Friday, December 25, 2009

Divine Intimacy - Part Two of a Series

The First Sunday of Advent to the Fifth Sunday After the Epiphany

All the following links come from Catholic-Pages.

In this second part of the series, I will provide links to some of the readings for the book Divine Intimacy, by Father Gabriel of Saint Mary Magdalen, O.C.D., available from Aquinas and More.  The focus of these meditations will be on one of the following; The Ideal: Sanctity, Intimacy With God, The Apostolate - The Mystery of the Incarnation - Jesus: His Person, His Work, Our Relations With Him - The Church - The Sacraments.

Briefly, this book is a goldmine of inspirational thoughts and spiritual meditations from those who lived heroic virtue, to help the soul enter more deeply into the treasures of the Truth of the Faith; so that ones thinking and acting might become transform and unity or Divine Intimacy might be achieved.

I'm sorry there are not more links available for this part of the series.  There will be more links available in part three of this series.

1) THE LORD COMETH FROM AFAR - First Sunday of Advent

8) THE LORD WILL NOT DELAY - Second Sunday of Advent


13) Seeking God in Our Daily Duties

14) The Virgin of the Incarnation

15) THE LORD IS NIGH Third Sunday of Advent

16) Guard of the Senses

17) Interior Silence

18) Seeking God in Faith

19) Seeking God in Love

20) Seeking God in Creatures

21) Seeking God in Activity

22) BEHOLD THE SAVIOR COMES Fourth Sunday of Advent

23) The Call to the Apostolate

24) The Interior Apostolate

25) Apostolic Action

26) The Mystery of the Incarnation December Twenty-Second

27) The Word Was Made Flesh December Twenty-Third

28) The Great Mystery is Accomplished December Twenty-Fourth

29 THE NATIVITY OF OUR LORD Christmas Day - The Savior Has Appeared

30) Believing in Love December Twenty-Sixth

31) Returning Love for Love December Twenty-Seventh

32) Glory to God December Twenty-Eighth

33) Peace to Men December Twenty-Ninth

34) A SIGN OF CONTRADICTION Sunday Within the Octave of Christmas

35) Let Us Make Good Use of Time December Thirty-First


37) Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus 
Sunday From January Second to Fifth Otherwise January Second

38) Jesus Our Mediator

39) Jesus the First-Born of all Creatures

40) Jesus the Universal King

41) The Epiphany of Our Lord January Sixth


43) Jesus the True Vine

44) The Mystical body of Christ

45) "I Am the Life"

46) The Influence of Jesus

47) The Soul of Jesus

48) Living in Christ

49) THE FIRST MIRACLE OF JESUS Second Sunday After the Epiphany

50) "I Am the Truth"

51) The Doctrine of Jesus

52) Jesus Shows Us the Father

53) Jesus the teacher of Sanctity

54) What Jesus' Teaching Exacts

55) The Power of the Divine Teacher

56) JESUS WELCOMES EVERYONE Third Sunday After the Epiphany

57) "I Am the Way"

58) "I Am in the Father"

59) The Prayer of Jesus

60) Jesus and His Father's Will

61) The Works of Jesus

62) Jesus and the Glory of the Father

63) JESUS CALMS THE TEMPEST Fourth Sunday After the Epiphany

64) Jesus and Mankind

65) Living Christ

66) Jesus Our All

67) The Church

68) The Priesthood

69) The Sacraments

70) THE BOND OF PERFECTION Fifth Sunday After the Epiphany

71) Baptism

72) Confirmation

73) Penance

74) Extreme Unction (Anointing of the Sick)

75) Vocation

76) Correspondence to Vocation

Glory to God in the Highest, Peace to Men of Good Will

A Sermon of Pope St Leo the Great
Christian Remember Your Dignity

            Dearly beloved, today our Saviour is born; let us rejoice. Sadness should have no place on the birthday of life. The fear of death has been swallowed up; life brings us joy with the promise of eternal happiness.
            No one is shut out from this joy; all share the same reason for rejoicing. Our Lord, victor over sin and death, finding no man free from sin, came to free us all. Let the saint rejoice as he sees the palm of victory at hand. Let the sinner be glad as he receives the offer of forgiveness. Let the pagan take courage as he is summoned to life.
            In the fullness of time, chosen in the unfathomable depths of God’s wisdom, the Son of God took for himself our common humanity in order to reconcile it with its creator. He came to overthrow the devil, the origin of death, in that very nature by which he had overthrown mankind.
            And so at the birth of our Lord the angels sing in joy: Glory to God in the highest, and they proclaim peace to men of good will as they see the heavenly Jerusalem being built from all the nations of the world. When the angels on high are so exultant at this marvellous work of God’s goodness, what joy should it not bring to the lowly hearts of men?
            Beloved, let us give thanks to God the Father, through his Son, in the Holy Spirit, because in his great love for us he took pity on us, and when we were dead in our sins he brought us to life with Christ, so that in him we might be a new creation. Let us throw off our old nature and all its ways and, as we have come to birth in Christ, let us renounce the works of the flesh.
            Christian, remember your dignity, and now that you share in God’s own nature, do not return by sin to your former base condition. Bear in mind who is your head and of whose body you are a member. Do not forget that you have been rescued from the power of darkness and brought into the light of God’s kingdom.
            Through the sacrament of baptism you have become a temple of the Holy Spirit. Do not drive away so great a guest by evil conduct and become again a slave to the devil, for your liberty was bought by the blood of Christ.

The word was made flesh, alleluia.
And dwelt among us, alleluia.

Christmas Message

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival; for Sunday December 20, 2009

Hi, and welcome to another edition of Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival. We are a group of bloggers who gather once each week to share out best posts. We are all Catholic and blog at least somewhat about Catholic things; some do so exclusively, others only periodically. All are welcome to participate here.

This week has been quite hectic for me as I'm sure it has been for all those in "preparation", during this holy season of Advent.  Here in our little domestic church we gathered this forth Sunday of "waiting" for an Advent Celebration with those who would be elsewhere on Christmas Day.  As nature would have it, along with the gathering came all the planning as well as home and meal preparation and so I have not posted much this past week.  

Of the two posts I had hoped to get up, only the one on Divine Intimacy made it.  I think you will enjoy this post and will look forward to the "Series"; Part Two will be up next week. Due to the past week of inactivity on St. Monica's Tears, I have included links to some older posts.  The first older post is called You Shall Love Your Neighbor As Yourself: A Reflection On The Culture Of Death. In this post I offer a reflection on Matthew 22:36-39 and Matthew 25:31-46.  In this brief reflection I share what I believe are the very basic, fundamental roots of the Culture of Death, how we can see this played out, and how we can identify and correct this insidious evil that permeates every corner of our society.  Unfortunately as you will see and after reading this post; I think you will agree, the foundational structure of the Culture of Death has found it's way into many if not most of our homes and families. 

The final post for this week is entitled Consecrated for Battle as a Missionary Servant of the Gospel of Life. This post is basically a talk given to a group of men and women in which I convey what it means to me to be Consecrated to the Immaculate Conception as a member of the Missionary Servants of the Gospel of Life lay association; a group of laity living the charism of a Church approved religious order, in other words a "third order". In this post I discuss the virtues of humility, meekness, simplicity, mortification and zeal as followed by St. Vincent de Paul our spiritual father; and as taught to me by the example of Our Blessed Mother found in scripture.  I have found these five virtues to be basic in being the mother of two "lapsi". I also refer to the scripture passages Genesis 3:15, Revelation 21:1 and Revelation 12:17 in regards to the pro-life and pro-family battle we find ourselves entrenched in.

Ending this post I ask that we offer a prayer for one another, our families and our culture; that we as a nation will once again embrace the Christian values that our great country is founded upon...those values that proclaim all men are created in the image and likeness of God and as such possess dignity and sanctity; and so being all men have the inalienable right to "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" that order!

In the words of Monsignor Schaedel, a very holy priest and the Vicar General of my Archdiocese, "Of one thing I am convinced; of one thing I am certain: Providence never fails!"

Until next week, with faith, hope and trust in the Providence that will not fail us!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Divine Intimacy - Part One of a Series

Divine Intimacy - Introduction

In this series I am going to provide links to devotional pages of the book Divine Intimacy, by Father Gabriel of Saint Mary Magdalen, O.C.D., available from Aquinas and More.

The text of this book is laid out following the liturgical year of the Traditional Latin or the Extraordinary  Form of the Mass.  It is divided into seven sections of meditational readings. Part Two of this series will include links to the readings for The First Sunday of Advent to The Fifth Sunday After Epiphany

Book review by St. Monica's Tears - I do not have the words within my vocabulary to describe the immense treasure of spiritual wealth contained within the pages of this meditational goldmine.

Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, has taken select writings of the great spiritual pillars of the Faith; St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa of Jesus, St. Teresa Margaret of the Heart of Jesus, St. Theresa of the Child Jesus and Sr. Elizabeth of the Trinity as well as selections from the Gospels, Epistles, the Roman Breviary and the Roman Missal and woven them into a masterful tapestry of spiritual nourishment.

Each daily selection is soaked with deep, profound insight into the spiritual life which draws the soul into a breath-taking experience of overwhelming love, deep devotion and spiritual union with Jesus Christ Our Lord - our living and Triune God.  

Beginning the day with meditations from this spiritual treasure are a must for me to set the proper atmosphere and focus for the remainder of my day.

General Description: From the Aquinas and More website

Divine Intimacy - Meditations on the interior life for every day of the Liturgical year

This Book of Meditations is a classic and is seeped in Carmelite spirituality. For every day it offers two meditations, in liturgical arrangement, that enable the soul to enter the conscious presence of God and to reflect on the theme of the day. These are followed by a ‘Colloquy’ that helps the person at prayer to start a friendly conversation with God where acts of praise and love, petition and thanksgiving are made, together with good resolutions for the future. Here we are at the very heart of prayer, which is a heart-to-heart encounter in faith with the living God.

Divine Intimacy is the highest state attainable on earth. In this union of love, the soul produces acts of love which have an immense apostolic influence on a multitude of souls. This knowledge of the ways that lead to God, according to the teaching of the renowned Spanish mystics, is distilled into the pages of this book.

“This book of meditations is meant for all priests, seminarians, religious, the devout laity, all who aspire to greater union with God: that is, to divine intimacy.”
Pope John XIII

“This Book of Meditations on the interior life for every day of the liturgical year is a pearl of great price. For spiritual reading and personal prayer, it is a treasure, providing sound guidance on the journey of prayer, and a safe companion on the road to holiness and to intimate union with God.”
Bishop Philip Boyce O.C.D, Bishop of Raphoe, Ireland.

About the Author:

Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D., was a Discalced Carmelite priest who became one of the most revered masters of the spiritual life. He acquired a vast knowledge of the ways that lead to holiness and to union with God. His experience with souls, whom he guided to the heights of perfection, was outstanding. He was an expert in the spiritual and mystical doctrine of St. Teresa of Jesus (Avila) and of St. John of the Cross. The Discalced Carmelite nuns of the Monastery of St. Joseph in Rome were the heirs of the Father Gabriel’s vast output of published works and private manuscripts. For ten years, he guided these nuns as their confessor and spiritual director, and it was they who helped him to arrange his material in line with the course of the liturgical year, while following the ascent of the soul to transforming union with God, or to ‘Divine Intimacy.’

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Truth and the Love of God

It is necessary that each person freely accept the truth of the love of God. He is Love and Truth, and love as well as truth never impose themselves: They knock on the door of the heart and mind and, where they enter, bring peace and joy. This is the way God reigns; this is his plan of salvation.”
- Pope Benedict XVI

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

And of what should we be afraid?

"And of what should we be afraid? Our captain on this battlefield is Christ Jesus. We have discovered what we have to do. Christ has bound our enemies for us and weakened them that they cannot overcome us unless we so choose to let them. So we must fight courageously and mark ourselves with the sign of the most Holy Cross." - St. Catherine of Sienna

Beautiful quote for those of us who pray for Lapsi's

Sunday, December 13, 2009

What are Sunday Snippets

Just to clarify Sunday Snippets–A Catholic Carnival is a weekly opportunity to share our best posts with the wider Catholic blogging community. To participate, create a post named "Sunday Snippets - A Catholic Carnival" highlighting posts of the last week that would be of interest to Catholics and link to the host post . Then go to the host blog and leave a comment giving a link to your post.

Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival

This is my first attempt at sharing blog posts on Sunday Snippets - A Catholic Carnival

I have had a very good Advent thus far.  I along with a number of other friends have prayed a novena to Bishop Simon Brute' whose cause for beatification is being studied. We prayed for Bishop Brute's intersession for the healing of an 11 year old boy who has an incurable eye disease. Bishop Brute' is the founding Bishop of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis which at that time was called the Diocese of Vincennes.  He was a very holy man and spent some time teaching at Mount St. Mary's in Emmitsburg, prior to his coming to Indiana in the early 1800's. This boy and his family went to Vincennes yesterday to pray the final novena prayer at the tomb of Bishop Brute' and to venerate his bible, a second class relic.

Friday evening my husband and I went to an Our Lady of Guadalupe party, put on by the Archdiocesan Youth for Life, whom we have sort of adopted as "grandchildren".  The party was preceded by the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and final novena prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe.  The teens then decorated Priori Hall while Sister and I picked up cheese and mushroom pizza.  The evening events included Mexican music and a penyada.  It was all grande fun.

Today our house was Enthroned...but, I think I will wait to give the details next Sunday.

Now for sharing posts...the first post I want to share is Splendor of the Church. Primarily this blog post is a description of Saint Joseph Communications Special Edition of Scott Hahn’s popular DVD The Splendor of the Church.  In this post I describe the DVD and provide links to Saint Joseph Communications where a trailer of the DVD can be viewed and where it can be purchased.

I also want to share King Henry VIII's letter to Pope Leo X on his book entitled  Defence of the Seven Sacraments Against Martin Luther.  This is a very eye-opening letter concerning King Henry VIII and his loyality to the Catholic Church (when this letter was written) and his stand against heresy. I'm sure our Protestant brothers and sister are completly unaware of the information contained in this letter and book. I also provide a link to Keys of Peter, where this book can be purchased as well as other information obtained.

My next post is called "Catholic, but" and is a YouTube video.  This video focuses on what Archbishop Fulton Sheen called "but Catholics" those who are "Catholic in name only", and our response and responsibility to them.

Another post I want to share is called Necessary Qualities for Those Who Mourn for Fallen Away Family and Friends. This post describes qualities that were predominant in the life of St. Monica and essential to the conversion of St. Augustine and others within her family through her intercession for them.  Included in this post are a few short prayers I use to ask St. Monica for her intercession in my family.

The final post I want to share is Advent: An Exercise in Patient, Humble, Simple Obedience. This post is a bit of a mini-reflection on how the season of Advent ties into the dispostion one should have when helping fallen away Catholics return home to the fullness of Christianity and Christ's Church.

I love to write, but have not done much of it lately so, my pen is just a bit rusty.  I'm hoping my blog will act as oil on this rusty pen of mine and the writing skills I once had will reemerge and develop into something substantial. Say a prayer for me, I desperately need it!

Hope to have some good stuff posted for next week. God bless you all!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Splendor of the Church

Detailed Description
There is no shortage of bad news in the Catholic Church today. Scandal, Catholic-in-name-only politicians and policy makers, reduced mass attendance, especially among the young, and on and on and on. Are you finally ready for some “Good News?” We thought so. That’s why Saint Joseph Communications has produced a Special Edition of Scott Hahn’s popular DVD The Splendor of the Church.

External Attraction
When renowned convert Scott Hahn began to study Catholicism, he quickly discovered an authentic splendor about the Catholic Church. At first he was attracted by the Church’s artwork, architecture, intellectual and cultural achievements, humanitarian services, miraculous elements and the heroic virtues of the Saints. But looking closer he found an even more exciting interior splendor, especially in liturgy and worship. Here Hahn discovered the amazing fulfillment of the Old Covenant Passover in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Special Edition

As you watch this new Special Edition of The Splendor of the Church, you will accompany Scott Hahn as he began to uncover the true interior splendor within the Catholic Church. You will share his contagious joy of discovery as he describes his journey through Scripture to find that Jesus is the cause of the prerogatives of Mary, that it is Jesus who established the Church, that it is Jesus who guarantees the papacy, and so much more. Plus in this newly mastered Special Edition you will see on-screen images of the many treasures of art and architecture Scott describes from his meeting with Pope John Paul II in Rome and more.

A Message to the Church

This inspiring presentation also includes a special message for Catholics in America to always love the Church and thereby avoid the path of the Biblical Church of Ephesus that “turned aside from their first love.” The message and spirit of this remarkable presentation is as fresh and encouraging as it was when it was taped in the 1990s. And this new Special Edition makes it more of a joy to watch and share than ever before! Rediscover why the true splendor of the Church, the mystery of Christ Himself, must be reclaimed, and proclaimed, today and always.



  • What the Church teaches about her external splendors
  • What it is about the Church that sets her apart from all denominations
  • How the Catholic Church is the “family of God”
  • Why Catholic missionaries were so successful among the barbarians of Europe
  • What is the theme of the Mystery of Christ
  • Why externals matter in liturgy and worship
  • Why Our Lord’s words to the Church in Ephesus are crucial for Catholics today
  • How faith means obedience to the truth taught by the Church
  • What it takes to become a saint
  • And much, much more!

To purchase a copy of this DVD go to Saint Joseph Communications

To view a trailer of the DVD go to Saint Joseph Communications

Henry VIII’s Letter to Pope Leo X on the subject of his book “Assertio Septem Sacramentorum”

Taken from: Keys of Peter 

Most Holy Father:

No duty is more incumbent on a Catholic sovereign than to preserve and increase the Christian faith and religion and the proofs thereof, and to trans­mit them preserved thus inviolate to posterity, by his example in preventing them from being destroyed by any assailant of the Faith or in any wise impaired.

So, when we learned that the pest of Martin Luther's heresy had appeared in Germany and was raging everywhere, without let or hindrance, to such an extent that many, infected with its poison, were falling away, especially those whose furious hatred rather than their zeal for Christian Truth had prepared them to believe all its subtleties and lies; we were so deeply grieved at this heinous crime of the German nation (for whom we have no light regard), and for the sake of the Holy Apostolic See, that we bent all our thoughts and energies on up­rooting in every possible way, this cockle, this heresy from the Lord's flock.

When we perceived that this deadly venom had advanced so far and had seized upon the weak and ill-disposed minds of so many, that it could not easily be overcome by a single effort, we deemed that nothing could be more efficient in destroying the contagion than to declare these errors worthy of condemnation, after they had been examined by a con­vocation of learned and scholarly men from all parts of our realm.

This course of action we likewise recommended to a number of others. In the first place, we earnestly entreated His Imperial Majesty, through our fraternal love for him, and all the electoral princes, to bethink them of their Christian duty and their lofty station and to destroy this pernicious man, together with his scandalous and heretical publications, after his re­fusal to return to God.

But convinced that, in our ardour for the welfare of Christendom, in our zeal for the Catholic Faith and our devotion to the Apostolic See, we had not yet done enough, we determined to show by our own writings our attitude towards Luther and our opinion of his vile books; to manifest more openly to all the world that we shall ever defend and uphold the Holy Roman Church, not only by force of arms but by the resources of our intelligence and our services as a Christian.

For this reason we have thought that this first attempt of our modest ability and learning could not be more worthily dedicated than to your Holiness, both as a token of our filial reverence and an acknowledgment of your careful solicitude for the weal of Christendom.

We feel assured that our first fruits will be enhanced in value if it be approved by the wholesome judgment of your Blessedness. May you live long and happily!

From our Royal Palace at Greenwich, the twenty-first day of May, 1521.

Your Holiness' most devoted and humble son, Henry, by the grace of God King of England and France, and Lord of Ireland.

Friday, December 11, 2009

"Catholic, but"

Necessary Qualities for Those Who Mourn for Fallen Away Family and Friends

Patience, Endurance, Charity, Prayer and Conversion 

These five words where so much lived out in the life of St. Monica.

Patience - The waiting must have been terrible for St. Monica who watched her son, St. Augustine drift into paganism and eventually come back to the Catholic faith.

Endurance - Being given in marriage to a cruel, pagan man whom she didn't know or love. Knowing that she must obey her parents and their choice for her suitor.      

Charity - She had been taught to love the poor and the suffering, and to serve them at her own expense and inconvenience, and the service of others makes one unselfish. She showed this charity to her servants and to her aging mother-in-law who was a very controlling woman.

Prayer - The unceasing prayers of St. Monica helped many including her husband, Patricius; his mother, her children - Navigius, Perpetua and her eldest son, Augustine; who came back to the faith and was baptized at the age of 33 by St. Ambrose. Never underestimate the power of prayer.

Conversion - Her personal and continual interior conversion and spiritual renewal graced her with dependence upon constant prayer and intercession for her family members.   

To these five words we need to add Obedience and Trust.  Without obedience to God's will and trust in His most infinite mercy St. Monica would never have been able to remain faithful in patience, endurance, charity, prayer and conversion.

Prayers Of St. Monica

To you I fly for aid and for instructions, St. Monica, wondrous exemplar of unswerving prayer for children. Into your loving arms I place my children, that through your powerful intercession they may obtain the graces for genuine conversion to Christ Our Lord. To you I also humbly appeal, matron of matrons, to ask our Lord to grant me the same spirit of ceaseless prayer He granted to you. All this I ask through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen. ++

O God, Who observed the devout tears and pleading of St. Monica and granted to her prayers the conversion of her husband and the penitential return of her son, Augustine, grant us the grace to implore Thee also with earnest zeal, so that we may obtain, as she did, the salvation of our own soul and the souls of those belonging to us. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen. + +

O holy Monica, by your patience and prayers you obtained from God the conversion of your husband and the grace to live in peace with him; obtain for us, we beseech you, the blessing of Almighty God, so that true harmony and peace may reign also in our homes, and that all the members of our families may attain eternal life. Amen. ++

O holy Monica, by your burning tears and unceasing prayers you saved your son from eternal damnation. Obtain for us the grace ever to comprehend what is most conducive to the salvation of our children, so that we may effectively restrain them from sin and lead them by virtue and piety to Heaven! Amen. ++

In your mercy, Lord, you received the tears of St. Monica as she wept for hers on. At the intercession of both mother and son, give us grace to weep for sin and to obtain Your Forgiveness. Amen. ++

Exemplary Mother of the great Augustine, you perseveringly pursued your wayward son not with wild threats but with prayerful cries to heaven. Intercede for all mothers in our day so that they may learn to draw their children to God. Teach them how to remain close to their children, even the prodigal sons and daughters who have sadly gone astray. Amen. ++

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Advent: An Exercise in Patient, Humble, Simple Obedience

By Patricia Arthur R.N., M.S.G.L.
Advent, it seems as though we were here not so very long ago.  Oh how the days fly by; this gift of life not deserved but given freely by our most loving and generous heavenly Father, is much too short.  As I begin this post, I do so my dear brother and sister grandparents; who like I, have children fallen away from the Faith.  These children and grandchildren are like sheep who have no Shepherd.  They have no concept of their heritage in faith or their religious roots.  They simply don't know; what they don't know! 

This is where my circumstances enter the picture. I was raised as a Methodist and did not convert to Catholicism until my oldest son was 10 years old.  The relationship I had with my Mother...if anything was strengthened with my conversion.  I did things with Mom at her Church and she did things with me at my Church, we had long discussions about the differences in our respective beliefs.  I came to really “know” my Mother through the openness she and I shared in these discussions and I believe she came to know me in a more intimate way as well.  Not only this, but I came to a much deeper awareness of the love and respect, God commanded me to show her out of love for Him.  I came to understand if I could not love and honor the parents I could see, it was impossible to love the God I could not see. I began to understand how my relationship with my mother and even my deceased father had a direct parallel relationship to my spiritual life. 

Being a convert to Catholicism the wonderful ancient Christian customs for the season of Advent were not something I was aware of as I was raising my children and it saddens me I did not have the opportunity to pass them on to my sons. But in keeping my heart, mind and soul open to the prompting of the Holy Spirit I am implementing these and other spiritually deep and rich traditions as the Lord guides me in spiritual maturation in my pilgrim journey on earth.  

So what does any of this have to do with the holy season of Advent and the title to this blog post?  The answer in a word - everything.  Now let me explain how I see this fitting into my vocation as a Catholic mother and grandmother, in my particular circumstances.  

Advent is a period of prayer in preparation for the coming of Christmas...the birth of Christ and in a deeper sense the preparation of the second coming of Our Lord, at our passing from this world into eternal life. We wait in joyful hope for both the celebration of Our Lord's birth and for our heavenly reward. This type of hope is confident that what is desired will certainly be attained. It is a hope that implies a desire, which seeks and pursues some future good that is not yet possessed. This hope recognizes that the object wanted is not easily obtained and that it requires effort to overcome whatever obstacles stand in the way.  This hope recognizes we are sinners and are unworthy without the Mercy and Goodness of our Lord who moves us to prayer, repentance and conversion.  This hope requires perseverance and patience

Advent is a time to humbly reflect upon who we are and who God is; to recommit ourselves to know Him, to love Him and to serve Him with our whole heart, with our whole soul, and with all our mind and strength. If we are truly in love with Him we will naturally be inclined toward simple obedience to Our Lord as evidenced by conformity to the teachings of His Holy Catholic Church. 

Patient, humble, simple obedience...these are the key elements to helping our children.  They are the key elements in allowing our Lord to work through us; and Mary is our perfect example of patient, humble, simple obedience.

The Vatican on youtube