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New Year Ideas for Catholic Moms

Simplify Your Life This New Year!

If we had any possessions we should be forced to have arms to protect them, since possessions are a cause of disputes and strife, and in many ways we should be hindered from loving God and our neighbor. Therefore, in this life, we wish to have no temporal possessions. – St. Francis of Assisi

St. Francis - Sermon to the Birds - Giotto

St. Francis – Sermon to the Birds – Giotto di Bondone

 Enrich Your Life!

Simplicity is a spiritual practice that can greatly challenge our way of life and greatly enrich our way of life. St. Francis of Assisi and his followers saw the discipline of simplicity as a garden from which all other spiritual virtues grow. They saw it as an important prerequisite to our being both fully human and fully spiritual. Francis saw wealth and our attachment to possessions as something that enslaves our souls and hinders communion and union with God.

Jesus, at His Sermon on the Mount said: “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important that food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them… And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do no labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?”

Hopefully, with Faith, we can take Jesus at His word. This doesn’t mean, get rid of every stitch of clothing you own… that would be very impractical. It means… don’t be so concerned. Do you really need 20 pairs of shoes? How about 2 or 3?

Distinguish Between Your Wants and Needs

How do we decide what we really need and what we want? Not all wants are bad… we are spiritual creatures who desire beauty and joy and other intangibles to thrive. What is bad is excessive wants and excessive indulgences.

Here is a simple formula: Food is a need. Specific types of foods cooked specific ways are wants… especially when we become attached to a “certain food” and must have them on a regular basis. Try to remember that food is fuel. Then when you have an occasion of a special meal or special food you will appreciate it all the more.

Clothing is a need, however, designer clothing and only wearing specific brands is a want. Clothing is to provide covering and warmth… not to make a statement (unless it’s one of simplicity or modesty).

Moderation

The book of Sirach speaks on moderation: Moderate eating ensures sound slumber and a clear mind next day on rising… In whatever you do, be moderate, and no sickness will befall you.

One way of simplifying your eating may be to Fast one day per week. Jesus fasted. St. Francis fasted and many of the other Saints fasted. There are many physical as well as Spiritual benefits to fasting. Also, food tastes better when we eat it in moderation. Fasting on bread and water helps one to empathize with the hunger of the poor, and it enhances the power of the mind.

Simplify your wardrobe with moderation. Focus on having a few basic outfits that can be modified, instead of having a “crammed full closet” of expensive and hardly worn clothes. If you don’t wear them… give them to the poor! Store up your treasure in heaven. Storing clothes for some future event doesn’t work… they disintegrate!

“One goes more quickly to heaven from a hut than from a palace.” – St. Francis of Assisi

St. Francis Renounces all Worldly Goods - Giotto

St. Francis Renounces all Worldly Goods – Giotto

If You Really Love Something… Give It Away!

If you have a favorite item that you have become very attached to… give it away. You will feel such freedom! It is never a good idea to become attached to things. We want to be dependent on God alone. If you can’t take it to Heaven… it’s probably something you don’t really need.

The practice of simplicity is not easy or simple. It is hard to give up things… things you want, things that are sentimental, and things that make your life easier… but the reward will be spiritual closeness to God and freedom.

God’s Pruning Shear

“Simplicity is God’s pruning shear, which cuts back the tangled branches of our lives, enabling us to begin living freely, sharing generously, and loving deeply.” – John Michael Talbot

Pray about simplifying your life. Ask God to show you ways to simplify.

John Michael Talbot suggests the following prayer: “God, give me new eyes to see my life as you see it. And give me a new heart to sense the difference between my wants and my needs. Give me compassion for the suffering of the world and a willingness to help those who are hurting. Amen.”

 “The Lessons of St. Francis” by John Michael Talbot inspired this article and can give you more ideas on “How to Bring Simplicity and Spirituality into Your Daily Life”.

Have a Blessed New Year! Remember to Simplify and to Pray More!

Renée Winkeljohn

CatholicMoms.com & SaintsMarket.com

[*Copywrited article – please feel free to link to this, but do not copy it without permission.]

 

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Advent – How to Prepare for Christmas

During the Four Weeks of Advent We Prepare for the Christ Child
 Nativity Scene - Birth of Jesus

Advent is a time to get ready for the Christmas Feast Day. There are many ways to get ready including: prayer, daily devotions, novenas, and fasting. We as Catholics have many helpful tools such as: advent wreaths, nativity scenes, Christmas movies and movies about the Saints, cooking, and decorating our homes.

 

Prayer Should Increase
During this busy time, it is essential that we set aside a special time for prayer and mediation. Not only is this a very stressful time… but it is easy to lose the meaning of Christmas in all the preparations. Set aside time to pray alone and time to have devotions with your family. An Advent Wreath is a great tool for family devotions. Each week, gather around your wreath and pray… then light one Advent Candle on the wreath. The children will look forward to this devotion and will always remember it.

Buy Celtic Green Advent Wreath

Advent Wreath


 
We can also set up a Nativity Scene in our home. Save the baby Jesus and the three Wise men for the appropriate time. On Christmas Day, put baby Jesus in the crèche; on the Feast of Epiphany, put the three Wise men in your Nativity Scene. The Nativity Set can also be used as a devotional tool. Pick readings from the Gospel and read them around the Nativity Set. Let the children arrange the figures accordingly to the verse.

 
Spend Time with Family
Family time is very important during the Advent Season. Cooking, watching movies, playing cards or board games and just spending time together is important. Slow Down! Take the time to enjoy the season. Let the children help decorate the tree. Make a special treat and watch a Christmas Movie. Some of my favorites include: “A Wonderful Life”, “Going My Way”, “Home Alone”, and “The Santa Claus”, “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas”, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”, and “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” …. “Shrek the Halls” has a good message about putting up with annoying relatives and family. It’s ok to watch movies that are about Santa and other fun holiday things… just make sure that the message is clear about the reason we celebrate this season! Jesus, King of Kings and Lord of Lords is Born!!! Pick out some Nativity movies to watch and mix them in.

 
Decorate Your Home and Make Special Foods
Beautiful things and foods make us love this season. Hang the most beautiful picture of the Holy Family that you can find in a prominent place. Our Catholic Faith is beautiful… take full advantage of it this Christmas Season. Hang greenery and lights… this is a wonderful Celebration! The King is born! Prepare for the King by: setting up a Christmas tree, hanging special decorations, light the outside of your home, at Christmas Dinner use special China, play Christmas music… make sure some of it is religious hymns, light candles and light a special candle for the Christ Child, make special foods, play the piano, think of a special cooking of crafting project to do with your kids or god children.

 
The King is Coming, Prepare for Him!

Visit the Saints Market Catholic Store for More Advent Ideas: Advent Wreaths, Nativity Sets, Saint Nicholas and Holy Family Statues, and Advent Books!

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Our Lady of Mt Carmel and the Brown Scapular

Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Our Lady of
Mount Carmel
and
the
Brown Scapular

Find Our More About this Beautiful Sacramental and Devotion…

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Legalized Abortion the Reason for the Possession of Man Pope Francis Exorcised, Exorcist Says

by Hilary White, Rome Correspondent
(Thursday, May 30, 2013 13:07 EST)

ROME, May 30, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A video that appeared to show Pope Francis conducting an impromptu exorcism has gone viral in the Catholic world and beyond, and now this week a leading exorcist has said that the man was suffering from demonic influence related to abortion in his native Mexico.

The video shows Pope Francis greeting and blessing sick and disabled pilgrims in St. Peter’s piazza after the Mass on Pentecost Sunday, May 19. When he reaches a young man in a wheelchair, he stops to bless him and has a brief word with his care-giver. As the pope places both hands on the man’s head and bows his own head in prayer, the man slumps down in his wheelchair and appears to start panting in distress. A moment later, the man calms and the pope moves on. One of the pope’s assistants takes a sheaf of papers from the care-giver.

The Italian bishops’ conference television agency, TV2000, reported that this unusual event was definitely either an exorcism or a prayer for deliverance. But the next day Vatican spokesman, Fr. Federico Lombardi, denied this, saying that Pope Francis did not “intend” to conduct an exorcism that day.

“The Holy Father did not intend to perform any exorcism,” Fr. Lombardi said. “As he often does with sick and suffering people who are presented to him, he simply intended to pray for the suffering person.”

But the man, who has now been identified by the name “Angel V.,” recently gave an exclusive interview in Rome to the Spanish daily, El Mundo.

The 43-year-old father said he came to Rome from the Mexican state of Michoacán and said he has seen at least 10 priests, including the celebrated exorcist Gabriele Amorth, to deal with his possession, but all had failed.

Father Juan Rivas, a priest of the Legionaries of Christ, accompanied Angel to Rome told El Mundo that he revealed the man’s situation to the pope that afternoon. Rivas said he told Pope Francis, “Holiness, this person needs a blessing, he has had more than 30 exorcisms and the demons that live in him do not want to leave him.”

Fr. Amorth, the renowned expert on demonic possession has many times confirmed that participation in the act of abortion is one that will leave a person open to demonic influence, if not outright possession.

Fr. Amorth later told RAI, the Italian state broadcaster, that he had subsequently conducted an exorcism on Angel and had determined that he was possessed by four demons and that the infestation was related to the legalization of abortion in Mexico City.  Fr Amorth told El Mundo, “Angel is a good man, he has been chosen by the Lord to send a message to the Mexican clergy and bishops to tell them they have to make an act of reparation for the horrific abortion law passed in Mexico City in 2007, which marks an outrage to Our Lady. Until they do this Angel will not be liberated. ”

Fr. Amorth told media that the pope’s prayer was definitely one of exorcism, that as a bishop and the pope Francis was automatically entitled to conduct such a prayer, even without the Church’s formal ritual.

Amorth, who trains exorcists and is the head of the International Association of Exorcists, said the pope’s exorcism will help to balance the growth of atheism that includes disbelief in the devil.

“We live in an age in which God has been forgotten. And wherever God is not present, the Devil rules,” said Amorth. “Today, unfortunately, bishops don’t appoint sufficient exorcists. We need many more. I hope that Rome will send out directives to bishops around the world calling on them to appoint more exorcists.”

Speaking to the Sunday Times in the UK, Fr. Amorth said, “I will ask the pope to give all priests the power to carry out exorcisms, and to ensure priests are properly trained for these starting with the seminary. There’s a huge demand for them.”

by Hilary White, Rome Correspondent

From Life Site News: http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/legalized-abortion-the-reason-for-the-possession-of-man-pope-francis-exorci

Reposted on the CatholicMoms.com web site.

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Kansas Set to Enact Life-Starts- “at Fertilization” Abortion Law

(Reuters) – Kansas is set to enact one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation which defines life as beginning “at fertilization” and imposes a host of new regulations.

The Kansas House of Representatives passed the bill 90-30 on Friday night, a few hours after the Senate backed it on a 28-10 vote. Strongly anti-abortion Republican Governor Sam Brownback is expected to sign it into law. Republicans hold strong majorities in both houses. Continue reading

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Lenten Reflection – Pope Saint Gregory the Great

Pope Saint Gregory the Great - Lenten Reflection

Pope Saint Gregory the Great by Bartolo di Fredi

The glory of these forty days we celebrate with songs of praise;

For Christ, by whom all things were made,
Himself has fasted and has prayed.

Alone and fasting Moses saw the loving God who gave the law.
And to Elijah, fasting, came the steeds and chariots of flame.
So Daniel trained his mystic sight, delivered from the lion’s might. And John, the Bridegroom’s friend, became the herald of Messiah’s name.

Then grant us, Lord, like them to be full oft in fast and prayer with Thee;
Our spirits strengthen with Thy grace, and give us joy to see Thy face.

- Pope Gregory the Great

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Serving size: 1 Calories: 2 Fat: 4 Saturated fat: 5 Unsaturated fat: 6 Carbohydrates: 7 Sugar: 3 Fiber: 8 Protein: 9 Cholesterol: 10

 

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Item #3


Blue Scapular – Mary Immaculate Conception


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Item #2


Sterling Silver Miraculous Pendant


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