“The one who has hope lives differently.”  – Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI


I just love this quote from Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. It was the slogan used for the Papal Visit to the USA in 2008.

Five in my family, including myself, were among the 47,000 pilgrims to attend the Papal Mass at Nationals Stadium that April in 2008. 

This awesome quote is emblazoned on a souvenir tote bag I still use that contains the latest baby blanket I am working on. They are for the local Birthright and the tote bag is my constant reminder as I pray and crochet.

There is more time these days for me to sit and crochet.

I bet you are finding more time too with the current “stay home” orders to get to some of these often overlooked activities accomplished.

Can I be honest with you?

I had to relearn the stitch I was using. Beforehand, I had been “too busy” to sit quietly and crochet, even for a good cause such as new mommies and babies!

I am basically a homebody and as a homeschool mom used to being at home. All three college kids are now home, full time, doing the rest of the year online. Even the senior at Benedictine College.

Feels like homeschooling again! However, I find it a bit surreal these days.

This is sooooo different. This brings anxiety, fear, frustration, confusion, and a loss of direction. In the midst of the closeness, the extra family time, I find it HARD!

In fact, the hardest part is no Mass in person, no Adoration in person.

Then I look at my tote bag and that famous quote:

The Divine fire of God’s love was reignited in our family as we were reconfirmed in the Holy Spirit at that Papal Mass back 2008. The Holy Spirit never leaves us alone!

We also know that it was through God’s marvelous timing (not ours) that our Holy Father came to this country to bless us and bestow upon us an encouraging message!

We need this message right now, especially as our nation and families struggle through this tribulation, this pandemic.

As I sat with the Lord, via my computer, for Adoration yesterday, I asked the Lord for a word for the week. A word to inspire and bring my focus back to Him.

Yup, it was HOPE! Not a coincidence at all.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines hope as

“the theological virtue by which we desire the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in Christ’s promises and relying not on our own strength, but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit.” 

It goes further to say,

“The virtue of hope responds to the aspiration to happiness which God has placed in the heart of every man; it takes up the hopes that inspire men’s activities and purifies them so as to order them to the Kingdom of heaven; it keeps man from discouragement; it sustains him during times of abandonment; it opens up his heart in expectation of eternal beatitude. Buoyed up by hope, he is preserved from selfishness and led to the happiness that flows from charity.” (CCC 1817 & 1818) 

It affords us JOY even under trial: “Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation.” (Rom 12:12).


Hope, O my soul, hope. You know neither the day nor the hour. Watch carefully, for everything passes quickly, even though your impatience makes doubtful what is certain, and turns a very short time into a long one. Dream that the more you struggle, the more you prove the love that you bear your God, and the more you will rejoice one day with your Beloved, in a happiness and rapture that can never end. (St. Teresa of Avila, Excl. 15:3.)

Hope is also written on the faces of our children as a window to their hearts.  The decision to home educate our children is not an easy path to follow, but as we have seen with our own children it is priceless and a blessing to the entire world!

I keep all of you in my heart and prayers! As my man St. Padre Pio says,

May God bless you abundantly,

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  1. Angie

    Paola, thank you so much for sending your inspirational blogs! Even though our formal homeschooling days were over long ago, I enjoy all that you include; it is spiritually uplifting.
    God bless you and your family!

    • Paola Ciskanik

      THank you for your kindness Angie! Yay, another sister in Christ who “graduated” from homeschooling! It goes fast! Keeping you in my heart and prayers!


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