Health and Holiness in the Domestic Church

Happy Tuesday, friends!!!

I hope you all are having a beautiful day!!  I’m so excited to share today’s story from a very sweet lady!  Mariette is such a beautiful soul and so on fire for the Lord.  With this passion, she has made it her goal to make healthy living more accessible and easy to get around.  She is so knowledgable and wise in all of her little words of advice and I have learned so much from this little interview!!  So enjoy!!

And make sure to give her some love at her blog, The Natural Catholic Mom, and on Insta, @thenaturalcatholicmom.

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+ For those who aren’t familiar with you , please introduce yourself.

Hello! I’m Mariette, a Catholic, wife to Ethan, and mother of little Philomena and Zelie. My husband is a school teacher, I’m a stay-at-home-mom, and we live in Northeast Ohio. I chronicle my journey pursing health and holiness in our home via my blog, The Natural Catholic Mom.

+ When did your relationship with Christ first take root in your life?  What encouraged you in striving for a deeper relationship with God?

Despite being raised in a devout Catholic home, my relationship with Christ really took root when I was fifteen years old. I got my drivers license that year and started going once or twice daily to the Perpetual Adoration Chapel up on a nearby college campus. I went through a period of discernment of the religious life at this time and I was Natural Catholic headshotparticularly close to God. He gave me lots of spiritual consolation and it really firmly rooted my Faith for me.

+ What brought you to dive into wellness in a more intentional way?

My story involves years of struggling with my weight as a teen/young adult and having a very unhealthy body image. I always thought as long as you were skinny you were happy and healthy, so I pursued this unhealthy obsession with skinny for years. I used to eat tons of “diet” foods, you know, everything labeled sugar-free, fat-free, low-calorie etc. without regard for what I was actually putting into my body. Despite living off of all of these diet foods I never found the vitality or body I was looking for.  Then I got to know my dear friend Sarah from church better and she introduced me (patiently and slowly) to the world of real-food and nutrition. I stopped counting calories and started counting chemicals. Instead of eating this highly processed junk that was likely manufactured in a laboratory, I ate plentiful amounts of real food from fields and farms. I focused on nourishing my body with healthy ingredients and found that I felt amazing and I lost weight, too! (Oh, and real food tastes so much better than that diet stuff!)

+There is certainly a connection between mind, body, and spirit.  How do you advocate for wellness while still staying true to your Catholic faith?

Sometimes I think there is a knee-jerk reaction by Catholics that anything that seems “hippy-ish” must be a New Age Occultist practice and shunned. I think that unfairly 29089775_2048082788781691_6926250770484428800_nleaves out many natural ways God has actually given us to try and nourish and heal ourselves. He wants us to be well, I think, and there are amazing whole foods, herbs, essential oils and more that greatly benefit us without any spiritual harm done.

But that’s not to say we don’t need to be careful and pursue physical improvements at the risk of spiritual harm. My daughter suffers from eczema and there is a treatment many swear by that deals with “energy” medicine. I contacted an exorcist who said he has personally known this treatment to cause serious spiritual harm in people.

So I pursue what I think would be beneficial and research anything that gives me a feeling that it might conflict with my Faith.

+ What are some easy ways that you have removed toxins from your home?

Some quick ways I remove toxins are:

Looking on the labels of lotions, dish soap, laundry detergent, and hand soaps for “fragrance” or artificial coloring and avoid those.  Using inexpensive ceramic-coated pots and pans that are available at Walmart instead of Teflon.  |  Buying organic food as much as possible to avoid pesticides being sprayed on what we eat.  |
We also invested in a Berkey Water Purifier that just sits on a countertop in the kitchen. You pour your city tap water in the top (we have a 3 gallon size) and it removes all kinds of contaminants like mercury, chlorine, heavy metals, pesticides, bacteria and more. At a cost of about $0.04/gallon for truly purified drinking water just by taking the effort to pour a few pitchers into it once a day, it’s an incredibly easy and affordable step that really has an impact on our bodies.

+ As a busy mom, how do you find time for your faith?

This can be hard but a committed routine is key for me. Half an hour before our toddler’s 29403748_1695986273780644_6803084139365924864_nbedtime every night we pray the Rosary. I make sure to pray a morning offering as soon as I remember to upon waking, and again with the girls later in the morning. Finally, I have a little series of prayers at night I pray before falling asleep, like the simple Guardian Angel prayer. I also try to get in fifteen minutes of mental prayer while nursing the baby down for a nap every day.

+A relationship with Christ is the corner stone of any faithful Catholic.  What forms of prayer or study do you find the most helpful for cultivating a beautiful Catholic life?

Like I mentioned above, the Rosary is definitely a beautiful prayer that is important to me.

Above all, though, I think actual mental prayer is invaluable. It can be incredibly difficult to have this quiet conversation with God, but it is so important – St. Alphonsus Liguori said, “All the saints became saints because of mental prayer.” Recently I shared on my blog an easy, one page mental prayer guide written by Fr. Dennis Gordon, FSSP, that absolutely changed my spiritual life. Anyone can set a timer for just fifteen minutes to start and go through the simple guide to conversation with God. It is an immense blessing and brimming with special graces!  (https://thenaturalcatholicmom.com/2018/03/19/the-best-and-easiest-way-to-pray/)

+On your blog, (www.thenaturalcatholicmom.com) , you talk a bit about living a holy life in the domestic Church.  Many of the popes have talked about the importance of the domestic Church.  Please explain your insights into the domestic church and its importance in the “big picture” of the Catholic Church.

WeddingFasting and feasting according to the different seasons, celebrating our patron saint’s feast days with as much fanfare as we can, and ordering our lives with an emphasis on our identity as Catholics can truly influence our family and help us become saints! Every great saint was influenced by their home and we can do that, too. My two year old loves feast days, and I’m sure a special cake and coloring page helps, but she also gets excited about who we are celebrating. On the last Marian feast, she said, “Mary loved Jesus veeeery much!” I think it helps her love Him more, too!

+ What are some resources that you would suggest to anyone who is interested in pursuing a life of wellness?

I have a whole resource section full of books, websites, and product recommendations on my blog that you can find here (https://thenaturalcatholicmom.com/resources/). A great starter for learning about healthy eating is 100 Days of Real Food (100daysofrealfood.com). The Leake family’s blog and two cookbooks resulting from their experiment a few years ago of eating only real food for 100 solid days make healthy eating so simple and delicious; we use their easy recipes all of the time. As for holistic health. Dr. Josh Axe (draxe.com) is a wealth of knowledge and I always search his site to see if he has information on a condition I have questions about.

Have a beautiful day, my friends!!

Maddy

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