Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Love Notes from Therese

Thoughts about love...

"The splendor of the rose and the whiteness of the lily do not rob the little violet of it’s scent nor the daisy of its simple charm. If every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose its loveliness."

"We have merely to love Him, without looking at ourselves, without examining our faults too much."

"Miss no single opportunity of making some small sacrifice, here by a smiling look, there by a kindly word; always doing the smallest right and doing it all for love."

"Merit does not consist in doing or giving much. It consists in loving much."

"Little things done out of love are those that charm the Heart of Christ… On the contrary, the most brilliant deeds, when done without love, are but nothingness."

"Be not afraid to tell Jesus that you love Him; even though it be without feeling, this is the way to oblige Him to help you, and carry you like a little child too feeble to walk."

"Trust and trust alone should lead us to love."

"It is love alone that counts."

...from St. Therese of Lisieux.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Not Invited

How awkward. You are surrounded by, and overhear, peers making plans...without you.
True charity consists in putting up with all one's neighbor's faults, never being surprised by his weakness, and being inspired by the least of his virtues.      St. Thérèse of Lisieux
Don't take it personally. Perhaps they don't know it is rude to discuss private matters in public. There's a lot of that going around, unfortunately. Or maybe they know exactly what they are doing. That is a poor reflection on them, not you. Either way, it is good to wish others happiness. With or without you.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

An Urge to Scream

When I read this from Fr. Lovasik in Hidden Power of Kindness:
The saints were saints because they were cheerful when it was difficult to be cheerful, patient when it was difficult to be patient, silent when they wanted to speak, and agreeable when they felt an urge to scream.
I thought, yes, difficult work doesn't always look difficult and often goes unnoticed.

Many today are being encouraged to behave in angry, impatient, and loud-mouthed ways at the expense of their happiness and of those around them. They are, at times, also called brave for behaving in selfish, pushy, and dramatic (so, so, easy) ways. But bravery, by definition, is difficult.

Every time you are cheerful, patient, thoughtful, and agreeable, I'm impressed. Let's save our screams for baseball victories and lizards dangling from little boy's fingers.


Monday, June 20, 2011

Compliment or Creep?

Recently, two different men told you that you're beautiful. One well known to you needed to further explain that he wasn't being superficial. The other, a shaggy stranger downtown, needed to assure you that he wasn't a creep.

I'm old enough to remember when men didn't feel the need to qualify their observations of feminine beauty; the elderly man who tipped his hat and the construction guy who whistled. I also remember knowing full well, intuitively and through experience, when a man was sharing a compliment or being disrespectful.

Recently you asked, am I pro-compliments? Yes, when they are sincere and selfless, smooth or clumsy. Do I support compliments? Yes, they are sweet forms of verbal kindness. Will I give and receive compliments with (discerned) reckless abandon? Absolutely! One of the perks of my motherly presentation is that I can compliment others from a non-threatening place. I compliment moms on their darling children, the plumber on his timely and quality service, and the sales clerk on her pretty hair style.

Know that there are creeps but more importantly, know that they are far outnumbered by good men. Give and accept compliments with respect. And...you are beautiful.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Four years ago I miscarried. You named the baby, Catherine. Four years later, we still cry a little.  We think about the suffering of that day and the loss of what could have been.

Yet, now we value...

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.  Jeremiah 1:5
After we have suffered, the God of all grace will restore, establish and strengthen us. God promises us that our suffering will ultimately be followed by glory.  Peter 5:10  
and the promise of eternal life...


Catherine may not need us as we want to be needed.  But we need Catherine:)


Monday, June 13, 2011

Hopeful Heart

Wishing, upon stars and before blowing out birthday candles, is a sweet nod to hope.  Wishful thinking, though, produces poor decisions, frustration, and heart-ache.

John Wishful Thinker takes a test, not having studied and with fingers crossed, then is shocked when he fails.  John Hopeful studies for the test, braces himself for difficult questions and grading, and is grateful when he receives a good grade.  Wishful thinking is based on what is emotionally satisfying and pleasing to imagine.  Hope is based on reality.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes:
The virtue of hope responds to the aspiration to happiness which God has placed in the heart of every man; it takes up the hopes that inspire men's activities and purifies them so as to order them to the Kingdom of heaven; it keeps man from discouragement; it sustains him during times of abandonment; it opens up his heart in expectation of eternal beatitude. Buoyed up by hope, he is preserved from selfishness and led to the happiness that flows from charity.
Susie Wishful Thinker, on a whim, leaves her American life behind to follow an Italian boyfriend to Italy and is shocked when he eventually dumps her.  Susie Hopeful develops a mutual friendship with a man, becomes engaged, and marries.

Wishful thinking is childish.  Hope is from and in God.


Friday, June 10, 2011

Side Bar Notes

I've added 3 links to my side bar.  10 Short, Spontaneous Prayers That Really Work is to the point.

Twenty and Engaged shares:
 With my 21st birthday just a few weeks away, it is expected that I plan a blowout party with copious amounts of alcohol, as my friends compile a list of 21 dares for me to complete while downtown... Instead, I’m planning my wedding.  [Pause for disapproval.]
I'm not disapproving!... and respect Elizabeth Hanna's clarity.

On a much lighter note, see fatherly love for his teen in action at Wave At The Bus.  This blog shares photos of a dad making a mundane task memorable.  Knowing your sophisticated sense of humor, you'll get a laugh out of it ;-)


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Kindness Rules

In this post I referred to a reckless driver acting as a selfish fool.
"You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, 'You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.'  But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment...and whoever says, 'You fool,' will be liable to fiery Gehenna." Matthew 5:21-22
Name-calling is easy, wrong, and can lead to suffering, now and forever, for all involved because it breaks the rules of kindness.  Fr. Lovasik, in his book The Hidden Power of Kindness summarizes:
1. Don't speak unkindly of anyone.
2. Don't speak unkindly to anyone.
3. Don't act unkindly toward anyone.
At least once a day...
1. Do speak kindly of someone.
2. Do think kindly of someone.
3. Do act kindly toward someone.
For any unkind act, ask forgiveness from God, make amends if possible, and say a little prayer for the recipient. I did say a prayer for the reckless driver...and hope others pray for me when I, regretfully, am unkind.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Lifelong Friends

This weekend I watched you freely choose to go out of town with family instead of staying home with friends.  You attended four baseball games to cheer for brother #2 and his teammates.  You played card games with brother #3, letting him win and making him laugh.  You verbally sparred with brother #1 with good humor.  You found ways to include all the siblings in fun.

Little makes me happier as a mom than to see you all happy together.  These relationships will likely be the longest of your lives, bridging childhood and adulthood.  When you choose to invest your time into these relationships, to sacrifice for each other, and to enjoy being together, you are building a strong foundation for a great future.    

This weekend I watched you freely choose to go out of town with...lifelong friends.