Acts of Charity Endure Forever

“All the powers of an empire, they rise and fall around us, they come and go, but acts of charity… they endure forever. And people who lay down their lives in love and service of humanity, they blaze like the sun for all eternity.

St. Maximillian Kolbe, pray for us.”
~reallifecatholic.com
 

 [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsHiBTLo3aw&w=560&h=315]

We are living in scary times. I often ask myself what I can do to combat the ignorance and misinformation that is being spread and believed by so many, including people I love and respect. What can I do to combat the conflict and discord in the world today?

I’ve come to the conclusion that actions are what need to speak at this time in history. Most of what we say will be misunderstood or twisted to mean something other than what is intended. Actions though… actions are harder to distort into something they are not.

And face it, our actions, OUR actions… those of us average Americans just living our everyday lives trying to raise our families the best we can… our actions really don’t affect a whole heck of a lot of people.

So what we need to do is focus on the people we come in contact with everyday. Start there.

First, our family. Treat our family, our children, our homes with love and respect. Teach our children to respect each other and embrace each other’s differences. Teach them that it’s okay to disagree with someone else, it’s okay to hate the evil things that others do, but they must still love them. Love the person, not the sin.

Then, when we are out and about in our communities, we can smile. We can laugh with the bank teller and tell the person that gets us our coffee that we like their hair that day. Or we can meet the UPS guy at the door and tell him we are grateful for his effort in getting us our packages.

At work we can respect our coworkers. We can show them appreciation and esteem. We can be enthusiastic about our work and be thankful for the opportunity to work and be compensated for that work. We can let our diligent performance of our duties show our gratitude to our employers.

And finally, but really primarily, we can to guard ourselves against distraction and agitation. We cannot be ambassadors of peace when there is constant anxiety in our own souls. Accept that we cannot change the world, but that we can change ourselves and we can work towards greater love and solidarity in our homes and communities.

And when confronted with a spirit of hate, intolerance and bitterness, we can do the opposite. We can show love, understanding and gentleness. We can be another Maximillian Kolbe or a St. Thomas More.

The opposite of hate is not hate. It is love.

Let our actions always speak love and charity and there will be no room for hate in our hearts.

This Week’s Book Basket

While we have officially started school, we are still in the middle of figuring out what works and what doesn’t. Meanwhile, we still have a small Book Basket this week!

Really, it’s not a basket, it’s the very top shelf of my ‘teacher’ bookshelf. This is where I keep all the books that are on our current week’s reading list. Some of them follow along with curriculum. Some of them are just books that looked good from the weekly library visit. This week, due to the fact that we are just getting into the school routine, I only have two. I will work on filling the shelf next week!

The Book Basket this time includes a book that I picked up on a rare trip, 2 1/2 hours away, at our closest bookstore (GASP!). Did I tell you we live in the boonies? What Do YOU Do With a Problem was on special so I took a chance and brought it home. It tells about a boy with a problem. He tries to avoid the problem, but it only gets bigger. Finally, he confronts his problem only to learn that it really wasn’t as big and bad as he thought it was. Not only a great life lesson, but I really enjoyed the illustrations.

 

This next one we’ve been working on for a while. I’d love to be able to finish it this week! It’s the first in the Will Wilder series. Will is a feisty boy that gets into some mishaps that lead him to attempt to save his hometown of Perilous Falls. Full of action and suspense, the characters in this book keep us all at the edge of our seats.

 

Eclipse of the Century – lots of links

Good afternoon friends!

We are trying not to get too eclipse crazy here in the North Country. I came across this website where you can type a city name and see what the eclipse will look like on August 21, 2017. The closest city to us looks like this:

Burlington, VT

While not a full solar eclipse here, if the weather cooperates, we will still have a fun afternoon of learning about the sun, the moon and orbits. Those in the path of totality will witness the moon passing between the earth and the sun. Darkness will surround you and stars will be visible at midday. What a wonderful opportunity for homeschool learning!

So, I’ve compiled a list of links for helping teach your children about the eclipse. Enjoy! And if you have the chance, post a comment  (link at the top of the post) and let me know what you are doing on Monday, August 21, 2017.

NASAs Official Website for the 2017 Eclipse

  • Go here for the latest news, weather and scientific data

Share It Science News

  • This link tells you everything you need to know to safely enjoy the eclipse with kids

SciShow Kids Video

  • This is a YouTube video appropriate for children. It does a great job of explaining an eclipse and also describing the danger of looking at the sun during an eclipse.

Making a Pinhole Projector from a Cereal Box

  • A quick video on how to make a pinhole projector from a cereal box, paper, aluminum foil and tape. **This is the one we will be trying!**

To Mothers of Young Children

I often get the question from mothers of young children, “How do you do it?” and I often wonder myself how I DID it. You see, my life now is very different from the way it was just 8 or so years ago. I don’t really remember how I did it when I had so many little children and no big helpers, except that it wasn’t perfect and, only by God’s grace, did I make it through to the current season I’m in.

I think that particular season of mothering, when absolutely everything is on your shoulders, when life is nothing more than waking and serving others all day long, is the most difficult and the most bone-weary time. And as you totally give of yourself and die to yourself when they are so little, you grow personally and are then able to deal with patience as they enter young adulthood. God knows what He is doing and He is preparing you now for future battles.

The frustrations and constant interruptions of our daily rhythm during this season of life serves to break our will. Our entire life becomes a prayer and a penance. When St. Paul states that women will be saved by childbearing, he is talking about the whole package deal. Midnight prayers with nursing babies. Imposed fasting while helping young children eat instead of feeding yourself. All of it!

We enter this thing called Motherhood as very, very selfish people. And we very quickly realize that life is no longer all about us. And then we realize that we need to give much, much more than we have and that is when God steps in and makes up for what we humans lack.

And what you put in now is what will come back to you when they are adolescents and young adults. Your time and effort, your patience, your prayers, your suffering, will all be rewarded when those babies are just a little bit older and are laughing while washing all the dishes you used to have to wash. When they are folding the mountains of laundry that you had to do yourself. When they are taking the little babies for a walk so that you can have a bit of quiet. It is a happy, close family when everyone realizes they play a part in making a house a home.

So, the point… HANG IN THERE! It gets easier. Really, it does.

Pray hard. Laugh alot. Train the children. Have patience with them. Have patience with yourself. And LOVE THEM every minute… because it goes fast.

The War of the Vendee and Children’s Theater

Navis Pictures has released their latest film The War of the Vendee, almost entirely acted by children.  Trailer follows, along with commentary supplied by Navis.  The film tells the story of the the counter-revolution of the people of the Vendee in France during the Reign of Terror unleashed by the French Revolution.  Navis is not producing art for art’s sake.  Rather, they endeavor to restore the true purpose of art; and, what better way to do it than through the purity of children.  May it flourish!

The story of the Vendee:
In 1793, after enduring three and a half years of mounting persecution of the Church by the architects of the French Revolution, a small band of faithful peasants and nobles began a Catholic “counter-revolution”. This is the largely unknown story of the valiant, six year struggle of the people of a small section of western France, to restore their Holy Religion and their King. Steeped in the influence of St. Louis de Montfort, and wearing their rosaries and emblems of the Sacred Heart, their sacrifices resulted in countless martyrdoms, and ultimately won the restoration of religious freedom for all of France. This film is a love-letter to the Vendean people, and was produced to honor the memory of these brave men and women who willingly sacrificed their lives, “for God and King”. This film features stunning performances by an exuberant cast of over 250 young people, and will inspire audiences of all ages with its timeless themes of courage, faith, and love.

About Navis Pictures (from President Jim Morlino):
The impulses to create, to perform, to tell stories, to entertain, to “play make-believe”, I think, run deep in the human soul. When those impulses are channeled and gently directed, wonderful, magical things can happen – things like, St. Bernadette of Lourdes. In this film, and the others we are producing, one can clearly see that most innocent and pure expression of a child’s creative spirit: channeled, directed, and offered back to the Creator Himself, Almighty God.

And so, we are exploring a new genre – Children’s Cinema. My idea is that with a little careful thought and planning, some attention to detail, just a smidgin of simple guidance, and most importantly, an overriding emphasis on the true purpose of art, namely to glorify God, we can make movies that are truly greater than the sum of their parts. None of these kids are professional actors, and most of them have never even had any formal acting instruction, but I believe a child doesn’t need to be taught how to put on a costume and pretend – it just comes naturally.
The kids love watching the finished movies, and they’ll be able to share them with their children some day. But the benefits don’t stop there – I think the idea of Navis Pictures, and especially the films themselves will appeal to just about anyone who appreciates truth, beauty, innocence and joy…