I’m excited to share with you that my youngest daughter, Maggie Eisenbarth, is a contributing writer for CatholicMom.com. Her articles will appear on every First Friday and we will republish them on the following Wednesday. The article below by her exemplifies how one family is trying to transform our culture. I hope that it gives you the same hope that it gave me.
When there is no shared commitment to certain moral truths about the human person and human community, there is no moral consensus of the people regarding the good or evil of certain fundamental human behaviors or actions by the state and there is a division in the culture.
Let us pray that the division in our culture will be healed by the fulfillment of St. John Paul’s prophecy that Our Lady of Guadalupe “will penetrate the hearts of the men and women of America and permeate their cultures, transforming them from within.” (Pope John Paul II, The Church in America, No. 70 ). She will do this through penetrating “the hearts of the men and women of America”, one person, one family and one parish at a time. You may read here How to Transform the Culture with Our Lady of Guadalupe.
A Bergamot Moment, Leading our Children to Wonder and Wisdom
By Maggie Eisenbarth
July 7, 2017
Copyright 2007 Janine Russell. Via Flickr; all rights reserved.
A Bergamot Moment is why I am homeschooling, again.
In my garden, right smack in the middle of the mounds of rows is a Bee Balm plant, red and tall. It’s there because I love its smell. It is also an attractant to butterflies and hummingbirds, and who doesn’t want to watch them flit, flutter and zip? I love the idea of my garden being a mini (micro) ecosystem, but not to the extent of inviting in deer. The children and I have watched the hummingbirds dart, settle, taste and flee from the Bee Balm. We have watched them fight with each other, claiming their nectar and chattering away noisily. This spring before the Bee Balm came back into bloom I noticed in another area of the garden a smell coming from the soil. The garden seemed dead yet there was a distinctive smell of potpourri. I was tickled with joy at the lingering scent of last year’s Bee Balm and went about collecting an apron full of spent seeds.
Those fallen seeds were not the only springtime delight in the garden. I also noticed on the other side of the gate, a little to the left, tucked behind the door, an unidentified herb. It seemed familiar, its leaves and even more so their smell, but I was unsure of its name. My mother taught me how to garden and was visiting. She recognized the plant’s square stalk as the same family as the Bee Balm and she had just read about the Native Americans in this area and the plant, Bergamot, used in the tea, Earl Grey. We filled our heads reading about its medicinal and practical uses and how the Blackfoot Indians used it as an antiseptic on wounds. I am quite pleased to know that Bee Balm is much more than an attractive center piece.
But I am not writing any of this to talk about red flowers; rather, about why I am homeschooling, again.
My father just asked me that very question and I gave him a generic answer, maybe a standard, “you’ll be comfortable with this one” kind of answer. I said, “Ummm, because there are like almost 30 kids in a class at the public school.”
He said, “Well there were 40 when I was a kid.”
I looked at my mom for her classic roll of the eyes at his exaggeration and yet she agreed and added, “Or 50; it was Catholic school and they filled the seats and the rooms. I don’t remember any kids ever getting out of hand or out of line.”
I continued with, “Well you can’t go to church in the morning at public school and I don’t like the curriculum and I haven’t been pleased with what I see; I mean even the Christmas shows are unimpressive.”
I was looking for some agreement from them, some common ground to work with since I knew they questioned if I was cut out for homeschooling.
Read the rest of Maggie’s article here