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St. Therese’s dying words were: “I will let fall a shower of roses after my death.”

I didn’t plant this lone rose. It was a surprise when I first saw it grow up out of no where. I didn’t even know what it was until I saw the bud a couple of days ago. This was taken Monday and it is now is now in full bloom!  What a gift to me in my time of struggle! There are some struggles that you can’t share with family and friends. So, my only companions lately have been the church triumphant. This has been a real comfort to me, although sometimes my mind is tempted to feel silly – as if I have imaginary friends! Oh, how we are tempted to have no faith! I don’t know why this pops in my head sometimes, but I immediately reject it because the Saints have shown me many times that they are praying for me.  In the last few weeks I have had many little miracles (to me anyway)from the Saints to get me through tough times. They are our great friends, brothers and sisters in Christ. They help me so much by comforting me and interceding for me. Thank you Padre Pio, St. Michael and St. Therese!!!

This in one of those times! Thank you St. Therese, you have tought me so much and I hope I have made you proud in following your little way and offering up all my sufferings. Even my little daily struggles.

A quote that I love and has required much learning of me to understand is this one –

Agree to be that little child. Through the practice of all the virtues, raise your little foot to scale the stairway of holiness. You won’t succeed in reaching the first step, but God requires you only to demonstrate your good will. Soon, conquered by your futile efforts, He will descend Himself, gather you up in His arms, and carry you off to His kingdom forever… Agree to stumble at every step, even to fall, to carry your crosses weakly; love your helplessness, your soul will benefit more from it than if, sustained by grace, you accomplished with enthusiasm heroic actions which would fill your soul with personal satisfaction and pride. With Empty Hands  Thank you to a lovely friend who has helped me understand this quote more fully!

 St. Therese, please continue to pray for me!!

This was our Lunch from yesterday for St. Jerome’s Feast Day Sept. 30th. These were so easy to make and they were yummy! My son loved the story of the porcupines of God.

I got this recipe and the below info from an email from Suzanne Fowler of the Lightweigh program. She has so many great ideas and I love the program! Here is the Recipe:

St. Jerome Porcupine Meatballs 

 

Feast Day: September 30th

 

            These look like little porcupines because the rice sticks out.  

 

Serves 4-5

  

1 beaten egg

1 can tomato soup, undiluted and divided

1/4 c. long grain rice, uncooked

1/2 t. onion powder

1/4 t. pepper

1 lb. lean ground beef

1 t. Worcestershire sauce

1/2 c. water

 

     Combine egg, 1/4 c. of soup, uncooked rice, onion powder and pepper.  Add the beef and mix well.  Shape into 20 meatballs.  Place in large skillet.  Mix the remaining soup with the Worcestershire sauce and 1/2 c. water; pour this mixture over the meatballs.  Bring to boil and reduce heat.  Cover and simmer, stirring often for about 20 minutes or until no pink remains in the meal and the rice is tender.

 

 

St. Jerome Porcupine Meatballs

(341-420) 

 

Feast Day:  September 30th

Patron of:  Librarians and Scripture Scholars

Priest and Doctor of the Church 

 

     “For those who love nothing is hard, and no task is difficult, if your desire is great.”  ~St. Jerome

 

     St. Jerome is pictured with a lion.  When he lived in the desert, he removed a thorn from a lion’s paw and the lion remained his constant companion.  Jerome was born in Italy and raised a Catholic.  He went to school in Rome.  He was very smart and studied to become a lawyer.  Jerome had taken a Roman senator named Cicero as his model in rhetoric (the art of speaking effectively).  Traveling to Antioch in 374, Jerome became ill.  He had a very high fever and had a dream that he was standing before Jesus being judged.  Jesus asked Jerome, “Who are you?”  Jerome replied, “I am a Christian.”  Jesus responded, “You are a Ciceronian, not a Christian.”  After the dream, Jerome realized he could not serve two masters; the world and Christ.  He left to go live in the desert for four years, where he studied Hebrew and wrote the life of St. Paul of Thebes.  Later Jerome was ordained a priest and was asked to serve as secretary to Pope St. Damasus in Rome, from 382 to 385.  Pope St. Damasus asked Jerome to translate a Latin version of the Bible that could be understood by the common people.  At this time, Latin was the language of the common people, but the Bible was written in Hebrew for the Old Testament and Greek for the New Testament.  St. Jerome set about translating the two and his version is known as the Vulgate, which meant in Latin “for the common people.”  St. Jerome had a strong temper and made many enemies because he was uncompromising in his beliefs.  He aggressively fought heresies, which were constantly trying to twist the truth and ultimately destroy the Catholic Faith.  Despite his harsh side, St. Jerome was always compassionate and gentle with those who were struggling and those who were poor.  He was a brilliant man, who was constantly trying to overcome his own weaknesses.  He performed many acts of penance and spent time living in a cave until his death.  St. Augustine said of St. Jerome, “What Jerome is ignorant of, no mortal has ever known.”  St. Jerome founded, with St. Paula, a monastery for men and a convent for women in the Holy Land.  St. Jerome left this world from the city Jesus entered the world.  Jerome died in Bethlehem in 420.  St. Jerome’s scriptural works have remained unsurpassed in the history of the Church.  He was a genius. 

     These porcupine meatballs are named for St. Jerome because God needs His doves, but He also needs His porcupines!  Often times people who have a passion and love for the truth seem like porcupines to “the world.”  This is because the world pursues comfort; and it is hard to sleep around a porcupine.  St. Jerome upset people because their souls could not sleep in his presence.  A porcupine for God understands that while the truth can be hard; turning away from the truth, though it may seem easier, is always harder in the end.

 

Also, you can celebrate with your children with this fun way I made lion PB&J sandwiches. Read how I made them here

 

My Patron Saint is St. Michael, so this was a special day for my family! St. Michael has shown me a few times that he himself  helps to protect me and I am forever grateful for the gift of his protection for me and for all of us.

This is the first year that we were able to celebrate this way. It is such a blessing that I homeschool and am able to spend the time centering our day around  the Liturgical year. (when I am organized enough to pull it off anyway!)

First, it is not a surprise that I go here and here to learn more and to get great ideas. I thought I would try the recipe given by both sites for St. Michael Bannocks. The recipe calls for Barley flour, oats and rye meal. Ok- I went to several stores and couldn’t find this. I did find barley, oat meal and rye flour. …I figured I’d give it a try. I ground the Barley as fine as I could get it — the oats too. I figured the rye flour would be ok but I knew I would have to add a little a lot more all purpose flour then what the recipe called for. I messed up the greased skillet technic until about half way through the batch…LOL Finaly I got the hang of it when I remembered that it was similar to making Indian Fry Bread which I had made years ago…except much less grease. It tasted good if you dip it in honey butter. Alone, it is also good — but real healthy/hearty tasting. In my house this means it will get eaten only if it has butter and honey on it!

 

Next we moved on to deviled eggs! Yum — my kids actual love egg salad sandwches so this was an easy sale 😉 We speared the deviled eggs to remember how St. Micheal threw Satan out of heaven. 

 

We also read that legend has it that when Satan was thrown out by St. Michael, he landed in a blackberry patch. So he curses all blackberry patches on this day. I have read that is why Blackberries are harvested before St. Michael’s Feast day. So, what else but to go and buy these!

Very tart! We loved them though and ate plenty. 

For dinner we had Italian styled peper beef, angel hair pasta and carrots. Carrots were traditionaly pulled up to harvest in a special ritual way by the eldest daughter of the family on St. Michaelmas Day.  I didn’t have the money to buy goose — which is the traditional meal. I just bought what was on sale, which has nothing to do with the Feast except for the angel hair pasta. I didn’t bother taking a picture of that — you all know what angel hair pasta looks like 😉

We did get lucky with this recipe for Angel food cake with pineapple cream and berries on top. This is where the blackberries were meant for. Note for those of you following the recipe — when you mix the filling, put it in the fridge for a bit before spreading it. I didn’t do this, so it dripped and gooed so much that I just made it cover the outside as well instead of just the between layers. It really was easy and was soooo yummy!

We ended the day with an Angel craft. My kids had been asking for popcorn, so this seemed fit for the craft. Also a way to teach my 3 1/2 yr old textures and colors. They had fun making their angels!

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were blessed with a wonderful day! Go check our Catholic Cuisine for more ideas for next year and participate in the fairs to come. Next one is Sept. 2 for our Guardian Angels.

We also talked about St. Raphael and read  the book of Tobit. This is such a wonderful story about the Archangel Raphael, and makes me wonder how many of us have encountered an angel who came to our aid.

Also saying the Angelus is a way to celebrate St. Gabriel at the Annunciation.

St. Michael guide and pray for my family. Protect us in our struggles

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, cast into Hell, Satan and all the other evil spirits, who wander throughout the world, seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Feast of Padre Pio

 

Oh how I love my Padre Pio! He has prayed for me when I ask and as shown me that my prayers were answered in wonderful ways!  He is such a powerful intercessor in my life. He has helped me to see my weaknesses and has helped clean me up for my Lord. I am learning more and more to die to myself and live for  Christ and what he wants for me. 

Here is a excerpt from the beatification homily of his Holiness Pope John Paul II for Padre Pio on May 2 1999. This helps me to understand obedience

Bl. (Now Saint) Pio of Pietrelcina shared in the Passion with a special intensity: the unique gifts which were given to him, and the interior and mystical sufferings which accompanied them, allowed him constantly to participate in the Lord’s agonies, never wavering in his sense that “Calvary is the hill of the saints”.

4. No less painful, and perhaps even more distressing from a human point of view, were the trials which he had to endure as a result, it might be said, of his incomparable charisms. It happens at times in the history of holiness that, by God’s special permission, the one chosen is misunderstood. In that case, obedience becomes for him a crucible of purification, a path of gradual assimilation to Christ, a strengthening of true holiness. In this regard, Bl. Pio wrote to one of his superiors: “I strive only to obey you, the good God having made known to me the one thing most acceptable to him and the one way for me to hope for salvation and to sing of victory” (Letter I, p. 807).

When the “storm” broke upon him, he took as his rule of life the exhortation of the First Letter of Peter, that we have just heard: Come to Christ, a living stone (cf. 1 Pt 2:4). He himself thus became a “living stone” for the building of that spiritual house which is the Church. For this we today give thanks to the Lord.

Read in full beatification here and the canonization here. His biography here and info here.

Here are a couple of prayers Padre Pio recited that I enjoy.

O Jesus, impart to me also that same strength, when my weak nature foreseeing future evils rebels, so that like Thou, I may accept with serene peace and tranquility all the pains and distress which I may meet on this earth of exile. I unite all to Thy merits, to Thy pains, Thy ex­piations, Thy tears, that I may cooperate with Thee for my salvation and flee from sin, which was the sole cause of making Thee sweat blood and which led Thee to death. Destroy in me everything that does not please Thee, and with the sacred fire of Thy love write Thy sufferings into my heart. Hold me so closely to Thee, with a bond so tight and so sweet, that I shall never again abandon Thee in Thy Sufferings. May I be able to rest on Thy Heart to obtain comfort in the sufferings of life. May my spirit have no other desire but to live at Thy side in the Garden and unite itself to the pains of Thy Heart. May my soul be inebriated with Thy Blood and feed itself with the bread of Thy suffer­ings. Amen.

Also this prayer for after Holy Communion

Padre Pio’s Prayer After Holy Communion

Stay with me, Lord, for it is necessary to have You present so that I do not forget You; You know how easily I abandon You.

Stay with me, Lord, because I am weak and I need Your strength, that I may not fall so often.

Stay with me, Lord, for You are my life and without You I am without fervor.

Stay with me, Lord, for You are my light and without You I am in darkness.

Stay with me, Lord, to show me Your will.

Stay with me, Lord, so that I hear Your voice and follow You.

Stay with me, Lord, for I desire to love You very much and alway be in Your company.

Stay with me, Lord, if You wish me to be faithful to You.

Stay with me, Lord, as poor as my soul is I want it to be a place of consolation for You, a nest of Love.

Stay with me, Jesus, for it is getting late and the day is coming to a close and life passes, death, judgment and eternity approaches.

It is necessary to renew my strength, so that I will not stop along the way and for that, I need You.

It is getting late and death approaches, I fear the darkness, the temptations, the dryness, the cross, the sorrows.

O how I need You, my Jesus, in this night of exile!

Stay with me tonight, Jesus, in life with all its dangers, I need You.

Let me recognize You as Your disciples did at the breaking of the bread, so that the Eucharistic Communion be the Light which disperses the darkness, the force which sustains me, the unique joy of my heart.

Stay with me, Lord, because at the hour of my death, I want to remain united to You, if not by Communion, at least by grace and love.

Stay with me, Lord, for it is You alone I look for, Your Love, Your Grace, Your Will, Your Heart, Your Spirit, because I love You and ask no other reward but to love You more and more.

With a firm love, I will love You with all my heart while on earth and continue to love You perfectly during all eternity.

Amen.

We are going to Feast today on this Italian dish in his memory! Padre Pio pray for us!

Go on over to Catholic Cuisine and check out this weeks fair.

From the collect:

God our Father,
in obedience to you your only Son accepted death on the Cross for the salvation of mankind.
We acknowledge the mystery of the Cross on earth. May we receive the gift of redemption in heaven.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

This is a nice easy to remember prayer for the children to learn for today – “Through the sign of the Cross deliver us from our enemies, O our God!”.

Pics to come (having trouble uploading them)

 This is one of my family’s most enjoyed meals.  I am so happy that I ran across the Menu’s for Mom’s site!   I wanted to make this to teach my family about that tradition holds that sweet basil grew over the hill where St. Helena found the Holy Cross, so in Greece the faithful are given sprigs of basil by the priest. I loved learning more about the history of the Cross. Learn more here and here.

Chicken with Basil Cream Sauce over Angel Hair Pasta (menus4moms)

1/4 C. milk
1/4 C. dry bread crumbs
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 T. butter or margarine ( I add olive oil if it gets dry)
1 T. olive oil
1/2 C. chicken broth (I use a little more than this)
1 C. heavy whipping cream
1 4-oz. jar diced pimientos, drained (I don’t include these)
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese ( I add a bit more)
1/4 C. minced fresh basil (or 1 t. dried*)
1/8 t. pepper
1 t. cornstarch
angel hair pasta, cooked

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place milk and bread crumbs in separate shallow bowls. Dip chicken in milk, then coat with bread crumbs. In skillet over medium heat, brown chicken on both sides in butter and olive oil. Remove and place in preheated oven and bake until no longer pink.
Add broth to skillet. Bring to a boil over medium heat and stir to loosen browned bits from pan bottom. Stir in whipping cream and pimientos, boil and stir for 1 minute. Reduce heat. Stir in Parmesan, basil and pepper and cook until heated through. Mix cornstarch with extra chicken broth and stir into skillet if needed to thicken sauce. Pour over chicken. Serve over angel hair pasta.

For the angel hair pasta,  you can just use it plain since the sauce can be poured over it. I just saute a tbsp of butter and, 2 garlic cloves with a few sprinkles of basil and stir it into the hot pasta.

 

For desert I made cross shaped crusted Eagle brand brownies — they are the best brownies you will ever have! Here is the recipe:

1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup cold margarine or butter
1 (14-ounce) can Eagle® Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 (8-ounce) milk chocolate chunks or choc chips
3/4 cups chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350º. Line 13×9-inch baking pan with foil; set aside.

In bowl, combine 1 cup flour and sugar; cut in butter until crumbly. Press on bottom of pan. Bake 15 minutes.

In another bowl, beat Eagle® Brand, cocoa, egg, remaining 1/4 cup flour, vanilla and baking powder. Mix in chocolate pieces and nuts. Spread over prepared crust. Bake 20 min.(it takes about 25 min) or until set.

Cool and lift out pan. use a cookie cutter or cut around a cardboard heart template using a knife. Decorate with icing or gels if desired. Store covered.

Source: Eagle Brand. Eagle Brand is a registered trademark of Eagle Family Foods, Inc.

For the icingI make my own no-cook fudge frosting from the Better Homes and Garden Cook Book. It is sooo easy.

4 3/4 sifted pwdered sugar
½ cup unsweetened coca pwder
½ butter, softened
1/3 cup boiling water
1 tsp vanilla

( I half this recipe if I am only doing one batch of brownies)

Combine the dry ingredients first. Add others and beat with an electric mixer for one minute on med Speed.

I made a bowl of jello mixed with lime and a blue berry flavor and mixed it together (to look like earth) and served it on the plate with the cross brownie. This showed the kids how Jesus dying on the cross for us was a triumph for the sins of the world, our redeemer. ( a portion of our jello earth was eaten by my little spitfire! She is sneaky!)

I had the kids choose from a few crafts to help teach them that we unite our suffering with his. That suffering is a true gift that alows us to enter into the mystery of the Mystical Body of Christ. He is the head, we are his body — the church militant (us) , the suffering (in purgatory) and the triumphant (in heaven). I have been forced to understand this on a new level through a new cross I had to carry this week and will be carrying for a long time.  When we let good come of our suffering, we do not know of the many miracles we allow God to work through us. Carry your cross with the help of God’s grace for the good of his church. We are so blessed to be allowed participate in the redemptive suffering of Christ on the Cross, so then also we are a part of the triumphant Cross.  

Col 1:24

Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church, of which I am a minister in accordance with God’s stewardship given to me to bring to completion for you the word of God, the mystery hidden from ages and from generations past. But now it has been manifested to his holy ones, to whom God chose to make known the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; it is Christ in you, the hope for glory. It is he whom we proclaim, admonishing everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. For this I labor and struggle, in accord with the exercise of his power working within me.

Yesterday was the Feast of the birth of Mary.

I would love to one day be able to plant a Mary Garden.  If you don’t know what that is (like me just a few hours ago) then click here and learn all about it 🙂

I was out running errands all day yesterday, but next year I hope that we are able to make a nice birthday cheesecake like this.

Thank you St. Anne and Joachim for raising our Mother Mary! Pray for me to be a good mother to my children.