Tag Archives: quotes

Three Quotes for the Feast of St. Francis de Sales

“Have patience with all things, But, first of all with yourself.”

St Francis de Sales (from Catholic Digest’s Quiet Moment for today)

I say that devotion must be practised in different ways by the nobleman and by the working man, by the servant and by the prince, by the widow, by the unmarried girl and by the married woman. But even this distinction is not sufficient; for the practice of devotion must be adapted to the strength, to the occupation and to the duties of each one in particular.

Tell me, please, my Philothea, whether it is proper for a bishop to want to lead a solitary life like a Carthusian; or for married people to be no more concerned than a Capuchin about increasing their income; or for a working man to spend his whole day in church like a religious; or on the other hand for a religious to be constantly exposed like a bishop to all the events and circumstances that bear on the needs of our neighbour. Is not this sort of devotion ridiculous, unorganised and intolerable? Yet this absurd error occurs very frequently, but in no way does true devotion, my Philothea, destroy anything at all. On the contrary, it perfects and fulfils all things. In fact if it ever works against, or is inimical to, anyone’s legitimate station and calling, then it is very definitely false devotion.”

–from Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales (excerpted from the second reading from today’s Office of Readings)
The person who possesses Christian meekness is affectionate and tender towards everyone: he is disposed to forgive and excuse the frailties of others; the goodness of his heart appears in a sweet affability that influences his words and actions, presents every object to his view in the most charitable and pleasing light.  
–St. Francis de Sales (quote from Franciscan Media’s “Saint of the Day.”)
Today is the feast of St. Francis de Sales, patron of this blog, and one of my favorite saints.  He’s the patron of journalists.
Usually during Lent I bring out my well-worn copy of Introduction to the Devout Life, and this year will be no different.
This is not my edition, but a handsome recently released one. There are many available.

Today I’ll be celebrating in style, as this day is also the baptism anniversary of our oldest.  She requested that I make chocolate fudge and peanut butter fudge (both adapted from my mom’s recipe), so I did so yesterday.  Since  I didn’t make these sweet treats over the Christmas season, we are really enjoying how good they taste.

Update for 2014: I am not making fudge today, but we are still celebrating today and enjoying the feast.  Do you celebrate today?

My St. Nicholas Day Present–Radiate by Colleen Swaim

I was so grateful when Bonnie Engstrom of “A Knotted Life” (as part of her Advent series) asked me to write about Advent traditions in our family.  I must have been feeling a little discouraged when I wrote about not being well-prepared for Advent, because it was very encouraging for me to have the   chance to articulate what we do well this time of year.

I write about “go with your strengths” and our family’s strength, of course, is using books to celebrate Advent and Christmastime.  The one book I featured was The Miracle of St. Nicholas by Gloria Whelan and beautifully illustrated by Judith Brown.  We finally read our copy of The Miracle of St. Nicholas  until after dinner, but it was a nice quiet after-dinner time.  There was a lot of chocolate eaten today (including by me!)

But my St. Nicholas Day present (a surprise, and welcome surprise!) came in the mail this afternoon–when I picked up the mail and saw a copy of Radiate: More Stories of Daring Teen Saints by Colleen Swaim.

I am a huge Colleen Swaim fan since I read her first book Ablaze: Stories of Daring Teen Saints.  It’s a book intended for teen readers, but I loved and all my kids (8-13 at the time) loved it.  I’ve given it as a gift multiple times, and everyone I’ve given it to or recommended it to has loved it, without exception.  I reviewed Ablaze here (calling it a “gem”) and interviewed Colleen here.  I hope to have another Q&A with Colleen again soon, since she is willing. Look for that here soon!

I’ve been anxiously awaiting this book’s release ever since I saw it had a November 1 release date, and actually planned to review it for my November print column in The Catholic Post.  The publisher told me it was a little delayed, so I held off so I could review it for my December gift books column.  Unfortunately, I wanted to be absolutely sure it was officially available, so that prevented me from reviewing it for my December column, which appears in this weekend’s Post.

But I was really, truly excited to see in the mail this afternoon a hot-off-the-presses copy of Radiate.  Now do you believe me that I am really into books? 🙂

This isn’t actually a review of the book, since one of the kids has run off with it.  From my first look at it, it looks just as handsome and well-produced as Ablaze, with both new and well-loved saints.  Review soon!  In the meantime, if you need a book suggestion for a tween or teen reader, Radiate is your book.


LIFE Runners Marathon, Part 1: High Five!

This post is unofficially subtitled, if you don’t like photos in a post, you might just want to come back in a few days, after I share over the next few days some of the many experiences running my second marathon earlier this month, and my first time as part of the LIFE Runners team.   This has taken me much longer to post than I expected, but I think readers and friends will enjoy hearing about my experience.

You may be thinking this is a little far afield from books, my primary focus here.   And I do promise that some of this relates to books–promise!  And I will do a round-up of great pro-life and running books that I’ve reviewed in past years, as well as have a Q&A with a fellow LIFE Runner who authored a book recently about his cross-country run.

But for now, it’s all about the marathon and LIFE Runners; definitely on-topic as far as I’m concerned.

I have been training for since early in the summer, and only several weeks ago discovered the group LIFE Runners and that the group was doing their annual race weekend in St. Louis, just a few hours away.  I wrote about changing my plans here, and so I signed up for the LIFE Runners team as well as the St. Louis Rock’n’Roll Marathon.

LIFE Runners was founded in 2008 by two Air Force Lieutenant Colonels–Rich Reich and Pat Castle, to “pray, raise funds, and run…All In Christ for Pro-Life!”  The group has a goal for a major race or race series each year, and have been running them since 13 LIFE Runners ran the 2008 Chicago Marathon.  The group has grown to the 252 who ran in the St. Louis Race series, the largest charity group (by far) there.   Runners agree to raise funds for one of several local charities, and run wearing a LIFE Runners t-shirt while running the race. Impressive!

I confess I was a wee bit intimidated by all the military active duty or veterans, since I’m  not … military… but the LIFE Runners is very diverse, and everyone was very welcoming, and I was glad for high level of organization and great experience of pro-life solidarity that they created.

The expression “High Five!”  comes from Pat Castle (one of those Lt Cols) , the president of the group, and he is super-motivating, to say the least.  High-fives abound, whether on the LIFE Runners website, the Facebook page, or in person from Pat.

Now, I’m going to use the expression “high five” in this post a lot, and I want to make perfectly clear that I am in no way making fun of “high five.”  I think I did first smile when I heard and saw all the “high fives,” but I quickly realized the genius of it; how it brings us together and encourages in a genuine way.  I feel confident that the other LIFE Runners are smiling along with me and nodding.  It’s just a great expression in so many ways, and captures Pat’s personality and LIFE Runners in general.

We made this a family trip, and I have to high five! my husband and kids for being good sports about various issues with the weekend.

We arrived very late Friday night, so Saturday morning was dedicated to a little sleeping in as well as going to the health and fitness expo to pick up my race bib as well as check things out.  Now, one of the things about big race expos, as many articles  and books will tell you, is that you tend to overspend and buy weird things you would never normally buy, like crazy running tights or hats with strange messages on them.

I kept saying to Joseph and the kid, but it didn’t seem to have much effect on them or me, because we ended up buying a few things, but fortunately none of them were particularly crazy.

The free samples were a big hit.  Unfortunately, we kept finding our 9-year-old at this free sample booth, looking with puppy dog eyes at the young women handing out samples. He was not successful (high five! sample ladies), I’m happy to report, but I couldn’t resist a photo and a laugh, as well as endure our teenager saying, “Don’t encourage him!”

There was just a little time to grab a quick late lunch and head over to the Cathedral Basilica for the LIFE Runners gathering before the 5 p.m. Sunday Vigil Mass.

While I’d been in Facebook contact with the LIFE Runners team, I had never met anyone in person or knew any of them, so I’ll confess to being nervous.  But the group was welcoming, and I had no trouble making friends.

We started with a group photo.  According to the LIFE Runners website, there were 252 LIFE Runners in St. Louis, making it by far the largest charity group running the races.  A large contingent was there for the pre-Mass photo:

Then Pat Castle gathered us for some high fives (really!) and talks.  First was a blessing by Bishop Paprocki of Springfield.  Pat Castle is here introducing Bishop Paprocki:


Next we had a talk by a priest from Steubenville, who it turns out was a fellow marathoner.

Finally, Karla shared her experience of having an abortion at age 15 and healing after many decades, and shared how important it is to be a witness to life.  This is at close range becuase the cathedral’s bells started to go off during her talk, so Pat Castle brought us all in close to Karla, which made it that much more intimate an experience, and beautiful and healing for all of us.

Mass was next in the beautiful Basilica, and another large group there for Mass was a Society of St. Francis de Sales, who happens to be the patron saint of journalists.  I thought that was neat coincidence for me.

Here’s one of the many beautiful mosaics inside the Cathedral Basilica.

After Mass, we went over to a gathering space next to the cathedral for a pasta dinner served by the Knights of Columbus.  As we waited in line for buffet, diners could pass by booth set up by various groups, in particular the three charity beneficiaries of this year’s LIFE Runners races.  Our kids enjoyed getting to chat with the staffers at the Thrive booth.  Thrive is one of the beneficiary charities for the LIFE Runners this year.

What I loved was getting to meet the brewers from Two Lawyers and a Priest Brewing, who brewed a special beef for LIFE Runners. High five, Catholics who brew beer for pro-life!  They were giving away bottles in a kind of silent-auction method, and I’m happy to say that I did get a bottle, though I’ve not yet had the chance to enjoy it.  I’m going to split it with my husband.

So much was memorable about the dinner and program.  Jennifer Brinker writes about the LIFE Runners and the weekend more at the St. Louis Review.

Bishop Paprocki, one of the LIFE Runners (and a seasoned marathoner) received the first LIFE Runner of the Year award.  His remarks were amazing–he spoke about the Communion of Saints and how he feels more connected to them during distance running.  In particular, he told a moving story of how he lost his father between the time Bishop Paprocki qualified for the Boston Marathon and ran the Boston Marathon, and how he felt the presence of his father during Boston.

I think it is difficult for me to convey how good his short remarks were; I’m not sure if it sounds trite; he is an excellent preacher and captured this beautifully. I have definitely felt that “communion of saints” feeling, when I ran a half-marathon less than a year after my father passed away.  There really is something unique about distance running, not just in a physical way, but in a spiritual way.  I’ll write more about that tomorrow and the next day.

That’s it for Part 1 of my LIFE Runners marathon experience–high five to me for finishing it before the end of 2012!  More tomorrow.

Worth a Listen: TobyMac and Jamie Grace

(Sharing great songs that are inspiring, uplifting and/or are otherwise “worth a listen”)

As I (over) shared last week, I’m not keeping under wraps any more my love of great Christian music.  Lately we’ve been listening to the new TobyMac release, which debuted several weeks ago at number one, the first time a Christian release has done so in 15 years.  We especially enjoy “Me Without You,” but it’s only been a few days since I downloaded the new album, so I’m sure we will have other favorites.

Here’s just a portion of a live performance of a Jamie Grace song that features TobyMac.  

Do you have a favorite TobyMac song?  I think mine is “Lose My Soul.”

The Quotable, Venerable Fulton Sheen: On Intellect

Our intellects do not make the truth; they attain it; they discover it. 

Archbishop Fulton Sheen, Religion without God.

There are so many great quotes from Fulton Sheen that I am posting a selection here and there this month.   You can read some of the prior quotes here  and here , or you can search the “Fulton Sheen” label and all the quotes will come up.

I have some of my own quotes, but the wonderful and sadly out of print The Quotable Fulton Sheen (I reviewed it in my September column here) has a lot of great ones to share, as well.

Rosary Victory Project Update

As I wrote about previously, several local families were inspired by one mom to spearhead an effort to get one million people to pray the Rosary on October 7, the feast of the Holy Rosary.

Michelle Rebello, a local mom, had the inspiration very recently, and she was able to pull together a number of young people, including her high school son who is web-savvy (he and several friends develop Apps), several other mom and young people who helped put together this video to explain and highlight the project:

Michelle reports that as of several days ago, there have been more than 20,000 people signed up to pray the rosary that day.  Now, that’s not one million (yet!) but a terrifically good number for a homegrown effort.  I’m impressed!

Please take a moment to go “be counted” on the Rosary Victory website.  According to Michelle, likes on the Facebook page are not counted towards the total, but that’s not really an issue as there are many more sign-ups on the website than on the Facebook page.

The Quotable, Venerable Fulton Sheen: On Revolution

This is the choice before us: either try to revolutionize the world and break under it or revolutionize ourselves and remake the world.

Archbishop Fulton Sheen, Crossways.

There are so many great quotes from Fulton Sheen that I am posting a selection here and there this month.   You can read some of the prior quotes here  and here , or you can search the “Fulton Sheen” label and all the quotes will come up.

I have some of my own quotes, but the wonderful and sadly out of print The Quotable Fulton Sheen (I reviewed it in my September column here) has a lot of great ones to share, as well.

"Sheen is Still Relevant" : Guest Post by Emily Hurt of Theological-Librarian

In this month of celebrating all things Fulton Sheen, I’m delighted to share a guest post today from a very young blogger who admires and write about Peoria’s own Venerable Fulton Sheen.

Recent college graduate Emily Christine Hurt  writes about Fulton Sheen and other topics (including her job search) at Theological-Librarian.

I first encountered Emily’s writings on the Facebook page for the Catholic Bloggers Network.  Even though she writes about Fulton Sheen prolificially, I have to say that one of my favorite posts is when she describes an interview at the Library of Congress.  That’s partly because my husband and I married at St. Peter’s Church on Capitol Hill, adjacent to the Library of Congress, but also because I secretly I would love to be a librarian and find that a cool profession.

Emily, thank you for guest posting today, and sharing your love of Fulton Sheen.

About me and my blog:

I’m a 2012 graduate of Christendom College with a Bachelor’s in Theology.  I love Fulton Sheen, and if I were to ever pursue further theological studies, I would like to focus on Sheen.  I was born and raised mostly in Louisville, Kentucky, but lived in California for eight years.  I came back to the East Coast to go to Christendom College, in Front Royal, VA.  My work-study job in college was as a library page and desk attendant.  Since I loved it so much (enough to name my blog “Theological-Librarian” ),  I spent the first couple of months after college looking specifically for a library job that does not require a Master’s Degree.  Now I am now looking for any job that I can find.  I am also discerning whether graduate school is for me.
I started blogging in April/May 2011 while wrestling with the problem of suffering and our beloved History Professor’s cancer diagnosis.  For reasons still unknown to me, I felt the need to get my thoughts out to a bigger audience than just my journal.  
A lot of those earlier posts were more personal—they would only interest my friends or the Christendom College community—and frankly, I’m a little embarrassed when I look back at some of them.  Caroline Pollock, over at My Daily Diatribes also inspired me to blog and share my thoughts about something that was touching both of us. 

How I met Sheen and why I love him:

I first heard about Sheen in 2003, probably through some cassette tapes by Fr. Groeschel that my mother was listening to at the time. That Christmas, I read my first Sheen book, Life of Christ.  I was impressed by his writing style, his emphasis on the centrality of the Cross, and his unique explanation of Our Lord’s words to Nicodemus, the Beatitudes, and more.
I kind of fell in love after that, and read everything I could get my hands on by Sheen: Peace of Soul, Go to Heaven, This is Rome, This is the Holy Land, These are the Sacraments, The Way to Inner Peace.  His books on the priesthood (Those Mysterious Priests and The Priest is Not His Own) gave me a strong admiration of and respect for the holy priesthood.
My sophomore year in college (Spring 2010), I had to write a History paper about someone who influenced modern history.  I first chose Jacques Maritain, for I don’t know what reason (I stink at philosophy), but then got permission to write on Sheen, even though someone else in my section was also writing on him.  
In my paper, I said Sheen influenced history through: a) his anti-Communism, 2) his tele-evangelization, and 3) his missionary work with the Society for the Propagation of the Faith.  My History Professor (not the Awesome one mentioned often on my blog) told me about Thomas Reeves’ biography of Sheen, America’s Bishop, which I used in my paper and read for enjoyment.
I realized how much I loved Sheen, declared my major (Theology), and determined to write my Senior Thesis on Sheen.
During the last semester of my Junior Year (Spring 2011), because of many events in the life of the college (two of our chaplains leaving due to ill-health within 3 days, and our beloved History Professor getting cancer), I began to wrestle with the problem of suffering.  I waded through pages and pages of Sheen during Summer 2011, particularly his words on the redemptive nature of suffering.  I tried to internalize those words  and to believe that this would all turn out okay.  This helped me not to ask “Why?” too much.
By August 2011, I’d narrowed down my broad topic of “something from Sheen’s writings” to: a) his Christology, 2) his views on the priesthood, specifically on the priest as a victim, 3) suffering, or 4) the Mass.  I even thought in my over-ambition about going through Sheen’s books chronologically to see how his Christology developed.
By September 2011, however, I had chosen my final topic: “Redemptive Suffering in the Theology of the Servant of God Archbishop Fulton John Sheen.”
In Chapter One, I looked at Sheen’s view of Christ as a Savior who came to suffer, and not just a moral reformer, and at his presentation of the Cross as always present in Our Lord’s Life in his masterful Life of Christ.  In Chapter Two, I looked at Sheen’s writings on the sufferings of the Mystical Body, how they resemble the sufferings of Christ, the intensity of love and hate directed toward both Christ and His Church, and how the world hates the Church because She teaches that suffering can be redemptive.  In Chapter Three, I looked at how Sheen views the Cross as the symbol of suffering, and love and the Crucifix (the cross + Christ) as the solution to the problem of suffering.
 I concluded by saying that Sheen is still relevant, because men will always have to suffer, and Sheen’s answer to the problem of suffering will always be relevant.  (This response  was partially to answer a college chaplain telling me that  Sheen was “outdated.”)
Why I write about Sheen on my Blog:
I love Fulton Sheen, I find inspiration in his writings; and reading Sheen has helped me to grow in my faith.  This past summer, I turned to my blog as a means of explaining for my own benefit and that of my friends Sheen quotations that puzzled my friends or people on the Fulton Sheen Facebook page.  I want to spread that love and explain some of his tricky statements—similar to what are known as the “hard sayings” of Our Lord—such as his argument that “We become like that which what we love,” and the assertion that “Sometimes the only way the good Lord can get into some hearts is to break them.”  This last quote is part one of a series, “God is Not the Author of Your Heartbreak,” with Part Two on Sheen’s words that God “kept a small sample of [the human heart] in heaven,” and Part Three on how love can transform our pain.
As I end all my posts on Theological-Librarian, borrowing from Archbishop Sheen:  God Love You!

The Quotable, Venerable Fulton Sheen: On Procrastination

God has promised men pardon if they are penitent, but not if they procrastinate.

Fulton Sheen, Peace of Soul.

There are so many great quotes from Fulton Sheen that I am posting a selection here and there this month.   You can read some of the prior quotes here  and here , or you can search the “Fulton Sheen” label and all the quotes will come up.

I have some of my own quotes, but the wonderful and sadly out of print The Quotable Fulton Sheen (I reviewed it in my September column here) has a lot of great ones to share, as well.

Quotable, Venerable Fulton Sheen: On Anti-Semitism

For a Catholic, to be anti-Semitic is to be un-Catholic.

–Fulton Sheen, Love One Another. 

There are so many great quotes from Fulton Sheen that I am posting a selection here and there this month.   You can read some of the prior quotes here  and here , or you can search the “Fulton Sheen” label and all the quotes will come up.

I have some of my own quotes, but the wonderful and sadly out of print The Quotable Fulton Sheen (I reviewed it in my September column here) has a lot of great ones to share, as well.