Catholic Family Vignettes

A collage of literary snapshots from the life of a large traditional Catholic family


May 10, 2010

Daybook: May days…

Visit Peggy at The Simple Woman for more Daybook entries!

FOR TODAY – May 10th, 2010

Outside My Window: Crowing roosters, soft breezes, cool temperatures and a gorgeous blue sky.  A warm, wet week ahead…

I am Listening to: the distant rumble of the mini bike as Abigail is puttering around the farm…soft mewing of two tiny kittens who’ve spent the past few weeks inside with their momma…I’m such a soft-touch for kittens…

I am wearing : blue jeans, crocs and a polar fleece sweater.  Still in the 50’s…hope to shed a couple layers as it warms up...

I am Thankful For: I had the very best Mother’s Day.  Mass was lovely, fellowship delightful, hubby fixed lunch and dinner, children cleaned up afterwards and I was showered with gifts throughout the day.  Back…to…reality!

I am Reading: Fatherless is killing me.  It’s heartbreaking and oh-so-accurate in portraying the current crisis of faith in our society.  I’ve never read a book so slowly…it’s painful.

From the Kitchen: Bagels and Nutella with hot coffee for Mom…a cold cereal day for the kiddies.  Dad isn’t feeling so great.  He’s working from home, thinking he may have a stomach bug.  I sure hope not…

Dinner this evening: From OAMC:  Poulet de France, buttered/herbed noodles, salad and homemade bread.  Strawberry shortcake for dessert.

I am Thinking: about our Lady and the virtue of silence…

I am Creating: made a crown for our May Crowning, picking up the needles and the crochet hook to finish up a couple projects…

On my iPod: not listening to very much at present…enjoying the ease of viewing email and facebook without having to log onto the computer…

Towards a Real Education: plodding along.  The Grands are coming for a visit the first week of June.  My goal:  to be done, done, done by the first week of June.  Onward and upward…

To Live the Liturgy: I’m so enjoying my daily “Mary” Month of May posts…it really sets the tone for my day, meditating upon the virtues of our Lady…I hope you’re enjoying them, too!

I am Hoping and Praying: for a private intention.  St. Monica, pray for me!

In the Garden: In my best sing-songy voice…I’m going to plant!  I’m going to plant!  A couple of frosts and hard freezes had us postponing our planting…I think we’re out of the woods.  A couple of hours from now, I’ll be elbow-deep in soil!

Around the House: no comment.

On Keeping Home: see above.  The laundry is caught up.  I’m spending a lot of time at the clothesline…because I like it.  The rest?  I…don’t…like.  And it shows.  Blessed Mother…help me cultivate the spirit of diligence and perseverance!  It’s just so much more enjoyable outside, isn’t it?

One of My Favorite Things: my mom.  She’s amazing.  Everyday, she pours herself into the loving care of my Grandmother.  She’s setting the bar really high…I pray I offer myself to her as generously as she has offered herself to my Grandmother.  Oh, yes…Dad, too!  He’s a wonderful help to mom.  They are amazing parents and I can’t wait to see them again in June…

A Few Plans for the Rest of the Week: planting, teaching, cleaning…woman’s work is never done!

A Picture Thought I’m Sharing:

My “biker girl:”


The “Mary” Month of May: Our Lady of Silence

“Mary’s example enables the Church better to appreciate the value of silence. Mary’s silence is not only moderation in speech, but it is especially a wise capacity for remembering and embracing in a single gaze of faith the mystery of the Word made man and the events of his earthly life.

It is this silence as acceptance of the Word, this ability to meditate on the mystery of Christ, that Mary passes on to believers. In a noisey world filled with messages of all kinds, her witness enables us to appreciate a spiritually rich silence and fosters a contemplative spirit.”     ~ John Paul II ~


There is precious little of it in the world.  In the busy life of a mother of many young ones, it is indeed rare.  From cell phones, to radios, cds, dvds, mp3 players and a constant barrage of conversation, it seems the contemplative nature of motherhood is struggling for survival.  The cacophony has even made its way into the sanctuary of the Church…there are quite a few parishes where the noise and conversation before and after Holy Mass is reminiscent of a rock concert, with a few dear souls struggling to offer prayer and meditation prior to and after receiving Holy Communion.

How do we keep silence?  Our Lady is the perfect example for all of womanhood in this virtue.  Holy Scripture reveals very little of what our Lady said throughout the course of her life.  A sentence here and there: “Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be [done] to me according to Thy word”  “Son…they have no wine…”  “your father and I have been anxiously searching for you…”  “Do whatever He tells you…”  And the way of the cross?  Heartbreaking silence revealed what words could not…

During her betrothal, Mary even kept silent when Joseph must have been thinking the very worst.  She, whose virtue and holiness was so apparent, was visibly pregnant with a child that was not his.  His heart was breaking.  He knew the penalty for this “sin” and yet seemed to know Mary was blameless and was going to “put her away quietly”.  All this time, Mary knew his pain and knew that public perception would convict her of shame.  She didn’t defend.  She didn’t explain.  She kept her silence and let the Holy Spirit do the work.  Words weren’t necessary.  She kept her thoughts to herself and maintained a spirit of quiet contemplation…

With one exception.

The Magnificat.  The longest speech our Lady gives, is one in which she praises God.  Her words, it seems, are reserved for that which is most important…offering praise and adulation for her God:

My soul magnifies the Lord,
And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.
For He has regarded the low estate of His handmaiden,
For behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name. And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with His arm:
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
and exalted those of low degree.
He has filled the hungry with good things;
and the rich He has sent empty away.
He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy;
As He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to His posterity forever.

I find myself, of late,  calling upon the Blessed Mother, more and more, to help me hold my tongue…I’m such a chatterbox.  I speak too quickly and too much…and while I do relish silence and seek times of contemplation, I don’t feel I live contemplatively.  My vocation pulls me this way and that…it is the sweet tug-of-war that every mother experiences throughout her day as she finds the Cross amidst the dishes and the piles of laundry.  May our good Lady of Silence help to calm and quiet the noise and distraction of daily life and help us to remember that God’s voice is best heard…when we are listening.

From the book of 1 Kings 19:12

Then the LORD said, “Go outside and stand on the mountain before the LORD; the LORD will be passing by.” A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountains and crushing rocks before the LORD–but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake–but the LORD was not in the earthquake.

After the earthquake there was fire–but the LORD was not in the fire.  After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound…


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