Saturday, August 19, 2017

Attachment to Heaven

St. Mary's Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption (Covington, KY)
All spiritual writers frequently talk about detachment from the world and earthly things, which is the same as saying "attachment to Heaven." We just celebrated the feast of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven, which helps us remember we are pilgrims on this earth and our true home lies in eternity with God.

Divine Intimacy, one of my favorite books, has an excellent passage on this topic: "The Feast of the Assumption is a strong appeal to us to live ever intent upon heavenly things, and not to allow ourselves to be carried away by the vicissitudes and seductions of the world. . . . Mary's Assumption shows us the route we must follow in our spiritual ascent: detachment from the earth, flight toward God, and union with God." To reach this end, we must fulfill the will of God in our lives and accept all our sufferings because the closer we are to Christ on the Cross in this life, the closer union we shall share in His reign in the next.

To aid us in fulfilling the will of God, we should try to remove all obstacles to His grace acting in our day to day life. This means detaching from the things of this world. Yes we have to live in this world, but we must live in this world as Christ did while on earth, which was with mind and heart always fixed on the things above. If there are worldly things in our lives that are dragging us and attaching us to earth so much that we cannot keep our gaze on the things that are eternal, then we need to examine our situation and see what can be removed so we can better serve God. For example, I recently discovered how much social media was weighing me down (not that it cannot be used for good) but it was leaving a negative impact on my life. Removing social media seems to have made it easier to think on the things of Heaven rather than of earth.

Let us imitate the Blessed Virgin Mary (who appeared to the Fatima children today) and make many sacrifices for sinners who have no one to pray for them, which will keep us focused on God and Heaven.

                                                                    ~ Therese

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Excitement of DIY Projects


Do you like DIY projects? In my book, being able to do something yourself is very important. Why pay someone else to do it if you can? My parents are big on DIY so I guess you could say I grew up with the idea, but with so much information available now anyone can really get into DIY.

There is something very satisfying in stepping back and looking at a project that you brought to completion. And usually (if you did it right) the project will stand the test of time and maybe you can pass it onto your children. 


DIY projects can be as simple as these window boxes which I was very excited to put together! Or as complicated as house renovation with ripping up tile, new kitchen cabinets, or repainting. One of my favorite DIY projects was building bookcases with my dad for either side of the fireplace for my mom's birthday. To me the best part of DIY is the memories.

The memory for these window boxes is the state on the bottom, which comes from my mom's childhood home! It's been brought along through six different houses! So whatever your project is good luck and have fun! And it's always more fun if the whole family gets involved. 

                                                                                    ~ Therese

Friday, August 4, 2017

Blueberry Crumble (Gluten + Dairy Free)


This has become a new family favorite, guys! A must try! 

Ingredients:

3 cups quick oats
1 cup GF flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 cups (medium sized) blueberries
1 1/2 T maple syrup
1 T corn starch
1 T orange juice

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Stir together oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Pour oil in slowly until well mixed and/or crumbs begin to form. Take half the mixture and line a 7x11 glass pan with the crumb mixture as the bottom crust (packed firmly). Save the other half for the top. Bake crust for 10 minutes. Put berries, maple syrup, corn starch, and juice in a saucepan and stir over medium heat for two minutes or until juices begin to thicken. (Blueberries should still be round not completely smushed). Pour filling on top of the baked crust and add the rest of the crumb mixture over the top and pack down. Bake entire mixture for additional 25 minutes. Serves eight-ten. Enjoy!

                                                                                   ~ Therese

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Fruits of Attending Holy Mass


Because the value of Holy Mass is infinite, we can never truly know the wealth of grace available to us by attending Mass. Here are but a few of the beautiful gifts God bestows on those who attend devoutly!

Through attending the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass . . . 

. . . your greatest consolation at death will be the Masses you have heard devoutly.
. . . when you are judged each Mass will be with you and plead for your pardon.
. . . you can diminish your temporal punishment due to sin according to your fervor.
. . . you give the greatest homage possible to the Sacred Humanity of Our Lord.
. . . Our Lord supplies for your negligences and omissions.
. . . the venial sins you are determined to avoid are forgiven.
. . . all your unknown sins never confessed are forgiven. 
. . . the power of Satan over your soul is diminished.
. . . you offer those in Purgatory the best possible relief.
. . . one Holy Mass heard during your lifetime is more beneficial than many offered for you after your death.
. . . you are preserved from many dangers and misfortunes that would otherwise have befallen you.
. . . you shorten your Purgatory by each Mass heard devoutly.
. . . you kneel amid a multitude of angels present at each Mass.
. . . you are blessed in temporal goods and affairs.
. . . when offering in honor of a saint or angel you give that saint or angel a new degree of honor and joy, drawing his special protection and love on yourself.

(Info courtesy of St. Benedict Center Still River, MA saintbenedictcenter.com)

"For each Mass we hear with devotion, Our Lord sends a saint to comfort us at death." ~ revelation of Christ to St. Gertrude the Great

                                                                            ~ Therese

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Be At Peace


I am Polish and I have this sign hanging on my fridge to remind me of these simple yet powerful words "Be at Peace." In a world that is suffering and always needing to "de-stress," peace is something that is very much sought after. It is hard when we feel like "our world" is falling apart around us and there seems to be no answers to our problems, but Our Lord said, "I have overcome the world."

St. Therese talks about suffering from moment to moment, which was the only thing that brought her peace. True peace comes from God. I know when things are upside down in my life, it's those quiet moments before the Blessed Sacrament that bring peace to my heart. Our Lord said again, "Come to Me all you who labor and find life burdensome and I will give you rest." Rest is that peace that He alone can give.

Acceptance helps us be at peace as well. There may be things we simply cannot change that are overwhelmingly challenging in our lives. We may have to accept them without understanding. It is then that we must look to Christ Crucified which is the only place that suffering makes any sense.

I love this quote of St. Francis de Sales: “Have no fear for what tomorrow may bring, the same loving God who cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow and every day. He will either shield you from suffering or give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace, then, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.”

                                                                               ~ Therese

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Wholesome Writing


The words "wholesome writing" might deter some folks who are only looking to be amused by things that are not necessarily good. But writing can be genuinely interesting, entertaining, and fun, while remaining wholesome at the same time but without being what is considered "preachy." 

For example, I absolutely love mysteries. So many of them however are twisted, weird, or just depressing. So why can't they be lighthearted and uplifting? Why can't the books we read be clear of all offensive content and enjoyable for any age range? 

Writers have a tremendous responsibility. You can either make someone a better person for having read your creation or a worse person. Every little thing matters. The simplest sentence can have a powerful impact on a person. This means that writers have the beautiful ability of touching hearts and making someone see something in another light.

Stories of heroes are what encourage us in our own lives. Fiction can only encourage us to a certain extent and the stories that are true resonate even deeper. But beneath the fiction of a narrative are messages and themes that apply to our day to day life and inspire us to go forward. Writers can never forget that more important than their stories are the people who read them.

Let's make our writing wholesome in the sense that when readers walk away from our books, they are better and happier people--ready to face troubles in their lives with courage.

                                                                      ~ Therese

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Apple Pie Cake with Cinnamon Glaze


It doesn't get better than this right? Love apple pie? Love cake? So you have to make an apple pie cake! This is also awesome because it's gluten and lactose free! 

Ingredients for Cake:

~ 2 large apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
~ 1/2 cup honey
~ 1/2 cup maple syrup (the real stuff not Aunt Jemima's guys)
~ 1 T orange juice
~ 1/2 t salt
~ 8 eggs
~ 3 cups GF flour
~ 2 t cinnamon
~ 1 T vanilla extract

Ingredients for Glaze:

~ 2 cups confectioners sugar
~ 1 T cinnamon
~ water to desired consistency (see below)


Directions for Cake:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 10" springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper, which can also be greased with oil. Combine the apples, honey, maple syrup, and orange juice in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Bring down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until the apples are tender. Put the eggs, flour, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla in a mixer and stir till combined well. Add the apple/honey/syrup mixture and stir to combine. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 30 minutes or until knife/fork comes out clean. Let cool for half an hour and place on a serving plate. Spread the glaze over the surface of the cake and allow to drip down the sides. Ready to enjoy! Can also put into the freezer for fifteen minutes to harden the glaze.

Directions for Glaze:

Combine the sugar and cinnamon. Add water slowly. Start with 1 T and stir. Depending on if you want a thick or thin icing, add more water slowly to desired consistency a teaspoon at a time. If it gets too thick add water, or too thin add sugar. Pour over the cooled cake. This cake serves 10-12 people.

Now you can try this out and have it all ready for the Fall! 

                                                                                                             ~ Therese