharistic drink and refreshment of souls, save us.
Blood of Christ, stream of mercy, save us.
Blood of Christ, victor over demons, save us.
Blood of Christ, courage of Martyrs, save us.
Blood of Christ, strength of Confessors, save us.
Blood of Christ, bringing forth Virgins, save us.
Blood of Christ, help of those in peril, save us.
Blood of Christ, relief of the burdened, save us.
Blood of Christ, solace in sorrow, save us.
Blood of Christ, hope of the penitent, save us.
Blood of Christ, consolation of the dying, save us.
Blood of Christ, peace and tenderness of hearts, save us.
Blood of Christ, pledge of eternal life, save us.
Blood of Christ, freeing souls from purgatory, save us.
Blood of Christ, most worthy of all glory and honor, save us.

Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, O Lord.

Thou hast redeemed us, O Lord, in Thy Blood. And made us, for our God, a kingdom.

Let us pray.
Almighty and eternal God, Thou hast appointed Thine only-begotten Son the Redeemer of the world and willed to be appeased by his blood. Grant, we beg of Thee, that we may worthily adore this price of our salvation and through its power be safeguarded from the evils of the present life so that we may rejoice in its fruits forever in heaven. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Latin version can be found here.

A partial indulgence is granted to the faithful who recite this litany, which is approved for either private or public use.

Oh, Precious Blood of Jesus,
Be my salvation!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

This Little Girl's Birthday Today!

Where does time fly?

Such a happy baby girl.
Michelle seldom cried. She had a neat
trick of twirling her pacifier around in her
mouth without using her hands.  It made
her famous in our circles.

Our little pumpkin. Our first baby girl.
She was so cute and sweet, we were legitimately
worried she'd grow up with a vanity problem,
so many people stopped us to comment on
how beautiful she was

But the compliments didn't go to
her head.  She stayed sweet, was
always a good little girl loved her
faith and her family, and her many
parish friends.

But she was no girly-girl. She was a little farm girl
and quite the tomboy out on the hobby
farm in Byers with her four big brothers --
and, as time went on, her three little sisters --
and two baby brothers -- plus numerous dogs,
cats, chickens, goats, pigs, and the occasional
cow or horse.
In 6th grade, the family left the farm in Byers and moved
 to Western Colorado where Michelle got to attend Catholic
 school for the first time at Holy Guardian Angels.
Having been home taught her whole life, this required
 an adjustment, but Michelle prospered, got to attend daily Mass,

 was the top of her class, and made many friends --
most especially our beloved CMRI Sisters.

Then, following the zigzagging path of the Divine
Will, she found herself back in Byers with the family,
 where she decided, with Mom and Dad's blessing,
to try out the Mater Dei boarding school in Omaha.
Again, she thrived, graduating a year early, and
making many more lifelong friends.

Then, back in Western Colorado once again...
she learned to drive. And somewhere about this time
she met a young man named Ben while on a road trip
to California with her brothers.
She started texting with this guy, Ben....
Then moved in with her brother, Paul, and his family in
California to see if God had anything in mind for the

two of them.  And I guess He did, because, as you see...

 the rest is history.
June 13th,2015.  Meet Mr. and Mrs. Ben Landsgaard.

Our Baby Girl
20 years old today!

Grown up and married.
Still as beautiful as ever and just as sweet.

We love you, Shell, so very much!
Happy, Happy Birthday!!

Monday, June 29, 2015

This would be me...

waiting to see what will happen next

Because we've been looking pretty seriously at new houses.
 Here's a peek at another one we all really like.

Praying for God's will!  But this one fills all the wish list specs: 1) nice and big, but not too big; 2) has a great room concept; 3) a nice big kitchen with a gas stove (we hate electric!); 4) lots of natural light; 5) big fireplace; 6) tons of storage; 7) big two car garage; 8) awesome two-story barn; 9) plenty of mature shade trees, fruit trees, mulberries, asparagus patch, rhubarb, etc.; 10) tons of birds and wildlife (within a five minute drive down the road the other day, we saw a deer, a weasel, a hawk, an oriole, a red-headed woodpecker, and a grey fox!); 11) lovely pasture area for livestock; 12) woods and a creek to fish in right across the street; 13) on 11 acres, with no neighbors in the armpit (more like one at its elbow and a couple others somewhere in the edge of its periphery vision); 14) within a half hour of both church and Dan's job; 15) less than 10 minutes from the grocery store, Hancock's Fabrics, and a really cool little diner with $1 soft serve ice cream cones.... All just within our price range.  (How'd that happen?)

Not taking anything for granted here, mind you -- and will be satisfied with whatever God has in mind, but I won't lie to you -- I'm already scrolling through my mental paint chips for wall colors in this house...  Deus vult, though.  We're praying on it.  (Very ready to be our own landords again, folks!)

Of a Type

'Wow! It's so satisfying! So immediate!"
The children's reaction (Anna's specifically) to the electric typewriter I got at the antique mall the other day.  A mere $10 -- with a sheaf of carbon paper and extra ribbon cartridges!  The kids had never experienced typing outside of a computer keyboard and are enthralled. As you might have guessed we have a household of rabid communicators here and any new means of getting words out is bound to be met with unusual enthusiasm.

I love my bunch of wordy weirdos.
smile emotico

"This. is. so. cool! Why don't people use these any more?" they wonder.

Instead of computers?  Why do you think?  But, the thing is -- slow, inefficient, and not connected to the worldwide web as they were -- I miss them!

We've moved on, though, To what most would agree are better ways of communicating. And yeah... Perhaps this is so if you measure communication by volume and not quality. But I'm not so sure the computer age has improved us as writers -- or as people. We can now send our opinions, our images and our propaganda -- good, bad and indifferent -- around the world silently and at the speed of thought. But, I don't think this has done a thing for our composite character. Take a look at what you find on the internet, from general acceptance of typos, bad grammar, and nonexistent punctuation to the general acceptance of not only immorality but depravity.
The world was a better place when we all knew cursive and typed on typewriters. (Says the girl typing this on a smart phone...) Lots of cause and effect reasons why that is, but here are a handful:
* If you made a mistake in typewriter days, you had to go through several steps to correct it (anyone remember white out and correction tape?) and it was hard to completely hide the error. You learned, therefore, to be accurate and not make mistakes. This applied to the bigger picture, as well.
* It mattered to get things right back in the typewriter days. You took it for granted that you sometimes would have to just start a paper over again. There was no rearranging sentences and paragraphs with a highlight and a click. In typewriter days, you thought ahead, you thought out what you were going to write before you wrote it -- and you kept a stack of paper at your elbow for rewrites. This ability to think things through mentally, following a train of thought to its conclusion was a cause and effect of a proper-thinking people
* Which segues to this inescapable point: typing anything took longer and was physically harder to do. You had to basically sledgehammer the keys on a manual, and even an electric's keys were significantly harder to press than computer keys. Speed is relative though, as the whole world moved slower in typewriter days. Not a bad thing. At all. (And people had very strong fingers back in the day.)
* Typewriting was a sensory communication experience unlike anything kids today get to play with: The ch-ch-ch-ch as you roll the paper in; the lightning fast movement of the keys and the sliding off the carriage, accompanied by the tock-t-tock-tock *DING*! And the typist's hand automatically shooting over to move the return bar -- sslliipp -- back to a new line. And then: words on the page. Immediate. Satisfying.
And in the case of these kids' first attempts, a page full of very silly random gobbledygook. Which they are still
poring over in fascination.
(Bonus points for anyone who can name the character on an iconic '90s movie who loved manual typewriters, too.)
(And please have mercy on me if there are any typos here. This was not typed on the new electric typewriter... I 'slid' these words on my touch phone and was eating ice cream and watching a baseball movie while writing it... So there you have it. The modern world. We're in it. Or you wouldn't be reading this.)

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Me and Evie

Before the rehearsal dinner a couple weeks ago.

And an unidentified gargoyle photobombing us.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Catching Up: The Wedding

Just before the happy couple's reception of Holy Communion at the solemn high
nuptial Mass, officiated by long-time family friend (adopted son), Fr. Carlos Borja,
 and assisted by Ben and Michelle's parish priest, Fr. Dominic Radecki and
long-time family friend, Rev. Mr. Timothy Geckle.
It's been two weeks since Michelle Davis, our first daughter, became Michelle Landsgaard.  Two weeks since she and Ben received the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony.  Two weeks since the amazing party we enjoyed afterward. Two weeks to talk about it all -- to rehash and remember the beauty, the blessings, and the fun.  And two weeks to catch up on sleep...

And now I think the last bubbles of romance have finally drifted away. Things are getting back to normal after all the weeks of preparation and anticipation.  The glue guns are put away, the leftover tulle is rolled up and stored, the squares on the calendar are beautifully clean and clear.  {Deep cleansing breath} Wow, I'm glad it's all over. Weddings are a LOT of work!  But it was all so wonderful.  So blessed in every way.  We've been so blessed.

We know that Michelle is safe with Ben; he'll take good care of her, body and soul.  His wonderful, great, big, Catholic family is warm and supportive; they accepted Michelle as a sister long ago.  She is close to the priest and the parish in her new home in California and stays close to her own family in heart -- and by texting. (Anyone who really hates cell phones never had a daughter move half way across the country!)

Scattered throughout her new little home are all the gifts of love from friends and family to welcome her and make her new role as wife and homemaker easy and beautiful.  The statue of the Blessed Mother from her childhood, refurbished by her big brother, Frater Philip, and presented to Ben and Michelle with love from the whole family, stands over the new couple in their new life together, symbolic of her real presence in their hearts and home. The beautiful crucifix Frater made his sister also blesses their new home, as all our prayers will always accompany them.

At the wedding and reception, we were surrounded by our loving family and lifelong friends -- Michelle's friends and Ben's, too -- all wholesome, all good practicing Catholics, and all a barrel full of fun! This young couple is particularly surrounded by love and support.  The air was thick with it at the wedding; I could scarcely breathe it so filled my heart.

I'm not worried at all about our little girl.  She's in good hands all around.

But I sure do miss her.

(Trying to figure out how long it'll take me to save some money to fly out and see you, Shelly-boo.  I love you!  I love you both!)

Our Life, Our Sweetness, and Our Hope

On the Feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Help

little me -- kindygarten
The image of Our Lady of Perpetual Help has special meaning for me.  My very first personally-owned picture of the Blessed Mother, I remember taking it from where I kept it propped on the windowsill near our bunks at bed time.  I was maybe five years old, kindergarten age -- and personal property had special meaning to a child who already had four siblings and very little that was 'specially her very own.  Climbing with it up onto the top bunk (my sister, Linda on the bottom bunk snoring away), I'd trace my fingers around the white plastic, lace-looking frame.  I loved how Jesus' little hands were wrapped around his mother's, but I wondered what He'd done to kick loose his sandal, and wondered that His Mother hadn't noticed it yet and fastened it back on.  I guessed she was distracted by looking at me. There was gold foil on my little picture and I would tilt it back and forth to see the shine.  I wished Mary and Jesus would smile; they both seemed so serious.  I don't think I noticed that Jesus seemed to be looking over at the cross, or I may have figured that out.  But I was very little and had more experience with homely things than heavenly things.  I did wonder about the letters that weren't really letters. Being in kindergarten, that was a primary focus of my existence at the time: noticing, forming, and sounding out letters.  The ones on this picture made no sense, though and when I asked, my Mom just shrugged and said she didn't know either.  My mother had only been Catholic a few years at the time, so I understand now how it is she didn't know.

I expect many people, cradle Catholics and converts, pass right by this image without realizing how meaningful it is. I didn't know for years and years.  It wasn't until I had children of my own, that I learned how the image of Our Lady of Perpetual Help is practically an encyclopedia of faith; every nuance has purpose. Every color, every tilt of a head, every letter has meaning.   How cool is that?  My own special little Blessed Mother, without saying a word teaches the whole world.  

Check out the share below, and in the following links to learn all about it.

Shared from the official website of the shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, here is the meaning of the iconography:

1. The Virgin
2. The Child Jesus
3. The Archangels with the instruments of the Passion
4. Greek Abbreviations MP OY = Mater Theou:       Mother of God
OAPM = O Arkanguelos Mikael: The Archangel Michael
OAPG = O Arkanguelos Gabriel: The Archangel Gabriel
ICXC = Iesus Xristos:   Jesus Christ

The Face of Mary:   A Portrait of the Mother of God The type of image used corresponds to portraits of the Mother of God. It refers to the Theotokos of the Council of Nicea (325), Ephesus (431), Chalcedon (451). It also refers to the Virgin Mother of God of fundamental themes of Marian iconography.

The Eyes of the Mother of Perpetual Help:
The eyes of the Mother look towards us with compassion and love.

The Star on the Virgin’s Forehead THE EIGHT-POINTED STAR
    In ancient christian iconography it means the ray of light, the hand of the Father who blesses from on high or the dove that descends bathed in light.
    Signify the coming incarnation of Christ as announced by a prophet. It also appears in the nativity.
    In pagan iconography it is a symbol of Divine presence.
    Mary is the star that guides the faithful as once guided the Magi.
    The gilded background  and the circular halos invite us to contemplate the great mystery of redemption - the incarnation, the “elevation” of Christ on the cross and his “ascent” into heaven on the day of the Resurrection.  This is  is why the archangels appear to repeat the following words: “ We bow before the Cross and glorify your Resurrection”.
    The eyes of the child look resolutely and calmly towards  the instrument of salvation, the cross
    The sandals falls from the child’s foot,  signifies the child’s knowledge -- and fright and is also a symbol of redemption (cf Ruth 4:7)
    The Great Hands of the Mother of God: Mary’s hands have a highly symbolic significance.
In her right hand she holds the hand of He who holds the universe in his hand.
Her right hand is the Hodegetria hand, the hand of she who shows the path to Christ, who is the Way the Truth and the Life. She appears to say to us, “Do whatever he tells you.” (Jn 2:5)

The Instruments of the Glorious Passion of Christ

The instruments of the passion do not appear as signs of Christ’s execution but as a memorial to his glorious Passion.

~+ - + - + - + - + - + ~

* For an even more in-depth explanation and discussion of everything from the meaning behind the colors chosen for this image, to the specifics of the looks on their faces, another great site is Mary's Touch.

* Source of the above abbreviated, illustrated explanation: The National Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help  A history of the image can also be found at this site!

Prayer to Our Lady of Perpetual Help

O Mother of Perpetual Help
Imploring aid we come to Thee
Look down on us from far and near
Thy Mother's care will calm all fear
Perpetual Help, we beg of thee
Our souls from sin and sorrow free
Thou fairest flower of heavenly grace
O turn to earth Thy sinless face.

Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help

Oh Mother of Perpetual Help, grant that I may ever invoke your powerful name, the protection of the living and the salvation of the dying. Purest Mary, let your name henceforth be ever on my lips. Delay not, Blessed Lady, to rescue me whenever I call on you. In my temptations, in my needs, I will never cease to call on you, ever repeating your sacred name, Mary, Mary. What a consolation, what sweetness, what confidence fills my soul when I utter your sacred name or even only think of you! I thank the Lord for having given you so sweet, so powerful, so lovely a name. But I will not be content with merely uttering your name. Let my love for you prompt me ever to hail you Mother of Perpetual Help. Mother of Perpetual Help, pray for me and grant me the favor I confidently ask of you.
(Then say three Hail Marys).

* Our Prayers today on this feast of Our Lady for all our friends and family who have asked for our help storming heaven; for pregnancies, for sick children and other family members, for jobs and financial situations, for the success of our schools, for the conversion of loved one, and most especially for a world that seems to have gone mad.  In reparation for sins committed against the Immaculate Heart and the Sacred Heart of Jesus, particularly in reparation for the sin of sodomy -- and for God's mercy on our troubled country and our declining civilization: Mother of Perpetual Help, we turn to you with confidence!

*Recognize this post?  It's a re-share from 2013!  :)

Friday, June 5, 2015

Ham Anyone?

Blast from the Past

Bear with us, please. The Aunties and the Grandmothers are just gonna love this...


Anna, five years old.  She still sings like this.
(Just kidding, Anna. )