Thursday, August 27, 2009

Feast of St. Monica

Many times Catholic or Christian mothers may feel like St. Monica because they pray so much for their wayward children. Yet, I think every Mom should pray like St. Monica, and not only in dire circumstances - but always. Mother's prayers are powerful and can help our children dramatically. Let's never stop praying for them.

Here are some words about dear St. Monica to start your day:

"The circumstances of St. Monica’s life could have made her a nagging wife, a bitter daughter-in-law and a despairing parent, yet she did not give way to any of these temptations. Although she was a Christian, her parents gave her in marriage to a pagan, Patricius, who lived in her hometown of Tagaste in North Africa. Patricius had some redeeming features, but he had a violent temper and was licentious. Monica also had to bear with a cantankerous mother-in-law who lived in her home. Patricius criticized his wife because of her charity and piety, but always respected her. Monica’s prayers and example finally won her husband and mother-in-law to Christianity. Her husband died in 371, one year after his Baptism.
Monica had at least three children who survived infancy. The oldest, Augustine, is the most famous. At the time of his father’s death, Augustine was 17 and a rhetoric student in Carthage. Monica was distressed to learn that her son had accepted the Manichean heresy and was living an immoral life. For a while, she refused to let him eat or sleep in her house. Then one night she had a vision that assured her Augustine would return to the faith. From that time on she stayed close to her son, praying and fasting for him. In fact, she often stayed much closer than Augustine wanted.

When he was 29, Augustine decided to go to Rome to teach rhetoric. Monica was determined to go along. One night he told his mother that he was going to the dock to say goodbye to a friend. Instead, he set sail for Rome. Monica was heartbroken when she learned of Augustine’s trick, but she still followed him. She arrived in Rome only to find that he had left for Milan. Although travel was difficult, Monica pursued him to Milan.

In Milan Augustine came under the influence of the bishop, St. Ambrose, who also became Monica’s spiritual director. She accepted his advice in everything and had the humility to give up some practices that had become second nature to her (see Quote, below). Monica became a leader of the devout women in Milan as she had been in Tagaste.

She continued her prayers for Augustine during his years of instruction. At Easter, 387, St. Ambrose baptized Augustine and several of his friends. Soon after, his party left for Africa. Although no one else was aware of it, Monica knew her life was near the end. She told Augustine, “Son, nothing in this world now affords me delight. I do not know what there is now left for me to do or why I am still here, all my hopes in this world being now fulfilled.” She became ill shortly after and suffered severely for nine days before her death.

Almost all we know about St. Monica is in the writings of St. Augustine, especially his Confessions." (From

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Foods that may have medicinal properties...

I came across this and thought I'd share it. This isn't a joke like one of the nutritional posts I did in the past. This one is for real! I eat healthy and have raised my family to the best of my ability with good health and nutrition. So I offer you this...

"News flash! Mom was right! Some foods really can cure what ails ya.
Sneezing? Sniffling? Head for your refrigerator instead of your medicine

The best way to prevent a cold is to wash your hands regularly and
thoroughly, but beyond that there are numerous scientific studies that
show certain foods really can help fight the severity and duration of a
cold. Special recognition and thanks to the Orange County Register, WebMD,
HealthScoutNews, and Reuters Health for the following food tips:

Chicken Soup: At the first sign of a scratchy throat or the sniffles, make
a pot of chicken soup. "It works every time," Jyl Steinback, author of
"Superfoods: Cook Your Way to Health," told the Orange County Register.
But you have to eat it on the first day of the cold--just as you start to
feel sick. Chicken soup has been used for more than 2,000 years as a
medicine for respiratory disorders, including colds, flu, and asthma.

According to Dr. Irwin Ziment, a pulmonary specialist at the University of
California, Los Angeles, the magic ingredient is most likely cysteine, an
amino acid that is abundant in chicken soup. It works much like the
chemical acetylcysteine that is used in medicines prescribed to combat
congestion. The Orange County Register also notes that chicken soup may be
a mild antibiotic that could help the body fight infection.

Broccoli, Carrots, Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, Tangerines, and Avocados:
These very colorful foods have one thing in common: They are packed with
vitamins A, C, and E which give these foods a supercharged boost to help
fight the severity and duration of colds. They are also rich in antioxidants, which may slow down cold and flu viruses.

Wine: One to seven glasses of wine a week--and red wine is best--could
prevent you from coming down with a cold, reports HealthScoutNews of a
research study from the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain. The protective effects are even stronger with eight to 14 glasses a week. But it has to be wine; beer and spirits don't have the same protective effect.

Garlic: Garlic not only boosts the immune system, but also contains a
substance that kills the rhinovirus that causes colds and flu. It has
anti-inflammatory powers as well.

Onions: They're rich in sulfur compounds, which have antiviral properties.
Citrus Fruits: They're packed with vitamin C, which can help fight the
cold infection.

Yogurt: Eat just 6 ounces of yogurt a day to help reduce your
susceptibility to colds by 25 percent, reports WebMD of several scientific
studies. Why? The bacteria in yogurt might stimulate production of immune
system substances that fight disease. Yogurt can also minimize the
symptoms of hay fever.

Jalapenos: Some like it hot enough to make their eyes water! And when
they're that hot, jalapenos and other peppers can help break up
congestion, as well as boost the immune system.

Almonds, Pistachios, and Cashews: These nuts are good sources of protein
and omega-3 oils, which will boost your immune system.

Ginger: This spice is a natural anti-inflammatory. It can also soothe
nausea and vomiting.

Apples: Yeah, an apple a day really can keep the doctor away.

Apples--including the peel--have a protective effect on the lungs. They're
rich in antioxidants and vitamin C."

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Back-to-School week and radio segment

Here's the link for you for my "Mom's Corner" with Teresa Tomeo in case you missed it. Just click here to listen.

Stop back later at View From the Domestic Church and catch up on what I've been doing there all this week and for more of our "Back-to-School week including more about our contests. I've been very busy over there so please pardon me for lack of posts here at "Embracing Motherhood." Feel free to leave comments over at our "Back-to-School" week which will also be entered into the drawings for the contests this week which are for a beautiful Rosary and for a copy of my new book.

God bless your day!


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Guess who just studied my Domestic Church book?

Guess who just studied my book, The Domestic Church: Room by Room? One of the women in this study group recently told me:

"We had our last summer book study gathering last week. We discussed the final chapter of your book while munching on appetizers. Several of the ladies were missing. We're an Atlanta, GA group. We really enjoyed your book and the discussions that ensued. Thanks for encouraging Catholic wives and moms everywhere. I'll be on the lookout for your new book in September. Congrats! God bless!"

In addition to featuring this lovely group here at "Embracing Motherhood" and very soon on my website, I decided to run a contest. The first person who identifies (no one in the photo is allowed to participate - sorry - or tell anyone else, please) one of the women here in this group will win an autographed copy of my new book Mother Teresa and Me: Ten Years of Friendship! It is scheduled to be released in September. I just thought I'd have a little fun with this group to liven things up a bit. :) Just leave a comment here at this post and the first correct answer will win my new book!

Thank you, ladies for taking part in this study. I pray that it has inspired your souls and that you will carry the torch to other mothers and women who may be struggling or just in need of a little light and nourishment.

God bless you all!



Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Lost and Found Family coming up!

I am having a lovely conversation with the lead actress, Ellen Bry in the new movie "The Lost and Found Family" scheduled to debut on September 15th on DVD. I have previewed the movie and will have a lot to tell you very soon. I'll be chatting again with Ellen today to complete our interview. Stay tuned for reviews...

Take a look at the movie trailer here:

You're going to love this movie!