Ora et Labora: Pray and Work

Some pre-Lenten thoughts (with us Catholic wives and homeschool mamas in mind, but truth for all) to keep moving with life and growing in Faith during the upcoming time of Lenten prayer and work:

  1. If we homeschool mamas are in constant connection with God through regular prayer (ceaseless is my modus operandi), our eyes and hearts (and thus our homes and families) are more keenly aware of and appreciate the beauty of our days and experience true peace and authentic hope. And it is beautiful! Peace flows. And hope billows; it imbues and energizes us.
  2. If we homeschool mamas are in constant connection with God through our daily work, (and there is much hands-on, emotional, and spiritual work in this vocation…from wiping down counter-tops to putting feelings into perspective to scooping the ashes from the fireplace to teaching Algebra 2 and handwriting to sautéing the onions for the pasta sauce for supper to putting receipts on the budget to helping young adults pack their moving boxes and create their own budgets…), the work is abundant and beautiful and joyful and holy.
  3. Thankfully, through prayer and work, we obtain an increasingly deeper and more wonderful understanding of and love for our perfect God. Thankfully, we get to know ourselves clearly as daughters of God with beautiful, fulfilling vocations. Thankfully, we grasp and internalize an understanding of and an appreciation for the wonder and beauty of all His vast creation. And, as I frequently tell my children, we can (and should) bring that light into the world!

Ora et Labora, my friends!

A Bit Late to the Game (book review)

I know I’m a bit late to the game on this contemporary women’s fiction novel, but I give five stars to Nicholas Sparks’s The Notebook because the story touched my heart.

The suffering involved in this beautiful story reveals (to a world that commonly and unfortunately links romance with Hollywood-hype) that true love, romantic love, grows via pain (emotional and/or physical). Sparks’s writing intertwines poetry, descriptions of nature, a fluid flashback narrative, and imperfect characters who (whether they know it or not) deeply trust that the human body is a temple of the Holy Spirit and that marriage is a union of souls. I can feel the Catholic heart of this novel…even though I do not hear any overt evangelization. It is a beautiful love story.

(and, no, I did not see the movie…I enjoyed the book so much and did not want to undermine the reading experience.)

Side-note: I think the original book cover art (on all Sparks’s novels) accurately reveals the book more than the movie still-shot book cover version. (That being said, I understand and respect the marketing effort.)