Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Book Review -Spirit and Life

by Rose Rea, Sophia Institute Press, 2021.

This a beautifully illustrated book that highlights and explains the Seven Sacraments of the Catholic Church:  Baptism, Confirmation, Penance, Holy Eucharist, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony.

Each sacrament is explained in easy to understand prose, and supported by quotes from the Bible, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and the writings of the Saints.  It also includes various stories from different persons from various perspectives, all with a love and veneration of the sacraments.  Each of these elements adds to the beauty and deep dimension of the sacraments.

This books is colorful, exquisitely illustrated and will make a lovely coffee table book or perfect gift, just interesting and long enough to hold the attention of readers of almost any age.

Reviewed by Rosa Sautner, Catholic homeschooling mother of two.

Spirit and Life

Book Review -Classic Bible Comics

Adapted by Stanley Silverstein, Sophia Institute Press, 2021.

This Bible comic book is a reprint of the 1974 Peter Pan Children's Bible Storybook. The illustrations are classic and vividly colored.  The print is very readable.  It contains twenty-three of the most loved Bible stories for children of all ages, such as David and Goliath, the Great Flood, Adam and Eve, and of course, the Nativity.

Beautifully illustrated and classic, this 80+  page book will make a charming gift for a youngster in your life.

Reviewed by Rosa Sautner, Catholic homeschooling mother of two. Classic Bible Comics

Book Review -All You Holy Women Pray for Us

by Adam and Angela Smyth, Sophia Institute Press, 2021.

This sweet little board book will make a perfect gift for a new or expectant mother, especially if she is expecting a girl.  This little book, so perfect for little hands, contains bright and cheery images of eight women saints.  This little sturdy book will make a wonderful introduction to beloved saints at an early age.

The eight women saints are St. Faustina, St. Teresa of Calcutta, St. Cecilia, St Kateri, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, St Joan of Arc, St Josephine Bakhita, and St. Therese of Lisieux.  Each saint is drawn to captivate a small child with its bright and cheery colors and happy faces.  The poem for each is so melodic that it will soon become a favorite for any little child.

The rhyming verses are so flowing and musical, I plan to have my twins memorize them.  This is a delightful little book and I was very charmed by it.

A truly precious little book that is highly recommend.

Reviewed by Rosa Sautner, Catholic homeschooling mother of two.

All You Holy Women Pray for us

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Nativity of St. John the Baptist

The Nativity of St. John the Baptist
It is one of the oldest feast days in the Liturgy of the Church.
The only other births the Catholic Church celebrates as a feast are our Blessed Mother's and our Lord Jesus.
Why does the Church celebrate his birth? It is because he was "filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother's womb." (Catechism of the Catholic Church No. 717) " It is also believed that Jesus sanctified him from the womb and removed his original sin.
Before John was born, the angel announced that "many would rejoice in his birth." Thus, his feast day is one of the more joyous feast in the Church calendar. In olden times, it was observed as a great holiday with much more rejoicing and celebrating than we do now. For example on the eve of his feast, many countries would light up mountains and hills with "St. John's Fires" "Scarce had the last rays of the setting sun died away, when all the world over, immense columns of flame arose from every mountain top, and in an instant every town and village and hamlet was lighted up." (Dom. P.L.. Gueranger).
"The Birth of St. John the Baptist"
Domenico Ghirlandio
Cappella Tornabuoni, Santa Maria Novella, Florence

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Wednesdays are Dedicated to St. Joseph -Prayer for the Spirit of Work

Glorious St. Joseph, model of all who pass their life in labor, 
obtain for me the grace tow work in a spirit of penance to atone for my many sins; 
to work conscientiously, putting the call of duty above my own inclinations;
to work with gratitude and joy, considering it an honor to use and develop by my labor the gifts I have received from God; 
to work with order, peace, moderation, and patience, without ever recoiling before weariness or difficulties. 
Help me to work, above all, with purity of intention and with detachment from self, 
having always before my eyes the hour of death and the accounting which I must render of time lost, talents wasted, good omitted, and vain complacency in success, 
which is so fatal to the work of God. 
All for Jesus, 
all for Mary, all after your example, O Patriarch Joseph! 
This shall be my watchword in life and in death. Amen.

New Saint Joseph People's Prayer Book

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Lent - The Golden Rules of Detachment by St. John of the Cross

 The soul must always be inclined:

1.  not to the easiest thing but the hardest;

2.  not to the tastiest thing but the most insipid;

3.  not to the thing that gives the greatest pleasure but to those that give the least;

4.  not to the restful things but to painful ones;

5.  not to consolation but to desolation;

6.  not to more but to less;

7.  not to the highest and dearest but to the lowest and most despised;

8.  not to the desire for something but to have no desires.

Friday, February 19, 2021

Lent - An Examination of Conscience by Father Bill Casey

1.  Is there something I can do to get closer to God?

2.  Is there something I can do to know God better and to love Him more?

3.  Is there some way I can increase my desire for prayer?

4.  Is there some way I can rekindle that fire of divine love that might have gone out of my life?

5.  Is there some way I can rid myself of the spiritual mediocrity, the spiritual indifference that I find myself in so much of the time?

6.  Is there something I can give up?

7.  Is there anything in my life right now that is not pleasing to Almighty God?

8.  Is there some sin that I am holding on to?

9.  Is there some habitual sin that is separating my heart from God's graces?

10.  Is there something I need to confess?

11.  Am I crucifying Our Lord all over again by living in my sins?

12.  Well?  Is there?

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Lent - Guidance from the Apostles from the Ten Commandments

 The Didache: An Instruction of the Lord Given to the Heathen by the Twelve Apostles

Source:  The Treasury of Catholic Wisdom by Father John A. Hardon, S.J.

"My child:

1.  Shun evil of any kind and everything resembling it.

2.  Do not be prone to anger for anger leads to murder.  Do not be fanatical, not quarrelsome, not hot-tempered; for all these things beget murder.

3.  Do not be lustful, for lust leads to fornication.  Do not be foul-mouthed or give free rein to your eyes; for all these things beget adultery.

4.  My child, do not be an augur, because it leads to idolatry.  Do not be an enchanter, not an astrologer, not an expiator, and do not wish to see 9and hear) these things for they all beget idolatry.

5.  Do not be a liar, for lying leads to theft.  Do not be a lover of money, or a vain pretender.  All these things beget thievery.

6.  Do not be a grumbler, because it leads to blasphemy; or self-willed, or evil-minded.  All these things beget blasphemy.

 On the contrary, be:

7.   gentle (for the gentle will inherit the land).

8.  Be long-suffering, and merciful, and guileless, and quiet, and good, and with trembling treasure forever the instructions you have received.

9.  Do not carry your head high, or open your heart to presumption.  Do not be on  intimate terms with the mighty, but associate with holy and lowly fold.

10.  Accept as blessings the casualties that befall you assured that nothing happens without God."

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Lent - Lessons from the Stations of the Cross


The First Station:  JESUS IS CONDEMNED TO DEATH - Keeping silent in the face of injustice.

The Second Station: JESUS TAKES UP HIS CROSS - Learn to love our crosses and sufferings.

The Third Station:  JESUS FALLS FOR THE FIRST TIME - Keeping vigilant to avoid falling into temptation and the same sins.

The Fourth Station:  JESUS SEES HIS MOTHER, MARY - Comforting Jesus' sorrowful Mother by carrying out Jesus' Will faithfully.

The Fifth Station:  SIMON IS FORCED TO HELP JESUS CARRY HIS CROSS - Being patient especially in adversity.

The Sixth Station:  VERONICA WIPES THE FACE OF JESUS - Being charitable and compassionate towards our neighbor.

The Seventh Station:  JESUS FALLS FOR THE SECOND TIME - Keeping close to Jesus at all times, especially during difficult times.

The Eight Station:  JESUS GREETS THE WOMEN IN JERUSALEM - Praying for living faith;

The Ninth Station:  JESUS FALLS FOR THE THIRD TIME - Seeking forgiveness quickly when we fall into sin.

The Tenth Station:  JESUS IS STRIPPED OF HIS GARMENTS - Stripping ourselves of anything that keeps us from God and bearing all humiliations for the love of Jesus.

The Eleventh Station:  JESUS IS NAILED TO THE CROSS - Loving my enemies and difficult people with the love of Christ.

The Twelfth Station:  JESUS DIES ON THE CROSS - Accepting our crosses without complaint.  Praying and preparing for a happy death.

The Thirteenth Station:  JESUS' BODY IS PLACED ON HIS MOTHER'S LAP - Entirely trusting in  God's Mercy.

The Fourteenth Station:  JESUS IS LAID IN THE TOMB - Fighting for the salvation of souls.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Book Review - The Thief Who Stole Heaven


by Raymond Arroyo, illustrated by Randy Gallegos, Sophia Institute Press, 2021.

Reviewed by Rosa Sautner, Catholic homeschooling mother of two.

    This story of the Good Thief may be more than just legend having been mentioned in some apocryphal accounts.  Written for children in a very dramatically illustrated picture book, Raymond Arroyo weaves together this tale of a young thief who becomes the first conquest of Christ on the Cross.

    I first heard of how the Good Thief "stole" Heaven from none other than the Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen.  In one of his Lenten talks he makes the connection that one who was a thief his whole life would die a thief by stealing Heaven at the last moment of his life.

    This touching story is retold for children by bestselling author and EWTN host, Raymond Arroyo.  This colorfully illustrated picture book captures the drama of Dismas' life and hard times and final redemption on the cross.

    The book imaginatively follows Dismas' life from a childhood of sadness, misfortune, and wrong-doing and chance encounter with the Holy Family to his final meeting with Christ on the cross.

    This is a worthy addition to children's Lenten book collection.  I loved the story.  However, my only disappointment with the book was the illustrations of the Blessed Mother.   I would have liked to have seen her drawn more beautifully, more serenely.

The Thief Who Stole Heaven