Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Gift

"“God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.”

--C.S. Lewis

Once in a blue moon...

...the moon is full twice in the same month: the second full moon is called the "blue moon", though it isn't really blue. Tonight the blue moon shines on New Year's Eve. I think that it's an auspicious beginning to the new year.

(The next blue moons will be on August 31, 2012 and July 31, 2015.)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

As the angels give

"If, instead of a gem, or even a flower, we should cast the gift of a loving thought into the heart of a friend, that would be giving as the angels give."

--George MacDonald

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


“The principle part of faith is patience”

--George MacDonald

Saint Thomas of Canterbury

"On 29 December, 1170, Thomas Becket was murdered by four knights in this spot, which came to be called The Martyrdom. Above the altar is a sculpture of two swords and a broken sword point, a reminder that one of the knights broke his sword tip when striking a blow to Becket's head. "


Saint Thomas of Canterbury, pray for us.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Great little One!

Great little One! whose all-embracing birth

Lifts Earth to Heaven, stoops Heaven to Earth.

--Richard Crashaw

Saturday, December 26, 2009


"Video caelos apertos, et Jesum stantem a dextris virtutis Dei:  Domine Jesu, accipe spiritum meum, et ne statuas illis hoc peccatum."

"I see the heavens opened, and Jesus standing on the right hand of the power of God:  Lord Jesus, receive my spirit, and lay not this sin to their charge."

--the Communion prayer for the Mass of Saint Stephen, taken from Acts 7. 55, 58, 59.

Saint Stephen, Protomartyr, pray for us!  (And a happy feast day to my son Stephen and to all of you Stephens/Stevens:  what a great patron you have!)

Christmas bells

“When Christmas bells are swinging above the fields of snow, we hear sweet voices ringing from lands of long ago, and etched on vacant places are half-forgotten faces of friends we used to cherish, and loves we used to know.”

--Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Friday, December 25, 2009

The best Christmas yet

I say it every year:  "This is the best Christmas yet." And so it is once more.  I have so much for which to be grateful to God, not the least of which is my Catholic Faith: without it,  today would be just another day.  Because the weather was so raw last night with blizzard skies and temperatures too cold for my youngest daughter to brave, I couldn't go to Midnight Mass:   it was the first time in many years that I had to miss it, and miss singing in the choir as well.  However, the good God saw fit to console me by allowing me to be present at all three Christmas Masses today, one after the other:  what perfect, unexpected joy!  Three Holy Masses on Christmas Day:  Heaven on earth!

 This year all four of my living children are with me, though my oldest son is quite ill just now.  My littlest one is spending another Christmas in Heaven, his ninth.  (Merry Christmas, Saint Thomas Edmund, whom I love so very much; as much as I miss you, I'm so happy that you are there with Our Blessed Mother.)

  Rivendell, the name which my children and I have given our little antique home on the Oregon Trail, is warm and snug in the midst of nearly a foot of snow;  it's lovely to look out at the perfect whiteness of it all from a toasty room while sipping hot tea all the while.  It is a happy home, thanks be to God, with good food and good friends wading through the snow to spend Christmas with us.

And to all of you wonderful friends I have met through this blog I send my thanks for your inspiring and encouraging words.  When I started writing "A Trail of Flowers" nearly a year ago as one of my New Year's resolutions I really had no idea what it would be, but it has become a channel through which the good God has connected me to friends I would have never met otherwise.  I am grateful for each and every one of you, and I promise to pray for your intentions as I ask for your prayers as well. Though he will not see this, I especially thank the one who inspired this blog in the first place;  may God bless him and all those he loves. God's ways are not our ways, thanks be to God:  they are so much better than we could ever imagine.  God is Love, and we must be His instruments.  May He use us all to do His will in this world so that we may all be with Him forever in the next.

A blessed Christmas to you all:  may it be for you the best one yet.

Blessed Christmas

My Christmas Rosary I say
For you upon this blessed day;
Each prayer a precious Christmas rose
To please the Baby Child, Who knows
How many joys I wish for you;
May every one of them come true!

Star of My Heart

"Star of my heart, I follow from afar.
Sweet Love on high, lead on where shepherds are,
Where time is not, and only dreamers are.
Star from of old, the Magi-Kings are dead
And a foolish Saxon seeks the manger-bed.
O lead me to Jehovah's Child
Across this dreamland lone and wild,
Then will I speak this prayer unsaid,
And kiss His little haloed head —
"My star and I, we love thee, little Child."
Except the Christ be born again to-night
In dreams of all men, saints and sons of shame,
The world will never see His kingdom bright.
Stars of all hearts, lead onward thro' the night
Past death-black deserts, doubts without a name,
Past hills of pain and mountains of new sin
To that far sky where mystic births begin,
Where dreaming ears the angel-song shall win.
Our Christmas shall be rare at dawning there,
And each shall find his brother fair,
Like a little child within:
All hearts of the earth shall find new birth
And wake, no more to sin."

--Vachel Lindsay

Hodie Christus natus est! A blessed Christmas to you and to those you love, dear readers.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Where have all the young Catholics gone? Please follow this link: share

Thank you, George.

Prepare in silence

Please follow this link to a very fine post:

Thank you, Anthony Buono.

The crib of Love

"And this shall be a sign unto you. You shall find the infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger."

--Saint Luke, 2:12

"Beloved, if God has so loved us, we also ought to love one another."

--Saint John, 4:11.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Feast of Saint Thomas

"Let us also go and die with Him." (Saint John, 11:15)

"Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe" (Saint John, 20:25)

"My Lord and my God !" (Saint John, 20:29)

Saint Thomas, pray for us.

Friday, December 18, 2009

O Adonai

(Thank you, Patricius.)

Good and evil

Eomer said, 'How is a man to judge what to do in such times?' 'As he has ever judged,' said Aragorn. 'Good and evil have not changed since yesteryear, nor are they one thing among Elves and another among Men. It is a man's part to discern them, as much in the Golden Wood as in his own house.'"

--J.R.R. Tolkien in The Two Towers

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Friendship and Life

"Friendship is the bread of the heart."

-- Mary Russell Mitford

"I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread that I will give, is my flesh for the life of the world."

-- Saint John, 6:51

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Singulare Ingenium

Thanks to Reverend Father Tim Finigan I have discovered a wonderful blog by Patricius, pictured above. It is: Please follow this link to read about the "O" antiphons and Tolkien--wondrous fair!

Brave and true

Electric communication will never be a substitute for the face of someone who with his soul encourages another person to be brave and true.”

--Charles Dickens

A friend

"No medicine is more valuable, none more efficacious, none better suited to the cure of all our temporal ills than a friend to whom we may turn for consolation in time of trouble, and with whom we may share our happiness in time of joy."

--Saint Alfred of Rievaulx

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Snowman

“We build statues out of snow, and weep to see them melt.”

--Sir Walter Scott

Monday, December 14, 2009

Take Heaven

"I salute you!
There is nothing I can give you which you have not;
but there is much, that, while I cannot give, you can take. No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today.
Take Heaven. No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present instant.
Take Peace. The gloom of the world is but a shadow; behind it, yet, within our reach, is joy.
Take Joy. And so . . . I greet you, with the prayer that for you,
now and forever, the day breaks and the shadows flee away."

--Fra Giovanni, early Italian Renaissance painter of religious subjects (A.D. 1513)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Gaudete Sunday

Rejoice! Christmas is near!

Saint Lucy

Seven years ago today, on her feast day, Saint Lucy answered my prayers and through her intercession my children and I now live in the home which we call "Rivendell"; a photograph of Saint Lucy's shrine in Syracuse has its place of honor on a little table near our front door in thanksgiving for this great favor.

It is also my youngest sister Kris's birthday: through Saint Lucy's intercession, she was cured of hemorrhage in her eye when she was only a few days old. Happy birthday, Kris!

Saint Lucy, thank you; and please pray for us.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Love sustains the world

“Faith in God opens man up to the horizon of a certain hope,” on which we can rely, so as to “abandon ourselves with trust into the hands of the Love that sustains the world.”

--Pope Benedict XVI, in a recent letter to the president of the Italian bishops' conference Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco

Thank you, Padre Steve for the original post:

Our Lady of Guadalupe

"Am I not here who am your Mother?
Are you not under my shadow and protection?
Am I not the fountain of your joy?
Are you not in the fold of my mantle, in the cradle of my arms?"

--words of Our Lady to Saint Juan Diego

Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas, pray for us.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Snow on sand

“Sunshine cannot bleach the snow,

Nor time unmake what poets know.”

--Ralph Waldo Emerson


“About the woodlands I will go

To see the cherry hung with snow.”

--A. E. Housman

Thursday, December 10, 2009

To be loved

"Love is sufficient of itself; it gives pleasure by itself and because of itself. It is its own merit, its own reward. Love looks for no cause outside itself, no effect beyond itself. Its profit lies in the practice. Of all the movements, sensations and feelings of the soul, love is the only one in which the creature can respond to the Creator and make some sort of similar return however unequal though it be. For when God loves, all He desires is to be loved in return. The sole purpose of His love is to be loved, in the knowledge that those who love Him are made happy by their love of Him."

--Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A good book

“You know you've read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend.”

--Paul Sweeney


“Courage is not the towering oak that sees storms come and go; it is the fragile blossom that opens in the snow.”

--Alice M. Swaim

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tota pulchra es Maria: The Feast of the Immaculate Conception

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.
Tota Pulchra es Maria by Durufle:

Monday, December 7, 2009

December 7, 1941

Please follow this link to a fine post on a real hero:

(Thank you, Allen.)

To tread the road

"Aliud est de silvestri cacumine videre patriam pacis. . . et aliud tenere viam illuc ducentum."

--Saint Augustine, Confessions, VII, xxi, as quoted by C. S. Lewis in Surprised By Joy: The Shape of My Early Life

("For it is one thing to see the land of peace from a wooded ridge. . . and another to tread the road that leads to it.")


Salve! For all Catholics, and in particular you Latin professors and teachers, I have posted the following link:

(Thank you, Carl Olson.)


“The mind wears the colors of the soul, as a valet those of his master.”

--Anne Sophie Swetchine

Sunday, December 6, 2009


"No man ever really finds out what he believes until he begins to instruct his children."

--Saint Francis Xavier

(On this feast of Saint Nicholas I pray that, at every moment, I am leading my children to God and not away from Him. Saint Nicholas, patron of children, pray for us.)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Southern Catholicism

Please view this very fine post from Recusant Catholic. The link is:


"The world was fair, the mountains tall

In Elder Days before the fall..."

--J.R.R. Tolkien in The Fellowship of the Ring

Friday, December 4, 2009

By what name...

"We call that person who has lost his father, an orphan; and a widower, that man who has lost his wife. But that man who has known that immense unhappiness of losing a friend, by what name do we call him? Here every language holds its peace in impotence."

--Joseph Roux

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Apostle to the Indies

"In te, Domine, speravi, non confundar in aeternum." (" In Thee, O Lord, have I hoped; let me never be confounded.")

--the last words of Saint Francis Xavier, S.J. as he died on Saturday, December 3, 1552.

Saint Francis Xavier, pray for us.


"We take care of our health, we lay up money, we make our roof tight and our clothing sufficient, but who provides wisely that he shall not be wanting in the best property of all--friends."

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
(The picture is of Saint Ignatius of Loyola and Saint Francis Xavier in Paris.)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


“Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you.”

--Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

God's Champion

"And touching our Societie, be it known to you that we have made a
league----all the Jesuits in the world, whose succession and multitude
must overreach all the practices of England----cheerfully to carry the
cross you shall lay upon us, and never to despair your recovery, while
we have a man left to enjoy your Tyburn, or to be racked with your
torments, or consumed with your prisons. The expense is reckoned,
the enterprise is begun; it is of God, it cannot be withstood.
So the Faith was planted: so it must be restored."

--Saint Edmund Campion's Challenge to the Privy Council, also known as Campion's Brag

Please follow these links to two excellent posts on Saint Edmund Campion who was martyred on December 1, 1581:
(Two other saints were also martyred with Saint Edmund Campion at Tyburn on this day in 1581. They are Saint Ralph Sherwin, a convert and secular priest, and Saint Alexander Briant, a Jesuit priest. Henry Walpole, a lapsed Catholic who was at the execution, was spattered there by a drop of Saint Edmund Campion's blood. Walpole soon after left England to become a Jesuit priest, and was himself later martyred at Tyburn.)

All you holy English martyrs, pray for us.

Salvete flores martyrum!