Feast Of Saint Joseph Husband Of Mary

Today is the feast of St. Joseph the Husband of Mary and the foster father of Jesus.  It is one of the feasts of St. Joseph celebrated by the Catholic Church.  The other feast is St. Joseph the Worker celebrated on May 1st.  St. Joseph is the patron of the dying because, assuming he died before Jesus’ public life, he died with Jesus and Mary close to him, the way we all would like to leave this earth.
Joseph is also patron of the universal Church, fathers, carpenters, and social justice.  
All we know about St. Joseph we learn from Scripture which is very little.  We know he was born of the house of David in Bethlehem, lived in Nazareth and was betrothed to Mary.   There is no mention of him after Jesus was found in the temple in Jerusalem.  Scripture has left us with the most important knowledge: who he was,  “a righteous man” (Matthew 1:18).
Prayer to Saint Joseph

Oh, St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God. I place in you all my interests and desires. Oh, St. Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession, and obtain for me from your devine Son all spiritual blessings, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. So that, having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers.
Oh, St. Joseph, I never weary of contemplating you, and Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine head for me and ask him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath. 
St. Joseph, Patron of departing souls – Pray for me.

Rain Rain Go Away

It seems like it’s been raining forever.  It’s gotten cold again.  I guess I should be sewing or quilting, but I’m not.  I just don’t feel like doing anything.  It’s awful.  I have walked into my quilting room twice today.  I look around and walk out.  So, I am in front of the TV watching old reruns of SVU Law and Order and playing on the computer.  I guess we all fall into the doldrums when the weather is bad for days on end.  I really thought spring was on the way.  Actually, we need the rain so I should be happy for the blessing.

I have been trying to compile a list of UFO’s.  Seems the more I look to see what I have not finished, the more projects I find.  So what I have is a list that is a UFO.  See what I mean, just can’t get myself moving.  
I did accomplish one thing today.  I signed up for the March Madness on Yahoo.  Every year our family picks teams to see who wins.  It’s just for fun.  When the kids were little we would play for a prize but now it’s just for bragging rights.  It’s a lot of fun.  

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland.  There are many a green beer raised in celebration of the day in our country.  Many communities have parades.  This custom was started by the immigrants from Ireland to this country.  OK, maybe they didn’t have green beer.  But I am sure there was quite a celebration on March 17th with traditional food and drink from their former home. Great parades were held in New York and other cities with a large Irish population.  I guess that the non-Irish thought it looked like a good time. So everyone is Irish on March 17th.  It’s sad that most people don’t remember or take seriously the reason for the celebration.   Today is the day the Catholic Church celebrates the devout life of a wonderful saint who brought the Catholic faith to Ireland.
Lorica of Saint Patrick
I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness 
Of the Creator of creation. 
I arise today 
Through the strength of Christ’s birth and His baptism, 
Through the strength of His crucifixion and His burial, 
Through the strength of His resurrection and His ascension,
Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.
I arise today
Through the strength of the love of cherubim,
In obedience of angels,
In service of archangels,
In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs, 
In preachings of the apostles,
In faiths of confessors,
In innocence of virgins,
In deeds of righteous men. 
I arise today
Through the strength of heaven; 
Light of the sun,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of the wind,
Depth of the sea, 
Stability of the earth,
Firmness of the rock. 
I arise today
Through God’s strength to pilot me;
God’s might to uphold me, 
God’s wisdom to guide me, 
God’s eye to look before me, 
God’s ear to hear me, 
God’s word to speak for me, 
God’s hand to guard me, 
God’s way to lie before me, 
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s hosts to save me 
From snares of the devil, 
From temptations of vices, 
From every one who desires me ill, 
Afar and anear, 
Alone or in a mulitude. 
I summon today all these powers between me and evil,
Against every cruel merciless power that opposes my body and soul, 
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry, 
Against spells of women and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul. 
Christ shield me today 
Against poison, against burning, 
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that reward may come to me in abundance.
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, 
Christ on my right, Christ on my left, 
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, 
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, 
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me, 
Christ in the eye that sees me, 
Christ in the ear that hears me. 
I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through a confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation
St. Patrick (ca. 377)

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Old Irish Blessing
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
I am part Irish on my mother’s side.  I have always celebrated St. Patrick’s Day and when we were younger we used to have or go to St. Patrick’s Day parties.  We even attended a parade or two when our kids were little.  I even had a collection of St. Patrick’s Day decorations, sadly they had been untouched for years.  I just didn’t get them out in time. It’s just not as much fun to decorate without children at home.  I do have a table topper and table runner I made after I learned how to quilt which I keep on one of my quilt racks so I put them out.  
It’s funny how things change when your children grow up.  I used to decorate each month of the year differently.  My kids loved it.  When they grew up and left home I barely remembered that a holiday was coming except for the big ones that is.  It has gotten better since I have three grandchildren and they have moved closer to me.  Now when they come over and I have some seasonal/holiday decorations out, they really like it. It’s definitely true that grandchildren make the world a nicer place. They bring such joy into your life. They can be spoiled and sent home for mom and dad to worry about the discipline and homework and all that that entails.  I just get to love them and enjoy them.  The best of two worlds.  

Finally the race got going and Carl Edwards won.  It was a very exciting race.  Kasey Kahne finished 8th and moved up to 11th in the points.  It was definitely worth waiting for the rain to pass.  

Another Race Day Another Delay

Well seems that it is raining in Bristol Tenn.  After an hour and a half rain delay to the start of the race, 124 laps were run.  Then the dreaded red flag came out.  Another rain delay.  As entertaining as the delay interviews are, I’d much rather be watching Kasey Kahne drive to Victory Lane. Good news is the dryers are on the track now and the car covers are going to come off soon.  

What is the New Evangelization?

According to the USCCB website:  “The New Evangelization calls each of us to deepen our faith, believe in the Gospel message and go forth to proclaim the Gospel. The focus of the New Evangelization calls all Catholics to be evangelized and then go forth to evangelize. In a special way, the New Evangelization is focused on ‘re-proposing’ the Gospel to those who have experienced a crisis of faith.Pope Benedict XVI called for the re-proposing of the Gospel “to those regions awaiting the first evangelization and to those regions where the roots of Christianity are deep but who have experienced a serious crisis of faith due to secularization.”1 The New Evangelization invites each Catholic to renew their relationship with Jesus Christ and his Church.”

When I think of evangelization I picture those people on TV preaching in front of hundreds of people and asking for money.  My palms get sweaty, my heart beats faster and my mind goes blank just like when I was in school.  I have never been good at speaking in public.  I in no way am putting down those dedicated people who use the TV for their churches.  It’s just that it’s a foreign concept for me.

I suppose I could talk about my faith on a one to one basis, but I am not sure that I would be prepared for the types of questions or arguments that would more than likely come about.  I have been thinking about this call to evangelize quite a bit lately.  I have been reading, listening to Catholic radio, and studying my Bible.  So I am being evangelized.  I am learning everything I can about the Catholic Faith. I have been praying for a way for me to do my evangelizing.   I think that this blog is the avenue I am suppose to take.  At least for now.

I am striving to live my faith by being charitable in thought,word and deed and loving my neighbor as myself.  I am learning there is a difference between the sinner and the sin.  And I am becoming schooled in the dogma of the Catholic Church.

It is my sincere hope that this blog will help someone find their way to the fullness of the Catholic Church.  

Guild Day

Yesterday was my quilting guild day.  We had a great meeting that ended in a batik fabric swap.  I didn’t take part as I am not a big fan of batiks.  But the girls had a great time and everyone loved the fabrics they each received.

One of the girls also had fabric that a friend of hers had left from her quilt shop.  She was retiring. There was beautiful fabric for $4.00 a yard.  Quite the bargain for quilt shop quality fabric. Unfortunately I am on a budget right now and just looked.

I never understood the attraction to fabric until I began quilting.  When I was a young girl, my mom did a lot of sewing for me.  She sewed beautifully.  But she could spend FOREVER in Yards.  Yards was a fabric shop at the Levittown Shopping Center near where we lived.  She would show me fabric and ask me if I liked it or not.  I would say yes hoping that we could move on.  Never worked though.  She would move on to another bolt of fabric.  Now that I quilt I understand.  Mom would be very happy that I sew now.  I make clothes for my granddaughter, quilts, curtains and lots of other things. My mom tried to get me to sew for years. I almost flunked Home Economics my freshman year because we had to make a jumper. Mine was terrible.  I was told to take it home over the weekend and bring it back fixed or else. Mom fixed it for me and I passed.  She gave up on my sewing.  I had my first daughter in 1972.  Mom was delighted. She started back on my sewing again and  made me feel guilty by telling me every little girl should have a dress made for her by her mother.  I bought into it and finally made her one.   I still have the dress.  That was back in 1974.  I actually made an Easter outfit for the same daughter in 1978.  I made that outfit in my mom’s honor with the help of my neighbor Sue who was just as talented as my mom.   Mom died in 1977. After that I only mended and made curtains.

I did a lot of knitting and crocheting taught to me by my mom.  I then added cross stitch, crewel, embroidery all kinds of needle work.  I liked doing that a lot.  I still do all of it from time to time.  I always wanted to learn how to quilt.  My husband was from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and the Amish quilts I used to see when we visited there made me drool.  His grandmother was going to teach me to quilt, but before she could she became ill and died.

So, after we moved to North Carolina I finally got my chance.  In 2005 I joined Brunswick Quilters and was lucky enough to find a very talented mentor who shared her love for quilting with me.  The rest so they say is history.  🙂

St. Katherine Drexel

“It is a lesson we all need – to let alone the things that do not concern us. He has other ways for others to follow Him; all do not go by the same path. It is for each of us to learn the path by which He requires us to follow Him, and to follow Him in that path.” (St. Katharine Drexel)


Lent begins this week on March 5th, which is Ash Wednesday in Western Christianity.  This is the day Catholics go to church and have ashes put on their foreheads.  Blessed palms from the previous year are burned to obtain the ashes.  It is a sign that from dust we were made and to dust we will return.

Lent is a period of forty days of preparation to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday. Fasting, abstinence, and alms giving, are the main tenets.  Following the example of Jesus in the desert., giving up luxuries, practicing self discipline, and spending more time in prayer provide for a closer relationship with God.

On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday the faithful fast having only one meal in the evening and abstain from meat.   The other Fridays in Lent the faithful abstain from meat.  Sundays are not included in Lenten fasts because they are celebrations in reminiscence of Easter.  Giving alms or performing works of mercy can be both corporal or spiritual.  We are always called to help our neighbor but during Lent, we are called to do more than what we usually do.

The final week of Lent begins with Palm Sunday.  This day celebrates the day Jesus entered into Jerusalem and the people lay palms down before him.  Lent ends on Holy Thursday or Maundy Thursday with the beginning of the Mass of the Lord’s supper.

There are many traditions that are followed before the beginning of Lent.  Fasnacht Tuesday is just one of them.   Fasnacht, is an English name for a fried doughnut served traditionally in the days of Carnival or on Shrove Tuesday, the day before Lent starts.  Fasnachts were made as a way to empty the pantry of lard, sugar, fat, and butter, which were traditionally fasted from during Lent.  This is the tradition which I grew up with.  I have memories of my mom frying up fasnachts as my mouth watered.

I no longer celebrate Fasnacht Tuesday, I do look forward to the renewal of my faith that Lent brings about and for becoming closer to the Lord and then when I renew my Baptismal vows on Easter Sunday I am more vested in my resolve in keeping them.