Q and A
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Because the people want to know!

Regarding the Family Closet:

Kaira asked,

Are all of your clothes displayed in these pictures?
Not all of our clothes are on the shelf, but probably half are. When we moved from SC to TX in May, I packed a suitcase with about 7 outfits for each child, plus church clothes. I packed 3 or 4 boxes of extra clothes, and that's after giving away 20+ garbage bags full of clothes.

6 or 7 outfits seems to be just the right amount. Those boxes of clothes are still in the garage. The kids have 3-4 pairs of shorts and 2-3 pairs of pants each, and the girls have some extra dresses. It's just the right amount and even if I get behind on the laundry, I don't get overwhelmed anymore.

How many clothes can a kid wear, anyway?

Shannon asked,
Do you ever have trouble with those wire cubbies?
In SC, our family closet was in the laundry room and an attached hallway. This was a heavy traffic zone, and I DID have trouble (usually from the kids hanging on them or swinging on them.) Now they are in a closet and I haven't had any problems. No one is idly leaning on them or kicking them for fun and they stay together.

Regarding Faith matters:
Someone asked me if I could recommend a novena to be said before the election.
Radical Catholic Mom has one she will be posting from Oct. 26- Nov. 4.

I also received this email regarding the Pope's prayer to Our Lady of the Rosary in Pompeii, but haven't had a chance to respond. K, I hope you don't mind me leaving you some links for now - others say it much better than I do.
Did the pope actually pray this prayer? If so, how do you explain that? I mean, for all intents and purposes, it does seem to me that the Catholic Church treats Mary as we, in the Christian church, treat Jesus.

First, Catholics are Christians. The Nicene Creed is article of faith, and recited at every Mass. We believe Jesus is the only begotten son of God the Father, that He became man and died for our sins, that He rose again from the dead, and that He sits at the right hand of the Father.

I haven't been able to find the text of the prayer online, but it was pretty widely reported in the media so I'm assuming that it's true. Here are some links about the hows and whys of Catholics devotion to Mary and the other saints. It may be helpful to understand that Catholics see Mary not just as a woman who happened to carry Our Lord, but also has a new Ark of the Covenant, carrying the Word, in a new Kingdom. (See Ark of Covenant and also how Bathsheba, the mother of Solomon, was treated in the OT.)
Marian issues from Scripture Catholic
VTC has covered this fairly comprehensively
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (#2673-2679)

In communion with the holy Mother of God

2673 In prayer the Holy Spirit unites us to the person of the only Son, in his glorified humanity, through which and in which our filial prayer unites us in the Church with the Mother of Jesus.27

2674 Mary gave her consent in faith at the Annunciation and maintained it without hesitation at the foot of the Cross. Ever since, her motherhood has extended to the brothers and sisters of her Son "who still journey on earth surrounded by dangers and difficulties."28 Jesus, the only mediator, is the way of our prayer; Mary, his mother and ours, is wholly transparent to him: she "shows the way" (hodigitria), and is herself "the Sign" of the way, according to the traditional iconography of East and West.

2675 Beginning with Mary's unique cooperation with the working of the Holy Spirit, the Churches developed their prayer to the holy Mother of God, centering it on the person of Christ manifested in his mysteries. In countless hymns and antiphons expressing this prayer, two movements usually alternate with one another: the first "magnifies" the Lord for the "great things" he did for his lowly servant and through her for all human beings29 the second entrusts the supplications and praises of the children of God to the Mother of Jesus, because she now knows the humanity which, in her, the Son of God espoused.

2676 This twofold movement of prayer to Mary has found a privileged expression in the Ave Maria:

Hail Mary [or Rejoice, Mary]: the greeting of the angel Gabriel opens this prayer. It is God himself who, through his angel as intermediary, greets Mary. Our prayer dares to take up this greeting to Mary with the regard God had for the lowliness of his humble servant and to exult in the joy he finds in her.30

Full of grace, the Lord is with thee: These two phrases of the angel's greeting shed light on one another. Mary is full of grace because the Lord is with her. The grace with which she is filled is the presence of him who is the source of all grace. "Rejoice . . . O Daughter of Jerusalem . . . the Lord your God is in your midst."31 Mary, in whom the Lord himself has just made his dwelling, is the daughter of Zion in person, the ark of the covenant, the place where the glory of the Lord dwells. She is "the dwelling of God . . . with men."32 Full of grace, Mary is wholly given over to him who has come to dwell in her and whom she is about to give to the world.

Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. After the angel's greeting, we make Elizabeth's greeting our own. "Filled with the Holy Spirit," Elizabeth is the first in the long succession of generations who have called Mary "blessed."33 "Blessed is she who believed. . . . "34 Mary is "blessed among women" because she believed in the fulfillment of the Lord's word. Abraham. because of his faith, became a blessing for all the nations of the earth.35 Mary, because of her faith, became the mother of believers, through whom all nations of the earth receive him who is God's own blessing: Jesus, the "fruit of thy womb."

2677 Holy Mary, Mother of God: With Elizabeth we marvel, "And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?"36 Because she gives us Jesus, her son, Mary is Mother of God and our mother; we can entrust all our cares and petitions to her: she prays for us as she prayed for herself: "Let it be to me according to your word."37 By entrusting ourselves to her prayer, we abandon ourselves to the will of God together with her: "Thy will be done."

Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death: By asking Mary to pray for us, we acknowledge ourselves to be poor sinners and we address ourselves to the "Mother of Mercy," the All-Holy One. We give ourselves over to her now, in the Today of our lives. And our trust broadens further, already at the present moment, to surrender "the hour of our death" wholly to her care. May she be there as she was at her son's death on the cross. May she welcome us as our mother at the hour of our passing38 to lead us to her son, Jesus, in paradise.

2678 Medieval piety in the West developed the prayer of the rosary as a popular substitute for the Liturgy of the Hours. In the East, the litany called the Akathistos and the Paraclesis remained closer to the choral office in the Byzantine churches, while the Armenian, Coptic, and Syriac traditions preferred popular hymns and songs to the Mother of God. But in the Ave Maria, the theotokia, the hymns of St. Ephrem or St. Gregory of Narek, the tradition of prayer is basically the same.

2679 Mary is the perfect Orans (pray-er), a figure of the Church. When we pray to her, we are adhering with her to the plan of the Father, who sends his Son to save all men. Like the beloved disciple we welcome Jesus' mother into our homes,39 for she has become the mother of all the living. We can pray with and to her. The prayer of the Church is sustained by the prayer of Mary and united with it in hope.40


27 Cf. Acts 1:14.
28 LG 62.
29 Cf. Lk 1:46-55.
30 Cf. Lk 1:48; Zeph 3:17b.
31 Zeph 3:14,17a.
32 Rev 21:3.
33 Lk 1:41, 48.
34 Lk 1:45.
35 Cf. Gen 12:3.
36 Lk 1:43.
37 Lk 1:38.
38 Cf. Jn 19:27.
39 Cf. Jn 19:27.
40 Cf. LG 68-69.

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