Flashback Friday

Flashback Friday–Epiphany Edition

How was your week? This last week has been wild and busy for our household. So, I thought I’d do a Flashback Friday. It’s been awhile.

  1. Last Wednesday–the 6th–was Epiphany. Did you celebrate? We did, and it began on the 5th with the traditional blessing of salt and water at St. James the Less Catholic Church. If you’ve never attended this traditional blessing, you’re missing out! The prayers are beautiful and powerful, especially the exorcism prayers. If you’d like more about it, click HERE wherein Fr. Zuhlsdorf shows pictures from his church and explains the ceremony.
Getting set up at St. James for the blessing. The servers are organizing everyone’s water and salt. We brought 4 gallons of water and 2 containers of salt to use throughout this coming year.

The above photo shows the water and salt that families brought in to be blessed. They will use this water throughout the year to bless their homes and their children. The salt can be used likewise, and in cooking.

2. Of course we went to Mass on Epiphany Day too. Then afterwards we had friends over for a meal and then later, we prayed the traditional blessing of the home while my husband chalked the front door with blessed chalk, which our parish provides. (If you’ve never done this, it’s not too late! Click HERE for more information.)

Inside of our front door. You’ll notice that the first two numbers and the last two numbers are the current year. The three middle initials stand for the Magi, separated by crosses.

3. Also on the evening of Epiphany, our family chooses a new Saint of the Year. This is just a custom that we’ve done over the last ten or so years. In short, everyone is supposed to prayerfully pick a saint to submit to the hat. My husband invokes the Holy Spirit and asks Him to choose a saint for our family. Then I draw one from the hat.

Last year was St. Miguel Pro, which one of my sons had submitted. This year? The Holy Family, which one of the Little Girls had submitted. She afterward explained, “Well, I wanted Jesus, Mary, AND Joseph, so I put in the whole Holy Family.” And the Holy Family it is!

We’ll invoke the Holy Family to pray for us all year long, especially at every meal.

4. Did anyone eat anything interesting over these holidays? We’ve been eating dove lately, as our boys are making use of their Christmas pellet guns.

It’s not bad eating, really. Chop it up and saute it in olive oil with garlic and onion. You can’t go wrong.

5. I caught the Little Girls playing with toothpaste again. Seriously, this is a problem. I had to clean it up off the bathroom floor and counters. But I guess it makes for good soup or whatever the Little Girls are serving up in their restaurant.

Caught her red-handed. Notice the measuring cup of toothpaste? What I want to know is, what happened to the toothpaste that was obviously IN the cup?? Did someone eat it? Gross.

6. Lastly, dear Readers, Paul is scheduled for another surgery this Monday. If you think of it, remember him in your prayers. He’s doing well, but the swelling in his spine has grown to alarming levels, and we’ll need to experiment with another shunt that can hopefully manage the fluid in his brain better.

7. Oh, but I can’t leave you on a negative note. If you need a bit of encouragement, read Psalm 139 which begins, “O Lord, you have searched me and known me…you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.” It’s so beautiful. We are meant to live here and now, and God will never leave us; He is great and powerful and reigns forever!

Call Me Catholic

Resolution Time: Epiphany of Virtues

All right people.  It’s Resolution Time.  Yes, I know it’s a little late, but around this household, we do it with Epiphany.

And our resolutions are going to be different than most peoples’.  So in other words, instead of trying a hundred different ways to lose weight, we’re going to try a virtue.

For example, if weight really was a problem, then I’d want to take a deeper look at it.  What is the deep, down issue?  Where are things going wrongly?  Instead of determining to lose ten pounds this year, maybe take a look the virtues that you’re soft on.  In this case, maybe it’s an issue of Moderation or Temperance.  So then, make a concerted effort to read and learn about the virtue of Temperance.  And get on your knees and beg Jesus for the grace of this virtue.  And then make a concrete plan to live it.

But maybe this isn’t your issue.  Maybe it’s the Noonday Devil, otherwise known as Acedia or Sloth.  I’ll tell you what, 3:30pm rolls around, and I’m wiped.  I don’t want to think about feeding my family of nine.  Just the thought of chopping vegetables, boiling noodles, and frying up 3 pounds of hamburger for supper is enough to paralyze me into inactivity.  Or, worse, it makes me want to load the van up and go for a coffee instead – thinking that caffeine will give me the boost I need.  Or maybe I just need to check my email one more time before picking up that frying pan…  Ugh, I had better pray for Diligence instead.

The point is, maybe this year it would be a good idea to take a look at the 7 Deadly Sins with the 7 Lively Virtues when it comes to Resolution Time.  Maybe pick one that you struggle with and make a commitment to learn about it, pray with it, and then form a concrete plan to live it out.

I’ll repeat that.

Living Epiphany and the Year 2019 with the Virtues:

  1. Determine which vice you struggle with, or which virtue you lack.  (Maybe your spouse could pick it for you?  That’s what we’re doing.)
  2. Look that virtue up.  Read about it.  Buy a book about it.
  3. Spend 2019 praying with that virtue.
  4. Form an action plan to live that virtue.  (Hopefully this will come about through prayer.)

And in case you’ve forgotten…

List of 7 Deadly Sins with the 7 Lively Virtues

  1. Greed and Generosity
  2. Sloth and Diligence
  3. Gluttony and Temperance
  4. Lust and Chastity
  5. Envy and Kindness
  6. Anger and Meekness
  7. Pride and Humility

Or, if you’d rather pick one of these….

3 Theological Virtues

  1. Faith
  2. Hope
  3. Charity

4 Cardinal Virtues

  1. Prudence
  2. Justice
  3. Fortitude
  4. Temperance

And finally, I’ll leave you with a quotation from the Catechism, paragraph 1804:

“The moral virtues are acquired by human effort.  They are the fruit and seed of morally good acts; they dispose all the powers of the human being for communion with divine love.”