Friday, December 30, 2011

The Milkmaid

My Christmas present that now hangs above my wood cookstove in my kitchen.  God willing, someday I will be the milkmaid.  I have yogurt setting in the larder, and yogurt cheese draining for Christmas Saturday breakfast pancakes, Nourishing Traditions style.  Served alongside our home grown bacon, and maple syrup from up the road......you can't get better than this...even at your best upscale big city resturant.  Praise God for good wholesome local food!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Quiet life..reflections on the Holy Innocents and modern war.

"Everybody today seems to be in such a terrible rush, anxious for greater developments and greater riches and so on, so that children have very little time for their parents. Parents have very little time for each other, and in the home begins the disruption of peace of the world." - Mother Teresa



And this brings about unsatisfied hearts which begets avarice and greed, which begets strife, which begets war, which begets death and destruction, which begets despair and loss of Hope.....Then the evil one has gained the upper hand because souls no longer trust in God.

In these times when men rush off to success and to greed and to war, we must remember that throughout the ages, God has called us to a different path..

 Psalm 4

When I called upon him, the God of my justice heard me: when I was in distress, thou hast enlarged me. Have mercy on me: and hear my prayer.

O ye sons of men, how long will you be dull of heart? why do you love vanity, and seek after lying?  Know ye also that the Lord hath made his holy one wonderful: the Lord will hear me when I shall cry unto him.

 Be angry, and sin not: the things you say in your hearts, be sorry for them upon your beds.

Offer up the sacrifice of justice, and trust in the Lord: many say, Who sheweth us good things?  The light of thy countenance O Lord, is signed upon us: thou hast given gladness in my heart.

 By the fruit of their corn, their wine and oil, they are multiplied. In peace in the selfsame I will sleep, and I will rest: For thou, O Lord, singularly hast settled me in hope.
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Yesterday was the feast of the Holy Innocents.  A sad day in history, and one who's evil spirit is still rampant today...through abortion and senseless war.  Children die in both, and for some insane reason, it's legal.

O Lord, please give us the graces to have hearts of love and hope. Please help us to have quiet lives, growing daily in the virtues of meekness and humility.  Give us the graces to be the ones who pick up the injured and dead, the "collateral dammage" of our worlds war against life and hope.  Help us with Your grace to raise Godly children who will be soldiers for You, and walk in Your shoes of peace.  Give us the graces to make a nightly examen of conscience, so that we may see how we have failed, and what You desire us to do to grow in Your wisdom.
In the precious name of Jesus we pray, Amen
Our Lady of the Fields, pray for us, Holy Innocents, pray for us...

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Working and Praying together

From the Rural Life Prayerbook


"Farming is a family enterprise which tends to weld the family together.
Mother and father are usually within calling distance of each other and see
each other several times a day. The children can be at their parents' side
to watch them and learn to work with them. There are many little tasks
which children can perform that contribute to the family welfare and allow
them to acquire experience and habits of responsibility. It is not without
reason that the rural home has been called the "natural dwelling place for
the Christian family."

Wow!  the natural dwelling place for the Christian family!  What an amazing sentence.  Not the suburbs or city with all its entertainments and diversions, the country where a family can be together and work and pray as God intends them to.  To teach children responsibility, what better place than the family farm.  No sticker charts needed here...if the job does not get done, something or someone goes hungry...plants wilt or die from lack of water...there is no wood to heat the home....

Mother and Father are in calling distance of one another and see each other several times a day.  This ends the need for mother to be the main disciplinarian, which is so often the burden of homeschooling mothers.  Boys need their dads when they have sinned, and mothers need a "principal" they can send the offender out to see.  But better yet, families can eat together, pray noon prayers together, and just be around one another more, which is a quality that is disregarded as a "luxury" or worse yet, "boring" my many moderns.

So let us give thanks, those of us that dwell in the country, and do our best to raise up Godly children for His glory in the natural dwelling place of the country.

Keeping Boys Busy with Real Work

I believe this is one of the greatest ills of our time.  Bored boys who don't know how to work.  Sure they can sit in a school desk all day and write book reports, or dribble a basketball, or work that nintendo Wii like a mad man...but what REAL work can they do?
How will they provide for a family, how will they raise up Godly men of the next generation to break the curses of lazyness and idleness and perpetual childhood that plauges our nations men?

I believe the answer is in the family farm.  Getting back to basics and down to work.  Now, I'm not talking coal mine childhood slavery...but good old fashioned hard work that is mixed in with good hearty food, family prayer, laughter and a healthy dose of free time for a kid just to be a kid.

And even better yet, working with DAD....you know, that elusive character in modern day families, the guy that many people think is optional....The spiritual head of the family.  The only man who can teach a son to be a Godly hardworking Catholic man
Dads of our age need to put worldly success aside and try to pray and figure out how they can do more work beside their boys.  If you are in an office all day it is a blessing to have your son know that you are providing for your family, but a better blessing is to have your son working at your side.  Only then can the child truly learn what it is to be a man and to give of ones self for the good of the family.

Yes, for many of us it is a dream...but it is something worth praying for and about.  God wants to raise up a generation of Godly Catholic men who are ready to restore our authentic Catholic culture.  Who are ready to show their boys the beauty and courage of purity and love of wife and children home.  Our Lady of the Fields, pray for us!

It's easy to dream of hard work

5 acres and independence, right?  Most of the homesteader wannabees have read, or heard of this little book.  We have 5 acres, but we are far from independence.  We do have a freezer full of chickens, another of beef and another of pork, all raised up on our little piece of God's good earth.  While the children were dreaming of a white Christmas, mama was and is still dreaming of a brown milk cow. 
Friends of mine raise their own milk on a 19th century system call Soiling of Cattle, by Josiah Quincy which I started to read last night.  It seems to be the answer to the small homesteaders dilemma of "what do we do for pasture?"

The modern dilemma presents itself with this method of raising a dairy cow...it requires work, and us moderns, born and bread in suburbia are filled with this dread and awe of hard work.  It particularly requires the use of a scythe...
Which I just happen to have sitting out in my shed.  My great Bohemiean Grandfathers scythe....Dedechek, he had a farm in what is now the west suburban Chicago suburbs.  It has been out of comission  now for probably about 90 years, relegated to the garage of my grandmother. 
Perhaps someday it will come to use again here on St. Josephs Ridge.