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Angel of God My Guardian Dear

September 14, 2011 Deacon Tom, Feature 4 Comments

Does anyone, anywhere still have angel pictures prevalent in their home these days? Close by the baby’s crib? In the children’s playroom? Are angels even meaningful to us ‘moderns?’

I used to go to a hair stylist when we lived in San Francisco. (NB: When you live in San Francisco – they are stylists – never barbers. But I digress.) Over some years of going to Lisa – I came to know that she was a former Catholic. Religion still tugged at her somewhat. But Lisa wasn’t practicing. She had a sort of left-coast approach to organized religion.

Lisa had a thing about angels. She had angels everywhere around her work area. There were angels visible; there were angels partially hidden in potted plants and in wispy material that might look like or actually be referred to as angel-hair. You know the kind of white material that someone might put up as part of a Halloween display? That’s the stuff I’m talking about. And in those areas where Lisa had created some sort of ethereal display, she placed angels.

Not that these displays had anything to do with non-corporeal and beautiful, intelligent spirits. No. Lisa’s angels were good mood and good luck and good intention sort of objects. Look at the angels and think good thoughts!

Most of us cradle Catholics were raised to know of angels. We used to think of them as crossing guards and good behavior icons. And the nuns helped maintain that sort of approach to them with the prayer we had to learn: “Angel of God, my guardian dear. To whom God’s love commits me here. Ever this day be at my side, to light, to lead, to rule and guide.”

We can hold on to that thought, but let’s consider also what our Catholic Catechism tells us: “Angels are spiritual creatures who glorify God without ceasing and who serve His saving plans for other creatures: “The angels work together for the benefit of us all.” (St. Thomas Aquinas) CCC350.

Now recently, maybe my Guardian Angel (yes, I believe!) has been helping me to read more and be reminded more of the angels. I may even have more than one angel assigned to me. Not that I’m that special (although I’ve been marked with the sign of ordination as a deacon, thanks be to God!). You may have multiple angels assigned to you as well.

I’ve been trying to remember to pray each morning to my angel(s). Help me today. Guide me today. Steer me today.

So maybe I shouldn’t make light of Lisa’s angel displays. Because they might be a reminder to remain aware. Awareness of the beauty and the power and the intelligence that is unseen but which remains near us.

As Mike Aquilina wrote in his Servant Books publication, Angels of God: The Bible, the Church and the Heavenly Hosts:

“The main thing is to be aware of the angels around you—and get in the habit of calling upon them for little favors.  Invoke them silently as you begin each conversation, as you dial the phone, as you start to reply to an e-mail.  Ask them to give you the right words.  Ask them to help you avoid words that can damage your relationships and compromise your Christian witness.”  NB again: I’ve been known to explode from time to time — this last sentence is appropriate for me at least. (Maybe I could do a column on justifiable anger some time. Any thoughts on that?)

I can’t say if they helped or not, but I invoked my angel/s while writing this column. Let me know if you think my words were heavenly. :-)


Deacon Tom


Scrabble Scramble

August 4, 2011 Allyson, Feature 1 Comment
Scrabble by 7-how-7 http://www.flickr.com/photos/7-how-7/

While I’m trying to instil some virtues in my crew, they are working on their sense of humor.
I’ve been cleaning out cabinets the last couple of weeks in hopes of getting rid of stuff.  We have too much stuff, but doesn’t everyone?  Well, we’re getting rid of some of ours.  While digging through some of it I ran across a Scrabble game that I purchased at a garage sale.  I had high hopes of using the letters for all sorts of language arts games, crafts, etc.  It’s been in the cabinet for almost three years now, so I decided that it was time to do something with this “letters missing” scrabble game.  I took two of the trays and all of the letters that were there (which was almost all of them) and set it up in our living room on a side table.  The letters I poured into a bowl that Austin had made with his two little hands.  After searching the bowl for letters that would spell “kindness”, I put my word on its little wooden tray and walked away.  I didn’t say a thing.  No one noticed for a couple of days and then “kindness” was replaced with “blindness”, “trust” became “rust”, and “mercy” became “me cry”.  While I’m trying to instil some virtues in my crew, they are working on their sense of humor.  Search your house for your Scrabble game and get it out – it will make everyone smile.  I can’t wait for guests to come over so that they can take a turn.

On a separate note, Lacy over at Catholic Icing has a new book coming out soon.  It looks awesome and if you order now you save $5.  Head on over to http://catholicicing.blogspot.com to see Catholic ABCs (The Book):  A Hands On Preschool Curriculum.  You won’t be disappointed.

CF148: Cry Baby

(don't) Cry by Pedro Klien http://www.flickr.com/photos/pedroklien/

In this episode:  scout camp, praying the Angelus, Catholic Lifetime Reading Plan, benediction, lots of mail: Patrick, Chris, Mac and Katherine, A Little Way of Homeschooling, Melissa Wiley and Tidal Schooling

I'll Be So Glad When the Sun Goes Down: Alan Lomaxâ??s "Southern Journey," 1959â??1960Fred McDowell
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from “I’ll Be So Glad When the Sun Goes Down: Alan Lomaxâ??s “Southern Journey,” 1959â??1960″
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No Gifts Please

July 12, 2011 Allyson, Feature 3 Comments

July 2 was Mattie Claire’s second birthday.  We celebrated her big day with a few friends and a birthday lunch.  Because Mattie Claire is the youngest of five children, she has lots of toys to choose from.  We have baby dolls, doll houses, Barbies, blocks, puzzles, plastic animals, Legos, gears to build with, trucks and cars, horses – the list could go on and on.  Because we have all of these toys, I asked my friends to not buy her a gift.  Instead I wanted to do a book exchange.   Mattie Claire would end up with a new book as well as her little guests.  For the friends who were a little older (other adults or our college grad friend) I asked that they purchase a book and donate it to our local library in honor of Mattie Claire’s second birthday.  When she gets older I’ll take her to the library and we will find the books donated in her honor.  I thought it was a great idea. … Continue Reading

Grocery Shopping with Kids

June 2, 2011 Allyson, Feature No Comments

Grocery shopping with five kids is, well, not fun.  Until now!  I’ve discovered how to do it.   Just follow these 5  simple steps and grocery shopping with five children won’t be a chore anymore.  In fact, it can be quite pleasant.

Step One-each child plans meals for one day; breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, and dessert.  You’ve got to let them plan for all of those so that they feel like there is food in the house.  It might seem like we eat a lot, but we’re not over weight.  Well, most of us are not.

Step Two-Mom puts all of the children’s menus together and adds a few days as well as a few green things.  I don’t think cereal, granola bars, cheese tortellini, and sloppy joes constitute a well-balanced diet for the day.

Step Three-make a shopping list and gather coupons.

Step Four-split the list.  I try to put things on one list that are all in one area of the store.  For example, Hannah and Luke today had dairy products.  I usually do produce and meat.  If I let Austin pick the meat, we would be eating salmon steaks, filet mignon, and pork loin every night and we would go broke.  Since I have 5 children, I split the list into three parts.  Sometimes they pair up boys together and girls together and other times it’s the two bigger kids and then the two younger ones.  I let them decide.  I usually take the baby, but sometimes they ask if Mattie Claire can go with them. … Continue Reading

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