Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Advent Veiling Mission 2015

The Advent Veiling Mission 2015

Happy Advent! Here we are, at the start of the Church year - a beautiful time of year to reflect on many things as we prepare for the coming of our savior, Jesus Christ.

Why an Advent Veiling Mission? Several reasons!

First, the beginning of a new year is a great opportunity for us to reflect on the past year and what changes we may want to make for the next. The Church, in its wisdom, gives us Advent in order to reflect on this and make preparations. So many people want to jump straight into Christmas - why the hurry? Christmas will be here very soon - so let's prepare!

Second, I believe that the angels and saints are always trying to lead us to Christ. Sometimes it's a gentle nudge, but other times not so gentle! For me, veiling falls into the gentle nudge category. Six years ago I started thinking about veiling. I tried to make it go away by not thinking about it, but the thought kept returning - over and over! That is one of the ways you know it's a nudge from above - it doesn't change your world in a flash but it's there, constantly, until you give in to it. Are you perhaps being led to veiling?

Third, Advent can be a time of renewal. Think about those who lived before Christ was born - they had the hope of a savior who would deliver them from Hell. The anticipation they must have felt, and for those alive when Christ was born - what joy, what gratitude! We must put ourselves in their shoes and experience that same anticipation, joy and gratitude. 

My hope is that throughout this Advent, we can all walk together toward the birth of our Savior and find or renew the reasons we veil in His presence.

Today's Reading - Sunday, November 29th, 2015 - First Sunday of Advent

The Coming of the Son of Man.
25 “There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves.
26 People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
27 And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
28 But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.”
Exhortation to Be Vigilant.
34 “Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise
35 like a trap. For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth.
36 Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.”
-Luke 21:25-28, 34-36

It's interesting that the Church year begins with a reading about the second coming of Christ. Let's think about that for a minute - are you ready? Are you perhaps a bit scared? Jesus tells us that "people will die of fright".  But - remember Pope John Paul II's first words as Pope? "Be not afraid". Those are the same words the angel Gabriel said to Mary. Christians are a people of hope - and our hope is found in Christ. 

But, how do we conquer that fear? By getting and remaining close to Christ and His mother, Mary. How long has it been since you went to confession? How is your prayer life? It's no secret that we live in troubling times. Why, then, wouldn't we strive to get closer to Christ? And why wouldn't we ask His mother to help us get there?

Let's also note that the second part of today's reading is an exhortation to be vigilant. What do we make of this? Jesus is telling us that we will all at one time get caught up in the things of this world. He tells us to to fight that tendency so that His second coming doesn't catch us by surprise. And then the exhortation to always pay attention to what's going on and - important - prepare through prayer to withstand the tribulations.

In conclusion, Christ is telling us what we really already know - there are many scary things going on in this world and Christ is our only salvation. We have to stay away from the temptations of this world and look to Him for help. What a perfect message for this Advent season!

Click to join us on the Advent Veiling Mission 2015!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Excited and humbled to be featured on the Shopping with Blessed Zelie blog this month. 

What is Shopping with Blessed Zelie? It's a blog that features a new Catholic home-based businesses every month. Please help support these Catholic entrepreneurs! Click on the picture to read about Silver Hill Treasures, then explore the other business posts!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Awesome Giveaway Alert!

Arma Dei: Equipping Catholic Families is having a launch party for their newest item:

Great idea, don't you think? Saints flash cards!

It gets's a giveaway! Click on the image below to enter:

Good Luck!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Can Beauty Distract Us From God?


I recently came across an article by the Most Reverend James Conley, STL, Bishop of Lincoln, Nebraska, titled "Ever Ancient, Ever New: The Role of Beauty in the Restoration of Catholic Culture". It's a beautiful analysis of how beauty leads us to God's glory.

I can't tell you how many times I've heard people wonder, sometimes very loudly, why Catholic churches are so beautifully decorated. After all, their reasoning goes, the money spent on this could be better spent on other, less "frivolous" endeavors. There is a sense that we should be somber and subdued, like somehow a dark, dank, monotone church will make us holier. Why?

God made beauty. He made humans in His image and likeness, and naturally we appreciate beauty. Have you ever seen a beautiful sunrise or sunset, all aglow in purples, blues and reds? Did you stop what you were doing, even if for a few seconds, to appreciate its beauty? The subtle change from a deep purple to a glowing violet, on to varying shades of blue and finally the orange and red that light up the sky?

Sunrise Over the Ocean

From Bishop Conley's article:

"The experience of beauty is transformative. It awakens a sense within us, that life is meaningful on the most profound level. Beauty can move us to humility, giving us a sense of wonder before the mystery of life. The encounter with beauty speaks to us about the true, awe-inspiring nature of existence."

Honestly, I have always appreciated the beauty in our faith. For me, entering a beautiful, "old" church fills my soul with awe. It makes me feel so much closer to God. The beauty leads me to its Creator.

Case in point - the Milk Grotto Church in Bethlehem, Palestine. It's a very simple facade, with very little ornamentation. However, when compared to the stone walls around it, it stands out. It draws your focus to the arched entrance, then up to the picture of the Virgin and Child, rising again to the pointed arch and finally, to the stone cross atop the arch. This little bit of beauty intuitively tells us that this place is special.

The Milk Grotto Church in Bethlehem

"When we begin with beauty, this can then lead to a desire to want to know the truth of the thing that is drawing us, a desire to participate in it. And then the truth can inspire us to do the good, to strive after virtue."

We certainly live in a time where beauty has lost its subtle, sublime dimension. The media often tells us that beauty has to be explicit and revealing. Virtue is no longer considered beautiful, but frumpy and old-fashioned. If you google "Catholic woman" images, you will see some very interesting pictures; even pictures that contradict each other.

"The language of beauty is especially important in our time, because we live in a period of grave intellectual and moral confusion."

The "grave intellectual and moral confusion" of our time is strikingly evident in that Google search. But two items are certain to appear on this search: a rosary and a veil. These two are the symbols our culture still associates with "Catholic" and "woman".  Again, why? It goes back to beauty.

While a rosary has a function, it can also be beautiful. From the beads, to the center, to the crucifix - the beauty in our faith doesn't stop at the church door. And what better way to live our faith than to use the beauty that God has given us for His greater glory?

Oxblood Cezch glass and Snowflake Obsidian Stone Rosary

I often hear women (and sometimes men) ask if wearing a mantilla is too distracting. Does it take away from the Mass?  Can a veil be "too beautiful"? Do we, as veil-wearing Catholic women, at some point fall into a trap, giving more importance to the beauty of the veil itself rather than to what it represents? Possibly.

Lace veils are certainly beautiful, and the veil makers have put their God-given talents to good use. And it's very encouraging to see veiling return, especially in this day and age, where people are searching for truth and beauty among the confusion.

French "Rose Basket" Calais Lace Veil

When you enter a Catholic church you can't help but notice the beauty, that sublime beauty that leads you to God. We can choose to criticize and allow this beauty to distract us - or we can allow it to fill us and point us toward God. And when you enter a Catholic church and see a woman (or several women) wearing a veil, that adds to the beauty. It's a reflection of the Virgin Mary and of Christ's church, present and ready to adore our Savior. I certainly hope it makes you think holy thoughts!

"So we must develop our own appreciation of beauty, wherever it exists. Then we can help others to see beauty for what it is: an earthly reflection of God’s glory—a glory that leads to truth and goodness."

This last quote in particular strikes me as I think of a veiled woman, "an earthly reflection of God's glory - a glory that leads to truth and goodness".

"Catholic Woman Praying"
For more on why Catholic women wear a veil at Mass: Thinking About Veiling at Mass? You're Not Alone!

Pax Christi.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Two Great Giveaways You Can't Miss!

I just got wind of two great giveaways!

The first one comes from - several books, including "Why The Eucharist Matters For Your Life" by Christ Padgett.

Click on the book above to enter!

The second giveaway is for Dr. Scott Hahn's book, "Joy to The World". Click on the image to enter.

Pax Christi.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Introducing Our Rosary Shop

Hand Crafted Amethyst and Hematite St. Benedict Rosary

I felt the pull to make rosaries in 2007, when I started wearing my Miraculous Medal daily. I would make a few and give them away to friends and family. 

This year, my friend Mary encouraged me to offer them for sale on my website. I must say that I never expected them to be so well received. After all, I'm not a "professional" rosary maker. But I've had quite a few people remark on how much they enjoy my rosaries, especially the weight of the beads (I use hand made Czech glass beads and semi-precious stones) when praying with them. Several people ordered them to give as presents since they are heirloom-quailty.

I also received feedback from customers who want a rosary but prefer something less expensive, mainly to have in their car or purse, or as a present for a little one who might not yet appreciate a more expensive rosary.

Black Glass Rosary - Value Line

Then there's the increase in evil all over our world, and the knowledge that Our Lady is the one who crushes the serpent's head. And how many Marian apparitions encourage us to pray the rosary?

All of these situations came together as encouragement, and I'm pleased to announce my rosary shop on Etsy: Silver Hill Treasures, as well as more offerings on the Rosary page on the website. So where is this going? Honestly, I'm not sure. Much like my veil shop, I am taking it one day at a time, trusting that Our Lady has plans for my humble endeavor and I am merely her instrument. Sometimes I wish she didn't trust me with so much, but I can't tell her no. So yes, I tend to overextend myself (and it's my husband who reels me in) - but I'm so in love with our faith that I want to share it with everyone!

Hand Crafted Turquoise and Red Czech glass Our Lady of Guadalupe Rosary

I've added Italian centers and crucifixes to the Holy Land selection I already had. I'm not quite ready to take custom orders, but it's something I will probably do if I'm able to juggle it (there I go with that overextension thing)! 

What about you? Do you pray the Rosary daily? Are you thinking about starting?