#SackClothandAshes: Acts of Reparation in the Face of Scandal


When Kendra and Bonnie invited me to join their time of fasting and prayer, I had to say Yes. All of this suffering (and not being able to eat anything good because of my Lyme/Candida diet) can be for something good. I can unite my sufferings with Christ for the sake of healing in our suffering Church. And YOU CAN, TOO.

Please consider joining in from August 22 on the Feast of the Queenship of Our Lady through the month of September. I think the images explain it all:




Novena to Sts. Louis and Zélie Martin, canonized parents of the Little Flower, begins July 4

I am excited to share a new (to me) novena to Sts. Louis and Zélie Martin this year. I have been praying a novena to the holy Martins for the past four years, and have hosted it on my blog three of those years.
Sts. Louis and Zélie as we will learn through praying this novena lived a very holy life together. They had nine children, four of whom died in infancy or childhood. Their five surviving daughters all joined convents. Four of them including the youngest St. Thérèse of Lisieux became Carmelites, and their daughter who struggled the most to behave Leonie became a Visitation sister after three other attempts to enter the convent. Leonie now has a cause for canonization, and we named our baby who miscarried in November after her. Zélie died of breast cancer at the age of 45, but Louis lived on and eventually died at the age of 71 after suffering from dementia and other illness for six years. The were beatified in 2008 by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and canonized in 2015 by Pope Francis.
The professor and I have been devoted to the Martins since 2009 when we attended a series of talks about them at Carmel in Buffalo, New York. I look forward every year to praying to them up to their Feast day of July 12, which is their wedding anniversary, and have seen and experienced great fruits in my marriages and that of other for whom we have prayed for.
Some friends of came across this particular novena to the Martins in France from Basilique Notre-Dame des Victoires in Paris. They have worked laboriously to translate the novena from French into English and have even obtained permission from the rector of the basilica for me to publish here on my blog.
I am super excited to share this beautiful novena with you.
I will be posting each day of the novena which goes from July 4-July 12 on my blog the night before each day–the date to pray each day will be in the title line of the post.
If you would like to receive it by email you can sign up to receive my blog email updates in the side bar of the home page of my blog.  Or you can follow the novena through my Facebook page.
If you would like to simply print it off, follow this linkfor a PDF of the novena.
I also would love to pray for your intentions during this novena. Please leave any intentions you would like me to pray for during this novena in the comments or feel free to email me at livingwithladyphilosophy at gmail dot com.
I can’t wait to pray with you!

NCRegister: The Desert is Where We Find God

The fertile forests of Yosemite National Park in California, which we had camped in the night before, had given way to the dry, rocky land of Nevada, and our minivan sped on in a land where cities and towns are few and far between. We were on the final week of our three-week western road trip. It had all been so beautiful, but here, in this empty, dry land a sense of dread lay heavy on my chest. The desert went on for miles before us and behind us. Rocks rose occasionally into mountains and cliffs in the distance, but their barrenness only added to the bleakness of the path we had to take. And everything seemed closer on the horizon than it actually was, making each mile seem longer.

This family road trip was the first time I had experienced the desert, and what surprised me the most was the amount of life, life adapted to the environment, that struggled on even in this most desolate of climates.

Read more at the National Catholic Register…

NCRegister Blog: Hell is for People Who Are Too Distracted to See the Face of God

It was happening night after night; my husband or I would decide after the children were in bed to “do a quick email check.” The other would join in and before we knew it half an hour had passed and all we had done was give into the temptation to idle curiosity and lose ourselves in distraction.

We have fought this vice our whole lives—distraction, the bane of a recollected life. It pulls one from one thing to the next, never allowing a task to be completed well, never giving one time just to think. The philosopher Dietrich Von Hildebrand in his book Transformation in Christ described distraction as the “exact antithesis to recollection” and “a state of being dragged along from one object to another, never touching any of them by superficially” (Ch. 6). The time sap of social media and the gossip-ridden sites of the internet are just another symptom of this fallen human state, one that we came into when we first gave into the vice of curiosity.

What is Von Hildebrand’s solution to being distracted? Learn how to become recollected.

Read the rest at the National Catholic Register…

A Song for St. Joseph the Worker

While my husband labors today at his trade of sharing the love of wisdom, I have been doing my normal work of home schooling the kids and doing some writing. Well this morning, on this feast of St. Joseph the Worker, I was flipping through this sweet little book, We Sing and Listen (affliate link alert…thanks for using it!) from Seton Books that I picked up in our home school co-op’s book sale last week. It has sweet pious little songs about the liturgical year, and I found this gem to sing with the kids for today:

Dear St. Joseph, kind and true,
I have lessons I must do.
They are for your Foster Son.
Help me till the work is done.

You who taught our Lord a trade,
Showed Him how a chair is made,
Do not fail to answer me,
Dearest saint, my helper be

Ever since I went on my silent retreat during Lent, I have been trying to be intentional about fostering a deeper love in myself and in the children for God and the saints, and it occurred to me that these pious simple songs, sung well are so helpful in doing that.

I want the children to know how to love God and to know how to help themselves love God. Charity (God’s own love), while an infused theological virtue that He gives us for others, also requires effort on our part. We must want to love Him, and ask Him to help us love others. And here on this feast of St. Joseph the Worker, we can ask just that of St. Joseph.

Happy Feast!

Blessed is She: When We Pray

I am over at Blessed is She today reflecting on the Mass readings for today:



In today’s reading from Acts, Saints Peter and John, just released after being arrested for healing a lame man, were threatened by the chief priests and the elders and told to not preach about Christ anymore. Rather than comply with the wishes of their enemies, they prayed for courage to continue to spread the Gospel, and the Holy Spirit responded by filling them with boldness. They went on to begin the evangelization of the whole world.

God likes to help us in response to prayer; He wants us to get to know Him, to talk to Him. When we spend time with Him, we grow to love Him more…

Read the daily readings and the rest at Blessed is She…

Blessed is She Devotion: The Love You Had at First

This devotion I wrote back in September for today on the daily Mass readings is full of my own advice that I really needed to hear. My prayer life has been a bit of a struggle these past few weeks; it has been harder to pray, to want to pray, and to focus on prayer. But I am reminded that I need to continue on in my own resolutions despite my difficulties, and focus on kindling the love God first gave me for Him.

Read today’s readings and the devotion at Blessed is She...

NCRegister Blog: Our Open Hands Can Open the Hearts and Arms of Mothers

There is a growing feeling among pro-life Catholic Millennials that those segments of the pro-life movement that focus just on law have failed to see and do what will really save lives. Having all been born since Roe v. Wade, we have lived all our lives with the reality of legal abortion. Many of us spent countless hours of our youth praying outside abortion clinics, being yelled at by passing drivers, being scorned by the media, but not afraid to be persecuted for our defense of life. We have heard from our earliest days that Pope Saint John Paul II told us, “Do not be afraid!” So we have been brave in our defense of truth and life issues, and we are not afraid to continue to face persecution.

Read more at the NCRegister…

My Intention for St. Jude, Patron of Hopeless Causes and Desperate Situations

Today begins the novena to St. Jude, Patron of Hopeless Causes and Desperate Situations. Last year my intention was for baby T’s teeth to come in and him to start sleeping in longer than 45-90 min stretches at night because I was desperate for sleep. St. Jude has been a dear patron of mine since that time. I ask for his help a lot.

In this year’s novena I am praying that enough citizens decide to vote third party or write-in a candidate for president of the United States that neither Mrs. C nor Mr. T win the presidency. Or that neither of them is elected by some other means.

This presidential election is truly a hopeless cause and desperate situation.

Here is the link to the St. Jude Novena at Pray More Novenas.

St. Jude, Patron of Hopeless Causes and Desperate Situations, 

Pray For Us!

The Wine-Press of the Wrath of God

Today, in the Traditional Roman Catholic calendar, is the octave day of the Nativity of John the Baptist and the Feast of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus. The professor recently came across this website which has the Divine Office dating back to the pre-Tridentine church. This morning, since the Feast of the Most Precious Blood is not in the New calendar, the professor suggested we pray from the old breviary. And in the old office was this beautiful hymn to the Most Precious Blood of Jesus. The professor wrote his own thoughts about the feast and the hymn on his blog.

This hymn speaks to one’s soul about the mercy of God, the out-pouring of the Blood of His Son for us. The part that particularly struck me, but all of it is so, so, beautiful, is the stanza towards the end: 

In full atonement of our guilt,
Careless of self, the Saviour trod—
E’en till his heart’s best blood was spilt—
The wine-press of the wrath of God.

The stanza evokes an image of the crushed Body of Christ, His Blood gushing forth, and for what, for us. And then there is the image of bathing in that precious Blood which is gushing forth, and receiving healing and mercy. 

Come, bathe you in the healing flood,
All ye who mourn, by sin opprest;
Your only hope is Jesus’ blood,
His sacred heart your only rest.

What more can I say, my only hope is Jesus’ blood.

Di Guillaume Courtois (called “Il Borgognone”) after a Bernini’s drawing – [1], Public Domain

Here is the full hymn:

alvete Christi vulnera

Hail, holy wounds of Jesus, hail,
Sweet pledges of the saving rood,
Whence flow the streams that never fail,
The purple streams of his dear blood.

Brighter than brightest stars ye show,
Than sweetest rose your scent more rare,
No Indian gem may match your glow,
No honey’s taste with yours compare.

Portals ye are to that dear home
Wherein our wearied souls may hide,
Whereto no angry foe can come,
The heart of Jesus crucified.

What countless stripes our Jesus bore,
All naked left in Pilate’s hall!
From his torn flesh how red a shower
Did round his sacred person fall!

His beauteous brow, oh, shame and grief,
By the sharp thorny crown is riven;
Through hands and feet, without relief,
The cruel nails are rudely driven.

But when for our poor sakes he died,
A willing priest by love subdued,
The soldier’s lance transfixed his side,
Forth flowed the water and the blood.

In full atonement of our guilt,
Careless of self, the Saviour trod—
E’en till his heart’s best blood was spilt—
The wine-press of the wrath of God.

Come, bathe you in the healing flood,
All ye who mourn, by sin opprest;
Your only hope is Jesus’ blood,
His sacred heart your only rest.

All praise to him, the Eternal Son,
At God’s right hand enthroned above,
Whose blood our full redemption won,
Whose Spirit seals the gift of love.