A very blessed feast of good St. John Bosco to you all! I just have to say that Lena has been churning out her most exceptional blog posts ever . . . really. And this was one of the most exceptional of her exceptional ones. My heart echoes every word, but of course only her words could put it that way to begin with.
I’ve been reading these posts of hers daily. I currently have a copy of Butler’s Lives of the Saints traveling towards me from the distant Amazon, for the purposes of increased spiritual reading, but Our Lord is unexpectedly providing me with my sister’s amazingness in the meantime. (Not that her amazingness is unexpected.)
Inwardly, I’m determined I’m going to submit all these posts somewhere once she’s gone to the convent and helpless about the fate of her former possessions 😉 Not many people have sisters like I do . . . no offense to any one else’s sisters, of course.
Please do follow Ut Cum Electis Videamus if you already don’t! You will be so blessed! 🙂
So yes . . . Around here. Two little words, such a lot that they can encompass.
So much has been on my mind: all these different vicissitudes of a person’s life that ebb and flow with strength and color, but are too much to post about. However, lately, my life has been one of rhythm (mostly) and work.
Getting up at 6 every morning is something to mention. The wonderful Dash has to do it for school 5 days a week, and I couldn’t exactly let him do it alone when I could (ahem, should) be acting upon the Heroic Minute already. The greatest benefit of it? Getting downstairs before everyone else (after Dad has left for work). Being the one to open the blinds, turn on the lamps, “wake up the living room,” and pray alone for a while. Essentially, I give Our Lord one paltry inch of effort; He bestows on me a mile of blessings.
This morning, I was offering my usual assortment of morning prayers, and meanwhile there was a gorgeous sunrise occurring over our backyard. (It was cold this morning, somewhere in the 20’s . . .) Skyward, there were striations of orange, pink and lavender, the sharp silhouette of a flying crow; and below, there was all this glimmering early sunlight that rose up over our deck, pushed through the living room windows, and spilled onto the carpet and couches.
I felt so grateful for the silence and stillness, the time to pray alone, and the opportunity to be joining with The Dash in the Heroic Minute. And then I looked up at the image of the Sacred Heart and had a moment of self-knowledge. (By which I mean the real kind . . .) O Lord, I can do this for the love of another human being, through the spirit of mutual assistance, but so far I haven’t proven myself willing to do it just for the love of Thee; not for very long. I’m sorry.
And yet, how good God is: He knows intimately my weakness and has provided me a pathway to growing in yet another virtue through this courtship. I am so undeserving of His gentle love towards me.
Mass this morning was at Sarasota with Fr. Bartholomew. The Propers for St. John Bosco are distinctly beautiful. Lena wrote about this topic so eloquently, but I have to parrot her just a little, now that she’s taught me how to feel about St. John Bosco. If it weren’t for him, if it weren’t for his holy passion towards the formation of Godly young men and the orders and traditions that sprang from that, our family really might not have Fraternus–we really might not have the Latin Mass as our foundation and joy. What a thought.
But back to the Propers. Don’t you love the Introit?
God gave to him wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart as the sand that is on the sea shore. (Psalm) Praise the Lord, ye children: praise ye the name of the Lord.
And Jesus calling unto Him a little child, set him in the midst of them, and said: Amen I say to you, unless you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, he is the greater in the kingdom of heaven and he that shall receive one such little child in My name, receiveth Me.
And the Offertory . . .
Come, children, hearken to me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
How I desire to have St. John Bosco’s largeness of heart and his zeal for childlike souls! I pray that, God-willing, I will be given that great blessing of being a mother, to have the joy of rearing and forming children in the fear of the Lord, after his example.
Segueing from this thought: Yesterday, in a fit of zealous spontaneity, I raided my mother’s bookshelf as a way of additional vocation preparation.
We and Our Children: How to Make a Catholic Home filled me with particular excitement. The first two sentences of the back cover blurb are more enticing than a dark chocolate bar. Quite seriously.
How does one develop a space for one’s children free from the worst aspects of the surrounding culture? How to foster a spiritual life where children can develop a vision of God, themselves, and the world, and an approach to Him through prayer and the habits of daily life?
Do tell me!!!
This volume was published in the 50’s, back when the Old Calendar/Latin Mass was still the norm, and I would naturally expect a more traditional tenor for the book . . . the very first page had me.
If we must face the fact that death is inevitable (and we certainly must) and that eternity begins right on its heels, then to imitate the saints is not impractical, but quite as practical as it is possible to be . . . And when you realize that the spiritual life thrives in proportion as we cultivate the life of God in our souls, then to attempt a spirituality like the saints’ is the only kind of living that makes sense.
The table of contents informs me that this book will be much-beloved by me as I eagerly anticipate the possibilities of my future vocation. This is my favorite paragraph so far, taken from the first chapter:
That he is loved by God is very easy for a child to believe. He is hungry to be loved, and it is a hunger God planted in him. His reaction to the knowledge of God’s love is perfect faith. It is no accident, nor is it a matter of taking advantage of his emptiness of knowledge. The virtue of faith is his at the moment of Baptism, infused into his soul by the Holy Spirit. What we see happening in our children when we introduce the revelation that there is a God and He loves them, is inevitable. It is the first movement in them of the divine virtue of faith, responding to the word of God. It slips into the life of a child so easily, so without fanfare or excitement, that we hardly notice that it has happened.
The other books intrigued me for their similar themes, though they fall slightly more onto the homeschooling side of things than the domestic church side. Designing Your Classical Curriculum particularly interested me, due to the fact that the co-op at which I tutor is built off the Classical Trivium method of learning (grammar, logic/dialectic, and rhetoric).
Moving on . . .
Today, the last day of the month, is traditionally my day to redo all my calendars, and have a look at my schedule for the upcoming month; I love getting organized (although that implies that I generally have some disorganization to climb out of . . .).
I also took the time to plan and organize my materials for next week’s co-op class. I used lots of color-coordinated Sharpies and felt quite happy 🙂
The remainder of today will involve me rounding up my brother and his mind for a waltz through grammar and more of Enemy Brothers (hopefully). The guys will be off to Fraternus and the Donellan ladies will have a blissful reunion with our beloved Little Men.
Lena and I’s TLM prayer group has been reading through A Map of Life, and for our last meeting we read and discussed Sheed’s incredible passages on the Holy Trinity (along with a lot more . . .). I think it’s been making me contemplate the Holy Trinity much more lately . . . every time I bless myself, in particular . . . which can’t be a bad thing . . .
In thus setting down some of the elements of what God has revealed to us of His own innermost life (i.e., the Trinity of Persons), it is clear that the mystery remains, but it is mystery in the sense indicated earlier in this chapter–the reconciliation remains invisible to us, but it is rather the invisibility that comes from too much light than from sheer darkness. Thus it is an invitation to the mind. Already, the mind is freed by it from the awful weight of God conceived as solitary in infinity, with no adequate object of His infinite love. And new richness comes into our contemplation of human nature: thus human fatherhood is an immeasurably greater thing as a shadow of the Divine Fatherhood than it could ever be in its own right: the human soul is only the more like to God for its faculties of intellect and will, since in God Thought (i.e., the Son) and Love (i.e., the Holy Ghost) not only exist, but. subsist as Persons: and the Unity of the Church takes on a new immensity when Christ proposes as its model the Unity of the Triune God.
I listened to a talk by Fr. Ripperger the other day on fasting . . . a clarion call for the upcoming holy season of Lent. It has strongly re-motivated me to cultivate this virtue. Do find it on Sensus Traditionis and listen to it . . . and don’t forget to comply with the requirements of Penanceware afterwards 😉
I recently realized that, next week, The Dash and I will already be at 5 whole months of courtship! How is that even possible?!? I am so blessed. Our good God is teaching me every day, through this man, how to grow in largeness of heart.
Have a lovely remainder of your day! And let’s all keep praying for Baby Isaac’s complete miraculous healing . . . Mater amabilis, ora pro nobis.