Monday, November 11, 2019

Learn about St. Zelie Martin, St. Therese's Mother

Saints Louis and Zélie Martin, the parents of St. Therese of Lisieux, were canonized on October 18, 2015, but they were not canonized because they had a saintly daughter. They were canonized because of their own holiness and the way they sought God in all things, including their marriage and the way they raised their children. 

In The Extraordinary Parents of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Helene Mongin offers an intimate portrait of a man and woman who deeply loved each other, but who were most focused on loving and serving God in their daily lives. "Their ordinary lives [were] an adventure of love in which they raised up their family, their neighbors, their friends, their employees, and even the whole Church."

Zélie Martin can serve as a saintly role model for modern mothers. After surviving a childhood she described as "sad as a shroud," she hoped to enter religious life. When she attempted to enter the Daughters of St. Vincent de Paul, the Superior didn't feel she had a vocation. Instead she became a lacemaker, establishing her own business at the age of twenty, a business she would continue until her death.

She met and married Louis Martin in 1858. The two created a home based on "three principles: the sovereignty of God, confidence in his Providence, and abandonment to his will." Together, they had nine children, four of whom died young. The five daughters who lived all entered religious life. St. Thérèse was the youngest. Zélie viewed each pregnancy [as] a joy, each new child a gift from heaven."

This does not mean parenting was always easy. Zélie especially worried about her middle daughter, Leonie. Zélie wrote of Leonie, "She only does what she wants the way she wants." In the midst of her difficulties, Zélie put her trust in God. "The more I see how difficult she is, the more I persuade myself that God will not let her stay that way. I will pray so much that God will allow herself to be touched." For the record, Leonie is now considered a "Servant of God," a fact that should give hope to all of us parenting challenging children.

Zélie also experienced great emotional and physical suffering. Her great grief at the deaths of her children caused her depression, headaches, toothaches, insomnia, and a loss of appetite. Even though she believed her young children to be in heaven and she resolved to carry her cross as bravely as possible, she still experienced great heartache. She also suffered from breast cancer in the last year of her life. The pain at this time was so extreme that she felt abandoned by heaven. She died on August 28, 1877, trusting "that God could take better care of her family than she could."

Zélie Martin wasn't born a saint; she became one. Over the course of her life, she learned to surrender to God and put her faith in His will for her life, rather than her own. In canonizing St. Zélie, the Church has made a strong statement that the life of an ordinary mother can be extraordinary and a path to great holiness. 

The Extraordinary Parents of St. Therese of Lisieux is recommended to anyone interested in learning more about Saints Louis and Zélie Martin.

Friday, November 08, 2019

Litany of Trust

Last night, I was blessed to attend an evening mother's retreat hosted by Kyndra Steinmann. Megan Baillargeon was the speaker and she introduced us to the Litany of Trust written by a Sister of Life.

From the belief that
I have to earn Your love
Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear that I am unlovable
Deliver me, Jesus.
From the false security
that I have what it takes
Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear that trusting You
will leave me more destitute
Deliver me, Jesus.
From all suspicion of
Your words and promises
Deliver me, Jesus.
From the rebellion against
childlike dependency on You
Deliver me, Jesus.
From refusals and reluctances
in accepting Your will
Deliver me, Jesus.
From anxiety about the future
Deliver me, Jesus.
From resentment or excessive
preoccupation with the past
Deliver me, Jesus.
From restless self-seeking
in the present moment
Deliver me, Jesus.
From disbelief in Your love
and presence
Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being asked
to give more than I have
Deliver me, Jesus.
From the belief that my life
has no meaning or worth
Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of what love demands
Deliver me, Jesus.
From discouragement
Deliver me, Jesus.
That You are continually holding me
sustaining me, loving me
Jesus, I trust in you.
That Your love goes deeper than my
sins and failings, and transforms me
Jesus, I trust in you.
That not knowing what tomorrow
brings is an invitation to lean on You
Jesus, I trust in you.
That you are with me in my suffering
Jesus, I trust in you.
That my suffering, united to Your own,
will bear fruit in this life and the next
Jesus, I trust in you.
That You will not leave me orphan,
that You are present in Your Church
Jesus, I trust in you.
That Your plan is better
than anything else
Jesus, I trust in you.
That You always hear me and in
Your goodness always respond to me
Jesus, I trust in you.
That You give me the grace to accept
forgiveness and to forgive others
Jesus, I trust in you.
That You give me all the strength
I need for what is asked
Jesus, I trust in you.
That my life is a gift
Jesus, I trust in you.
That You will teach me to trust You
Jesus, I trust in you.
That You are my Lord and my God
Jesus, I trust in you.
That I am Your beloved one
Jesus, I trust in you.

This beautiful prayer was written by Sr. Faustina Maria Pia, Sister of Life and originally published on the Sisters of Life website. Visit them 

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Blog Tour - Ella's Promise

Today I am excited to be hosting the blog tour for Ella's Promise, new Catholic historical fiction by Ellen Gable.

When she joins the war effort during the Great War, American nurse Ella Neumann doesn’t see allies or enemies. The daughter of German immigrants, Ella sees only human beings in need of care. A promise to herself and a promise made to her by an enemy officer become the catalyst for the life she plans to lead after the war. But a handsome Canadian soldier may complicate her plans. In this third installment of the Great War – Great Love series, join Ella in a tale of promises, betrayal and unconditional love

Book 1 of the Great War Great Love Series: Julia’s Gifts: Available on Amazon

Book 2 of the Great War Great Love Series: Charlotte’s Honor: Available on Amazon


Ella’s head snapped up. She turned and saw that the lavatory door was still open.  Where is Major Schmidt?
 She stood up, then took mental attendance of the cots. The occupied cots all seemed occupied, even the major’s cot.  But that couldn’t be.  He couldn’t have finished his business in the lavatory and covered himself up and gone to sleep that quickly.
No, someone had left the barrack.  A feeling of dread came over her, and she raced across the barrack to the back door.  It was unlocked!
Ella pulled the door open and stepped outside into the warm spring evening air. She could just make out the silhouette of a soldier creeping along the side wall of the barrack.
“Excuse me, sir?” she called out loudly in German, her heart pounding.  “Please step into the light.”
The man didn’t move.
“Sir?  Step into the light so I may see who you are.”
Still no movement.
Instead of waiting for him to comply, she straightened, took a breath and walked toward him. It was only then that the man inched forward, a shadow on his face. She couldn’t see him, but she was certain it was Major Schmidt.
“I…uh…was…uh… just stepping out for some… fresh air,” he said in German, waving his hands.
Ella scowled.  I don’t think so.  She continued in German, “I don’t remember you asking for permission to come outside. You asked permission to go to the lavatory.”
“Oh, I’m sorry.”
“Well, I will remain with you while you finish breathing in the fresh air, then I will accompany you back into the barrack. You must understand that I will be reprimanded if I allow a POW soldier to be outside.”  She paused. “Why did you unlock the door?”
The man smiled, but it seemed forced. Then he replied, this time in English, “I don’t remember unlocking it. I suppose I should just go with you back inside. I’ve had enough fresh air for the evening.”
“I should say so.”
This man had no German accent when he spoke English and certainly no English accent when he spoke German.  His smooth voice sounded kind and gentle.  Ah, yes, she remembered him: this was the man with the large birthmark on his shoulder.
Now what? He could run, but she would call the nearby guards to apprehend him.  He tried to appear nonchalant, but he balled his fists in frustration.  He’d have to wait until a future date and try again.
Garrett considered reaching for the gun tucked in his waistband.  Collins had given it to him. He could use it to threaten her so he could escape.
The girl folded her arms across her chest, smiled, her foot tapping, waiting for him to comply. She was brave, but he was twice her size and could easily overpower her.  He could knock her unconscious, leave her in the shadows and take off.  She’d be reprimanded for letting him escape.  She—the sweetest and most intelligent girl he’d ever met – would get in trouble because of him.
Strange that he’d never considered the repercussions for the person in charge when he had escaped the other POW camp.  Truthfully, he’d never cared.  Even so, this camp was one with little security.  He should have known that this nurse would be so aware of everything going on around her.
He would have to contact Collins in the morning to inform him that it was not going to be as easy to escape this time. Until then, he would bide his time and do nothing.

About the Author

Ellen Gable is an award-winning author of ten books, editor, self-publishing book coach, speaker, publisher, NFP teacher, book reviewer, transcriptionist, and instructor in the Theology of the Body for Teens. Her books have been collectively downloaded 750,000 times on Kindle. Some of her books have been translated into Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, and French. The mother of five adult sons and grandmother to one cherished grandson, Ellen (originally from New Jersey) now lives with her husband of 37 years, James Hrkach, in Pakenham, Ontario, Canada.

Virtual Book Tour Stops/Links

November 3  Carolyn Astfalk My Scribbler’s Heart Blog
November 4  Steven McEvoy Book Reviews and More
November 5  Theresa Linden
November 6  Therese Heckenkamp
November 7 Patrice MacArthur
November 8  Amanda Lauer
November 9  Sarah Reinhard
November 10 Jean Egolf
November 11  Lisa Mladinich
November 12 Leslea Wahl
November 13  Trisha Potter
November 15 Michael Seagriff


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