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New Blog Roll Members - April 29th

>> Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Welcome to the latest group of new members to the Catholic Mothers Online blog roll!

Why not pick at least one person on the list to visit today and welcome them to Catholic Mothers Online?

Welcome to all of our newest members!


Finding peace and doing wash?

>> Thursday, April 23, 2009

Today's guest post is by Theresa at Carmelite Mom.

I am always amazed at the endless baskets of wash despite the fact that two of my older children do their own wash. After my oldest called me from college several times his first year wondering how to do whites or darks and should he hang them up?...I decided it was time my other children learn this most basic life skill.

I was listening to a talk on John of the Cross by Susan Muto and she mentions an "epiphany" moment that her friend experienced while doing wash. She was sorting through endless piles of dirty socks from her hard-working husband and several teenage sons when she sighed and said "Is this all there is?" (pertaining to her life) She then heard an internal voice, a voice that leaves no doubt Who is speaking, that said "Yes, this is all there is...and it is enough." This moment was a turning point in her life and from then on she had great peace and did everything with great love.

This excerpt from the talk comes back to me now and then. It's always in the back of my mind. There are many days that my daily duties bring great peace and contentment and joy...then there are other days when the monotony threatens to suffocate me and I find myself asking "Is this all there is?" Do you ever find yourself asking the same thing? After two or three days of homeschooling, washing, running errands, running the children to activities, cooking dinner, bathing, teethbrushing, reading and all the other things that fill our days...does this thought ever cross your mind?

It is then that we need the powerful reminder to do everything with love. This is God's will for us...this very moment. Ascetism is closely associated with our daily duties. It is in monotony and dryness that God calls us to be even more faithful. It is easy to fulfill our duties when we are feeling at peace and content but is in the desert experience that we prove our love for God...and for our family. We experience the same exact thing in our prayer life. God draws us to prayer with consolations and feelings of peace and contentment, but then eventually leads us into the aridness of the desert, so as to prove our commitment, our faith, and most importantly, our love. We have to take our love and put it to the test of dailyness, of boredom, of frustration, of distasteful tasks that are almost beyond our strength.

So, when we ask ourselves "Is this all there is?" we can close our eyes and remember the words God spoke to that humble homemaker...and to all of us..."Yes, and it is enough."

In between reading, praying, organizing, working part-time, homeschooling her five year old and raising three teenagers...Theresa squeezes in some blogging at

photo by Charlyn W


New Blog Roll Members - April 18th

>> Friday, April 17, 2009

Be sure to stop by and visit our newest members!


Fabulous Daily Planner for Catholics

>> Tuesday, April 14, 2009

This post was originally published at Many Little Blessings

I just ordered the latest copy of my very favorite datebook -- the Catholic Woman's Daily Planner from Family-Centered Press. The newest versions run through next school year -- August 2009 - July 2010.

Not only do they have a Women's Planner, but they have ones for men, students, and also a nature journal. In both the men's and women's versions, you can add in a menu planning section and/or a lesson planning section. Of course, you can also add neither of those, and leave it as is.

My favorite size is the small size, which is 5.5" x 8.5", while the larger size is 8.5" x 11".

And, just so you know, I don't receive anything for writing about this each year when I buy it. I just really love it, and it works for me, so I always like to pass along word. (Plus, I want to make sure people know, as they seem to sell out quickly at times.)

Thanks to Michele (who is also a member of Catholic Mothers Online!) and family for such a wonderful product!

When Angie isn't busy checking the mail awaiting her cool new planner, she can be found writing at Many Little Blessings.


The 5th Sorrowful Mystery: The Crucifixion

>> Friday, April 10, 2009

Today's guest article is by Jennifer from My Chocolate Heart.

“When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals – one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:33-34

“It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.” Luke 23:44-46

Let this mystery teach us to be always faithful to God.

This Sorrowful pilgrimage now brings me here to this lonely hill. All the agony, the beatings and the bleeding have led me somewhere I do not want to go…somewhere I resist going with all my might.

The bitter truth is this: I really don’t want to die.

Will I walk with You along this distressing road only to shrink in fear when the moment comes? Lord, You know that is exactly what I do, time and time again. My spirit may be willing, but my flesh is so weak. I start out well enough and I pray “not my will, but Thine” because I love You. But then the choice comes, and I stop short of the dying. I choose to spare myself… instinct kicks in. But in sparing myself, I lose my life.

“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.” Luke 9:23-24

Clearly, there’s no getting around it. Following You means dying.

It means the death of my own will; in small choices, in big decisions, in little ways, in old habits. It means relinquishing my right to myself, over and over again, day after day.

I wonder, dear Jesus, what does a heart really sound like when it has died to itself? I think it sounds like this: “I am at His disposal – He can do with me just as it pleaseth Him, without even a thought of consulting me. I just want to be His own little one – if He so wants, otherwise I will be happy to be just nothing and He everything.”

How does a face look when the self has given up its rights? Like this: “Take whatever He gives and give whatever He takes with a big smile.”

Those are the words of Your faithful servant, Mother Teresa. She put hands and feet to those words every single day while privately enduring the darkest interior pain. Is that kind of faithfulness within my grasp, Lord? Will I ever learn to lay my life down without reservation?

I am most definitely not Mother Teresa. My vocation is quite different, but the call is the same: take up my cross and follow Jesus. I’m still being called to die.

Today, my dying looks a lot like the mundane, thankless, routine chores around my house that I have no motivation to accomplish. Dying sounds like me not venting my frustration in anger just because I’m tired. Dying is me choosing patience and mercy over my “justified” hot temper. Dying is me forgiving the one who has hurt me – really forgiving; no grudge, no animosity, no hope of vindication…just release.

Dying is me, freely and generously, choosing someone else ahead of myself. Dying is making a sacrifice that hurts, and doing it with a full heart, asking nothing in return.

Dying is freedom. That’s what you want me to discover, isn’t it, Lord? That when I am emptied of myself and my own will, You fill me to overflowing with vibrant life. When I agree to die to myself, it’s my fear that’s burned to death, and real faith rises out of the ashes.

With You, there is only life. Even death can no longer harm me because Your wondrous cross has rendered it void and powerless.

You held nothing back. You willingly gave it all so that I could have abundant life. I desire that kind of faithfulness, Lord! Teach me to give my all, even in little things, and withhold nothing. Grant me the courage to carry my cross and submit to the dying it asks of me, and then I will live...truly live.

Copyright © 2009 by Jennifer Hartline, happy homemaker and mom to 3, and lover of all things dark chocolate! Find her at My Chocolate Heart, and fear not; the smudges on your screen are just chocolate. :)


New Blog Roll Members - April 9th

>> Thursday, April 9, 2009

Welcome to all of our new members!

Be sure to drop by some of the new members and let them know that you saw their link on our blog!


1st Sorrowful Mystery: The Agony in the Garden

>> Saturday, April 4, 2009

This guest post is by Jennifer from My Chocolate Heart. Thank you for your beautiful and moving submission!


“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. Luke 22:42-44

Let this mystery teach us true contrition for our sins.

True contrition…it seems to me that before we can have true contrition, we have to first truly understand that we have sinned.

I think our self-obsessed, modern, “enlightened” culture would very much like to proclaim Sin as an archaic, prohibitive concept whose time is over. Moral restrictions, clearly defined standards of right and wrong, and consequences for violators are all antiquated notions wrongly imposed on people of free will.

To dare to suggest that Someone outside ourselves, higher than ourselves has the authority to define right and wrong, good and evil, and then establish the just punishment for wrongdoing, well, that’s practically blasphemous in this age of moral relativism.

How can we be truly sorry if we’re not thoroughly convinced we’ve done wrong? Okay, maybe we can admit that we’ve sinned, but we haven’t done anything truly terrible, so it’s not really that bad. It can’t be that big a deal.

Think about that scene in the Garden again. Jesus was in so much anguish that he sweat blood as he prayed! He asked God to change the plan and find some other way, so it’s obvious this Sin problem is a very big deal, indeed. The torture He was about to suffer wasn’t due to something small or trivial.

But I can’t help wondering… what grieves Him more – that we sin, or that we try to cover our sin, make light of it, and even delight in it?

Is it the arrogance that inhabits our sins and causes us to deny that we haven’t just broken a rule or made a little mistake – we have sinned against a perfect and just God who also happens to love us beyond our comprehension?! Our sin is aggravated by prideful indifference. Insult is added to injury.

Why? Because it is scary as all hell, literally, to fully grasp the gravity of our own sin and the consequences of it, and were it not for the Cross and the unspeakable love of the Father, none of us could bear it. Contrition that begins out of fear of the just punishment for sin is a good place to start, but God isn’t satisfied with leaving us there. He wants to overwhelm us with His love; that crazy, illogical, endless love that took our hideous sin upon His perfect Self and endured our punishment for us.

We no longer have anything to fear. Now we are free to be repentant out of sorrow, not terror or despair. We can face our wretched condition and own up to our sins honestly, because what awaits us is forgiveness, not wrath. Once that reality takes root in our hearts, then gratitude inspires us, humility enables us, and LOVE compels us to true contrition.

“Blessed is he who transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit. When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord” and you forgave the guilt of my sin.” Psalm 32:1-5

“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge…Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me and I will be whiter than snow.” Psalm 51:1-4, 7

Copyright © 2009 by Jennifer Hartline, happy homemaker and mom to 3, and lover of all things dark chocolate! Find her at My Chocolate Heart, and fear not; the smudges on your screen are just chocolate.


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