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The Miraculous Medal: while I’ve seen the medal a hundred times, I haven’t fully understood its symbolism and purpose. So I did a little digging and here’s what I learned:

1. This medal was not created by an artist. The design was given to St. Catherine by Our Mother.

2. The symbolism of every component of the medal is important.

3. The graces given to those who wear the medal are extensive.

Nearly 200 years ago Our Blessed Mother appeared to Catherine Labouré, a novice with the Daughters of Charity in Paris, France, and asked her to have the medal created.

Each detail of the medal holds significant meaning, from the sideways “I” supporting the cross on the back, to the rays of grace coming from Mary’s hands.

Since the distribution of the medals, miracles have been attributed to its use, including healings, protection from serious illnesses, and dramatic conversions of faith.

And it’s those healing miracles that are helping to drive the popularity of the medal today.

It’s important to note what the Association of the Miraculous Medal declares: “There is no superstition, nothing of magic, connected with the Miraculous Medal. The Miraculous Medal is not a ‘good-luck charm.’ Rather, it is a great testimony to faith and the power of trusting prayer. Its greatest miracles are those of patience, forgiveness, repentance, and faith. God uses a Medal, not as a sacrament, but as an agent, an instrument, in bringing to pass certain marvelous results.”

Love to all,
Megan

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My left eyeball didn’t decide to work correctly until about 11:00 AM yesterday – 5 hours after I woke up.

I was tired. Not just tired – I was weary.

We worked hard this last weekend, and we got more done in our garden and yard than we have in the last 5 years of living out here.  And not just “stuff done”, I mean the vision I had for my garden all these years finally became reality.

And on Saturday as I watched it start to really take shape I did a jig. I danced right there in the middle of my garden to music that was only in my head. 

I hope God takes delight in watching his plan come to life. He rested on the 7th day of creation. I imagine that day filled with delight as He sees the magnificence of what He had done. And then he rested.

God created us in His image. He is The Creator; we yearn to create.  He rested; we, too, can rest – without guilt, without worry.

I have a terrible habit of always thinking I need to be DOING – creating, working, thinking, gaining, growing… it never stops.  It is in the moments where I do pause and look at what has been accomplished when I find delight. 

Look back on what you’ve managed to do. You are amazing. You are part of God’s creation and a vital part of His plan. He delights in you.

In peace,
Megan

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Well… it looks like we’ll be here awhile.

You may not know this — but we’re a small, family company and our warehouse is actually connected to our home.

So we are here to serve you!

And in a time where churches are closing due to that virus I won’t name here, we need a place in our homes set aside for God. Many Catholics have home altars, and I want to give you a few examples of what they look like, and items that you might want to consider for yours.

I hope you are staying healthy and safe. We are praying for you!

Love,

Megan

Simple Home Altar on a table.
Includes a Sick Call crucifix, candles, rosary ring, and statues.

Both worlds: Wall and Table elements
Candles, reliquary, table crucifix, framing prints, relief and statues

Wall Altar with Icons

Sacred Heart Framing Print
Ready for your frame or poster display, this 8 x 10 color image is printed on heavyweight, glossy paper. $7.49

Sick Call Crucifix

This crucifix folds open to be able to be set upright on a table and includes candles, cotton, and holy water vessel.

$92.99

Personal Reliquary
Opening for the relic is 7/8″W x 1-1/8″H
Brass — 2-1/4″ W x 6 1/4″H
$39.98

Hand-Painted Alabaster Our Lady of Grace
8.5″ or 13″ tall Simply beautiful.
$73 – $113

7.5 x 9.5 Inch Our Lady of Perpetual Help Plaque
Imprinted on a gold-toned background, it’s vivid hues bring bold vibrancy to any altar setting.
$67.50

Divine Mercy Statue – 4 Inch
This diminutive 4″ statue of Divine Mercy is ideal for the office, the locker, or the small home shrine, and they make a great starter set for the collector in all of us!
$18.95

7 inch Standing Crucifix
Stacked platforms of wood form the base of the 7″ Standing Crucifix while a distinctive metal corpus sits at its very center. A wonderful symbol of the faith, it looks best placed on altars or in prayer alcoves.
$34.99

Folding Kneeler

Short on storage? This kneeler is a great answer for church or for home. Folded width is just 8 inches.

Each kneeler has a flame-resistant padded kneeler and a shelf for Bible or missal storage. Handcrafted in genuine maple hardwood and finished in Walnut Stain. Some assembly required.

— Maple Hardwood — 20 x 32″ H

$199.95

Rosary Rings

Perfect for pockets and small altar spaces. Many sizes/shapes/materials to choose from.

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This is not going to be a “RAH! RAH! WE GOT THIS!” email.

Frankly, I’m tired of those, and I’m tired of social media. We’re all looking for answers and a timeline of how long this new normal is going to stick around. 

I received a message from a friend that she is not doing well with quarantine. No “Hang in there!” from me would be helpful. Instead she just needs to know she’s heard when she says “I’m not in a good place.”

The truth is, I was doing really well up until yesterday. Between her message and the photos of the faces of doctors and nurses with sores on their noses from face masks, I had to look really hard for silver lining.

I’ve tried to put a name on this feeling, and it’s not fear or dread, it’s a deep sadness for the vast amount of suffering that is coming at us in super-slow motion.

I beg God in my prayers for the ability to bear the coming suffering in ways that glorify Him and help me foster virtue, but in truth I don’t want to suffer at all. 

In the first week of this weird place we find ourselves, it’s easy to be a cheerleader and look for ways we can help, but what comes in week 6 and week 15? How do we keep going then?

What if people don’t get to see the fruits of all this suffering for a long time to come? And what if we don’t recognize those fruits when they ripen?

When it gets hard is when God is sharpening us to be his tools. It’s going to get harder. How are we preparing ourselves to be that tool?

Prayers and love,
Megan

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Our priest prayed the Stations of the Cross on Facebook Live today. I don’t know that they’ve even been as palpable.  Prayer to the Stations of the Cross O Crucified Jesus, behold me kneeling before Thee, to make the Stations of the Cross. Grant me a deep sorrow for Thy sufferings, a lively repentance for my sins and the grace never to offend Thee again. Amen.

I. Jesus is condemned to death
II. Jesus carries the Cross
III. Jesus falls the first time
IV. Jesus meets His sorrowful mother
V. Simon helps Jesus to carry His Cross
VI. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
VII. Jesus falls a second time
VIII. Jesus comforts the weeping women
IX. Jesus falls the third time under the Cross
X. Jesus is stripped of his garments
XI. Jesus is nailed to the Cross
XII. Jesus dies upon the Cross
XIII. Jesus is taken down from the Cross
XIV. Jesus is laid in the Sepulchre
XV. The Resurrection of our Lord  

Love and prayers,

Megan 

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I pray you and your loved ones are healthy and safe. All is well in our little corner; we are healthy, garden seeds have arrived, and we’re finding our new tempo.

Here we are in Holy Week, and it’s the most unique, challenging and confounding Holy Week of our lives… and ripe with opportunity to grow in our relationship with God in ways that we never would have otherwise.

I am so excited for what is to come. Looking ahead we have a tough row to hoe. But if we plant good seeds of the Gospel in our hearts, fertilize our faith with the examples of the Saints, and water with the sacraments (those that we are able to receive), our labors will bear fruit. 

Have a blessed, fruitful Holy Week. 

Love to all,
Megan

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It’s really easy to jump the gardening gun this time of year. Up here on the Northern Plains winter is tolerated and provides [a few] moments of delight, but there is nothing as inspirational as seeing the first green plant pop up in the spring.

And that’s why I live where the outside hurts my face at least 3 months out of the year.

The surge of wonder, gratitude, and anticipation with finding that first green sprig under old icy leaves can only be experienced after a long, dark, cold period.

Today I ventured outside in my socks because it’s a balmy 36 degrees. I lifted a few leaves and found my creeping thyme is delightfully green. The sun is nice and all, but the green! Oh, the green!

It makes my heart sing! 

I know we’ll get a few more snowstorms, and temps back down in the single digits a few times. But the hope that resides right around the corner is the contrast my soul needs.

And that’s what we’ll find this Lenten season. The long, dark season followed by the most holy of celebrations: Easter. After dying for us, He rises and opens the gates of Heaven for us.

It’s the contrast, you see. If history is any indicator, like the last 20 years I will probably cry during Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, but they will be in stark contrast with the tears of joy shed at Easter Vigil. 

Appreciated the darkness. Look for the light. God gives us contrasts in our lives. And for that I am grateful.
 
Love to all,
+Megan

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It’s hard to believe that Easter is almost here and with it one of my favorite devotions: Divine Mercy.

On Good Friday, the novena to the Divine Mercy begins. St. John Paul II told us that Mercy is a particular mode of love when it meets suffering. And I think this is exactly what we all need right now.

The little book “Divine Mercy Explained” that is pictured below is a beautiful place to start for anyone unfamiliar with Divine Mercy (or it’s been awhile).   It includes a very clear explanation (hence the title), and has the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, The Novena, and the Litany.

Divine Mercy Sunday is the Second Sunday of Easter and the conclusion of the Octave of Easter.

The bottom line is that the graces available to us through Divine Mercy are boundless! St. John Paul II likened the graces of Divine Mercy Sunday to a second baptism.

Another example of the graces – “When the [Divine Mercy] Chaplet is said by the bedside of a dying person… unfathomable mercy envelopes the soul.”

There isn’t enough room in an email to describe the benefits of Divine Mercy, so I’ll let this lovely little book do the talking <3

Prayers and love,
Megan

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Good morning ~
 
The phrase that goes through my head most often is “Megan, for Pete’s sake!” This self-admonishing is for anything from not going to bed at a certain hour, forgetting an appointment, burning toast… whatever.

When I hear other people yell at themselves my heart goes out to them and I want to tell them to be kind and grant themselves some grace. Then why don’t I do that for myself?

So instead, this last week I started counting what I was doing right and reflecting on the times when I was on track.

These moments don’t stick out because they’re so natural; they are the things we do every day like gently waking up our teenager to get to school on time, feeding the cat and giving him a pat on the head, or looking your spouse in the eye and greeting them warmly when they come home.

All in, there are far more moments in our lives where “normal” is the good work God has called us to. I think we just don’t notice them all because they are “normal”.

If our actions were placed on a spectrum – with mortal sins at one end and the heroically virtuous acts on the other, most of life is spent in the neutral middle. But what makes all the difference is doing these acts with love. God is love.

When we reflect His love into our every day normal, and we open our heart to His presence, we’re heading in the right direction.

So maybe this week you can take some time reflecting on what you did well, and offer up a little prayer of gratitude and say to yourself “Look what God and I did together this week.”

+Megan

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Good morning  ~

As soon as the words “they got what they deserved” seeped into my brain, I could feel my heart cringe. 

The word “deserve” is loaded. It’s the word I use to talk myself into eating an extra pancake or wasting an extra 15 minutes scrolling through a social media feed I have no desire to be scrolling through.

It’s also how I try to absolve myself for judging other people. 

One of the Spiritual Works of Mercy is to admonish the sinner. That does not mean “revel in the punishment of the sinner”. 

This comes to mind as I consider “Cancel Culture” – meaning that if someone (usually famous) expresses an opinion that goes against the grain of what is “acceptable”,  the world of social media explodes with vitriol and absolutists statements.

Cancel Culture makes forgiveness really hard. We are encouraged to turn our backs on and vilify the perpetrator to the point that they are labeled permanently bad and irredeemable.

Maybe this is a symptom of a society that is losing faith in God. Maybe we don’t trust Him administer justice. 

Maybe we don’t want God to forgive because we aren’t capable of forgiveness. 

Do you ever find yourself wanting God’s mercy, but then pointing to bad things happening to other people and labeling it as God’s wrath? “It’s OK for God to be merciful toward ME, but certainly not toward my political rival or that jerk that lives down the street.”

There is something base in us that enjoys seeing someone knocked off their pedestal. But it’s like scratching an itch until it hurts. The moment of pleasure that I get from schadenfreude is followed by the longer-lasting suffering from the sin on my soul.

I have not remedy or solution or resolution to Cancel Culture. But no person is 100% bad.  Our Catholic respect for human dignity demands that we try to look at one another the same way God looks at us: with love. 

Choose love even when it’s the hardest option. Choose love because it’s the hardest option. Choose to love those who need it most.

Be merciful Oh Lord, for we have sinned. 

Love to all,
+Megan

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