Friday, July 31, 2009

As little children...

Today is the feast of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus--the Jesuits--and one of the Church's greatest sons. Saint Ignatius, who had been a rather irreligious soldier, was said to have been finally and completely converted by a vision of Our Blessed Mother with the Child Jesus. The formerly proud Spanish officer became so humble that, at the age of thirty, he placed himself as a student in a class of school-boys in Barcelona. His "Spiritual Exercises" stand alone as some of the richest treasures of the Church. And many Jesuits were to follow their father Saint Ignatius to sanctity.

It is also the unofficial feast day of one of the littlest saints, my son Thomas Edmund. Thomas was born on July 27 and was baptized before he took his first breath; so he was a saint from the very first moments of his earthly life. That life, which was to last just five days, was one of great suffering for him: suffering which he bore with great perseverance and resignation. If you had seen him, you would know that what I have written is true. The priest who attended him throughout his anguish said of Thomas that he had "... never seen anyone suffer so much..." and that he had "...suffered manfully."

To suffer manfully, and yet be a little child--is this not the way of which Our Lord spoke as being the one to Heaven? It is the"little way" of Saint Therese with its childlike trust and confidence in God wedded to a willingness to suffer whatever comes from His hand. It is born of the knowledge that Our Heavenly Father, the best of all fathers, will ask of us what is best for us, and that may entail hardship, sacrifice, self-denial, and pain. How far this is from the way of so many earthly fathers today who, fearing to displease or disappoint their children-- who have in some manner often become their idols-- neglect to require of their own flesh and blood what is for their good! Their children ask for bread, and they are given stones. A friend of mine once said to me, "If you can't trust your father who can you trust?" It is a natural quality of children to trust their parents; and, sadly, great numbers of them are following those who themselves are lost. And if the blind lead the blind, they will all fall.

How many children are wandering aimlessly because they are not being led along, or because they refuse to follow, the only path which will bring them genuine happiness? "Small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life." How few there are who even seek it; fewer still will find it. What is a parent's duty before God, what is the purpose of parenthood after all, if it is not to return each child to God for eternity? Our children do not belong to us: they are His. "Unless you be converted and become as little children you shall not enter the kingdom of Heaven." Little children do not know the way by themselves: they must follow the ones who do. We parents must first be converted, that is, turned completely to God; then we must become as little children, that is, humbled, completely emptied of egoism and vanity and pride. Only then will we find the way, and then lead our children along after us.

Unless one's child is a saint: in which case the child has gone before the parent to lead the way. It is the order of grace, the hierarchy of Heaven. My child, who died nine years ago today, lives with Our Lord and Our Lady and the holy angels and saints, and he will be with them for eternity. So I must become as a little child so that I may follow him along the narrow way, which is the only way to God: so that I can see him again and forever. "And a little child shall lead them." Saint Ignatius of Loyola, pray for us. Saint Thomas Edmund, pray for us.

Prayer of Saint Ignatius Loyola
Teach us, Good Lord,
To Serve Thee as Thou deservest;
To give and not to count the cost;
To fight and not to heed the wounds;
To labor and not to ask for any reward,
save that of knowing that we do Thy will.
Through Jesus Christ Our Lord, Amen.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


"The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost. "

--Gilbert Keith Chesterton


"Words -- so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them."

--Nathaniel Hawthorne

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


"Who so loves believes the impossible."

--Elizabeth Barrett Browning


"A joyful heart is the inevitable result of a heart burning with love."

--Mother Teresa

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


“A true friend is the greatest of all blessings, and that which we take the least care of all to
acquire. ” ~~ Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Two words...

"All human wisdom is summed up in two words--wait and hope."

--Alexandre Dumas

Monday, July 27, 2009


" So she poured out the liquid music of her voice to quench the thirst of his spirit. "

--Nathaniel Hawthorne


"Disappointments are to the soul what a thunderstorm is to the air."

--Johann Christoph Friedrich Von Schiller

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Our Mother's Hand

"Holding the Rosary is just like holding your Mother's hand."
--Father James Dunphy

"I am Our Lady of the Rosary."
--Our Lady's words to the children at Fatima, 1917

The Rosary and Our Lady's Immaculate Heart are our refuge: after the Mass and the sacraments, they are are most powerful sources of God's grace. May our Angels always remind us to wear Our Lady's Scapular and pray the Rosary, and may we never let go of Our Mother's hand. She is always there to protect us.

"Through my Rosary and my Scapular, I will save the world."

--Our Lady of Fatima, 1917


"People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway."

--Mother Teresa

Prayer For Saint Anne's Feast Day

Good Saint Anne,
you were especially favored by God
to be the mother of the most holy Virgin Mary,
and thus grandmother of our Savior Jesus Christ.
By your intimacy with your most pure daughter and her divine Son,
kindly obtain for us the graces that we seek.
Secure for us the strength to perform faithfully our daily duties and the help we need to persevere in the love of Jesus and Mary. Amen.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

You too?

"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: "What! You too? I thought I was the only one." --C. S. Lewis

Friday, July 24, 2009


“You can’t stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.” ~~ A. A. Milne


“Decide whether or not the goal is worth the risks involved. If it is, stop worrying.” ~~ Amelia Earhart

Thursday, July 23, 2009

What we love...

“We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.” ~~ Goethe

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The tree...

"All our good and all our evil certainly
lies in the character of our actions.
As they are, so are we;
for we are the tree, and they the fruit,
and, therefore,
they prove what each one is."

--Saint Augustine

The Feast of Saint Mary Magdalen

"My head with oil thou didst not anoint; but she with ointment hath anointed My feet. Wherefore I say to thee: Many sins are forgiven her, because she hath loved much. But to whom less is forgiven, he loveth less. And He said to her: Thy sins are forgiven thee. And they that sat at meat with Him began to say within themselves: Who is this that forgiveth sins also? And He said to the woman: Thy faith hath made thee safe, go in peace."

--Saint Luke, Chapter 7, 46-50

Saint Mary Magdalen, pray for us.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Ebb tide

Is the water shallow,
or is it deep?
The current seemed so strong
as if to sweep me to its heart;
but that was at the start of it all.
How soon the tide has turned;
the water which once churned with life is still.
An icy chill has settled in,
while time and tide go on.

Monday, July 20, 2009


"I love “Beauty and the Beast” because it is a story of what sincere love is: it isn’t about love at first sight, but rather about true love of personality. Beauty and the Beast have become friends. I loved Beauty’s selflessness. I felt she was the most loveable character in all the fairy tales I’ve read, for she was sincere in both wanting to do good and recognizing the good in others. Even though her sisters were insincere and rude, she still served them. And even though she was mocked for her habits (like reading lots of books!), she still loved life and herself. Beauty is a true role model."
--Author unknown


The old gray donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

--A.A. Milne's Eeyore

Sunday, July 19, 2009


"The greatest happiness in the world is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves."
-- Victor Hugo

Consider The Lilies Of The Field

LOWERS preach to us if we will hear:--
The rose saith in the dewy morn:
I am most fair;
Yet all my loveliness is born
Upon a thorn.
The poppy saith amid the corn:
Let but my scarlet head appear
And I am held in scorn;
Yet juice of subtle virtue lies
Within my cup of curious dyes.
The lilies say: Behold how we
Preach, without words, of purity.
The violets whisper from the shade
Which their own leaves have made:
Men scent our fragrance on the air,
Yet take no heed
Of humble lessons we would read.
But not alone the fairest flowers:
The merest grass
Along the roadside where we pass,
Lichen and moss and sturdy weed,
Tell of His love who sends the dew,
The rain and sunshine too,
To nourish one small seed.

      --Christina Rossetti

Saturday, July 18, 2009


“You are beautiful, but you are empty. One could not die for you. To be sure, an ordinary passerby would think that my rose looked just like you--the rose that belongs to me. But in herself alone she is more important than all the hundreds of you other roses: because it is she that I have watered.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery

In An Artist's Studio

One face looks out from all his canvases,
One selfsame figure sits or walks or leans:
We found her hidden just behind those screens,
That mirror gave back all her loveliness.
A queen in opal or in ruby dress,
A nameless girl in freshest summer-green,
A saint, an angel --every canvas means
The same one meaning, neither more nor less.
He feeds upon her face by day and night,
And she with true kind eyes looks back on him,
Fair as the moon and joyful as the light:
Not wan with waiting, not with sorrow dim;
Not as she is, but was when hope shone bright;
Not as she is, but as she fills his dream.

--Christina Rossetti

Friday, July 17, 2009

"For who could ever learn to love...

a beast?"

Do not assume...

Do not assume that he who seeks to comfort you now lives untroubled
among the simple and quiet words that sometimes do you good. His life
may also have much sadness and difficulty that remain far beyond yours.
Were it otherwise, he would never have been able to find these words.
--Author Unknown

Thursday, July 16, 2009


"Always take the Most Blessed Virgin as your model. Speak to her, heart to heart... Ask her to be your guide, to be your star, the lighthouse which shines in the midst of the darkness of your life."

--Saint Teresa of the Andes

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tell me...

Tell me who admires and loves you, and I will tell you who you are.

--Antoine de Saint-Exupery


“True love begins when nothing is looked for in return.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

All of the time...

"A friend is what the heart needs all of the time."

--Henry van Dyke

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Not so random thoughts...

Tomorrow is Mary's birthday party. She and her friends will be at a lovely park riding the antique carousel and the train and playing princess, among other pastimes. While the dough is chilling tonight for the royal cookies, and since the cake is already baked, I'll take time to write these not so random thoughts.

Lately I've been pondering the whys and wherefores of what I do each day. And the answers are not always so easy to find. Because it comes down to the purpose behind everything. And just what is that purpose? Simply this-- I live in hope: the hope that what I do on this earth each and every day matters, because God is there with me; and He is the One for Whom I live. He gave my life to me. He knows what is in my heart; He knows the reasons why I do what I do. He understands without me having to explain anything. And it all matters to Him because He loves me, no matter what. He made me because He loves me. He is my best and dearest confidante. I can tell Him anything, and I do. He listens, He hears, and He loves me. Always, everywhere.

And so I live in love, too. I see Him in His creatures, and it is that which makes me love them, what makes me want to give to them. For me, it's just a small way of showing my gratitude to Him for all that He has given me. It is such an easy thing to give when I see the gifts of God all around me. So I try to be there for my children and my friends and anyone who needs me; because time is one of the most valuable gifts of all.

This blog? It's something I write for myself, "my virtual book of days", I once called it. But I hope that it is somewhat of a gift for you who read it: sometimes a rather enigmatic one, but a gift from my very heart. I can only be who I am; and I don't know how to be anything but honest. My thoughts, my feelings, my memories--and so much more: they're in these lines. Here I am before you-- an open book, though not always an easy one to read; but one which I hope you'll remember fondly when all the chapters are finished.


"Music is well said to be the speech of angels; in fact, nothing among the utterances allowed to man is felt to be so divine. It brings us near to the Infinite"

--Thomas Carlyle


“For true love is inexhaustible; the more you give, the more you have. And if you go to draw at the true fountainhead, the more water you draw, the more abundant is its flow.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Monday, July 13, 2009

Heaven knows...

Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard heart.

--Charles Dickens in Great Expectations

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Broken Dream

Have you ever been so close to having a dream come true that you couldn't bear to stay because you were afraid that it would all disappear? So you run away.

I have. And I wonder what would have happened if I had stayed....

This song that I found today brought it all back.

Friday, July 10, 2009


"If people sat outside and looked at the stars each night, I'll bet they'd live a lot differently."

--Bill Watterson

One memorable day

That was a memorable day to me, for it made great changes in me. But, it is the same with any life. Imagine one selected day struck out of it, and think how different its course would have been. Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day.

--Charles Dickens in Great Expectations

Good morning, Belle

...and a good morning to you!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

O you must not be frightened...

O you must not be frightened ...if a sadness rises up before you larger than you have ever seen; if a restiveness, like light and cloudshadows, passes over your hands and all that do. You must think that something is happening with you, that life has not forgotten you, that it holds you in its hand; it will not let you fall.

--(Rainer Maria Rilke--Letters to a Young Poet, Letter 8--Excerpt)

She remembered...

"At last she remembered her dream, rushed to the grass-plot, and there she saw him lying, apparently dead."

--from Beauty and the Beast

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


"Patience, children, just a minute--
See the spreading circles die;
The stream and all in it
Will clear by-and-by."

--Robert Louis Stevenson in Looking Glass River

For the first time...

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

T.S. Eliot -- "Little Gidding" (the last of his Four Quartets)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


"Always be a little kinder than necessary."

--James M.Barrie