Monday, December 31, 2007

Something to Carry With Us On the Coming Year's Journey

Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen OCD, (Author of the great spiritual Classic, Divine Intimacy) reminds us:

'When Jesus says to us, "Be you perfect as also your heavenly Father
is perfect", He gives us a model of perfection that we can never
exhaust. The perfection of the very greatest saints when compared
with God's perfection is nothing. Jesus teaches us then not to rest
complacent in the degree of perfection we have attained, nor be
satisfied with our progress or even our efforts. Compared with the
lofty ideal He sets out for us, we are nothing. This is why He tells
us never to stop, never to say, "This is enough." No matter how much
progress we make, we never advance far enough. Who, indeed, can
become as just, as merciful as God? As long as we are on earth, our
holiness will always consist in a continual tending toward divine

Wishing you a fruitful and joyous journey in the new year!

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Feast of St. Stephen

Today is the feast of St. Stephen, the protomartyr of the Church. I have always wondered why the juxtaposition Christmas, the most glorious and well, innocent, of Feasts, with the occasion of the martyrdom of Stephen, a gritty and bloody wake-up call.

Maybe that is the idea. I am sure that it isn't just some gruesome coincidence; but rather a well thought out reminder. Also featured in this week is the feast of the Holy Innocents, which is something in the same vein, I think.

This tiny and innocent child came, not to bring the peace the world gives, but the edge of the sword, the vicious and personal blow of the stoning. The peace on earth the angels proclaim isn't here, in the world's terms. Her in the world we will face stones and swords, persecutions of all kinds.

Yet Stephen experienced the peace of Christ, and experienced it in the midst of his cruel and bloody murder--he looked up and saw the heavens opened, and Jesus standing at the right hand of the Father. His last words were of forgiveness, and he hastened forth from the world full of love and joy.

Let the peace of the Lord be with us all, and as we follow in the footsteps of this first, great witness, returning love for hate, and good for evil, may that hasten the day when peace will reign here, as well.

God is here with us, who can be against us?

Help us, Oh Lord, to seek and to find your peace, the true peace, even here now in the midst of our anxieties, conflicts and persecutions. Let us see just a little bit of what Stephen saw, that we may be strengthened and encouraged in the midst of our troubles, whatever they may be.

Merry Christmas Season

It is my wish and prayer that all of you have a joyous and blessed Christmas season.

I had hoped to go to Midnight Mass, but ended up at the 10am on Christmas morning. And you know what, I'm glad it worked out that way. Evidently the crush and throng had attended one of the two anticipation services or the Midnight Mass (which, with its promised concert and carol singing was surely enticing--and hey, you know its Midnight Mass, so cool) so that the 10 am was peaceful, though still festive. And I am also happy to relate that we (my daughter and I) arrived early.

The Church was beautiful, the small ensemble very lovely, and best of all, Jesus was there. I very much enjoyed Fr. Jim's homily, the readings, etc.....and best of all, Jesus was there.

After Mass, we took time for Lauds (a bit late, but hey, its Christmas) and to look at the nativity scene, the flowers, and to enjoy the lingering aroma of the incense....
and best of all, Jesus was there.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Modestly Yours--Modesty Blog

Just stumbled across the blog Modestly Yours, a group blog by women who value modesty.

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Prudence in Action

A list I subscribe to sent me this chapter fromThe Imitation of Christ. I like it because it helps me to clarify what prudence really is, and how to exercise it.

The Fourth Chapter
Prudence in Action

DO NOT yield to every impulse and suggestion but consider things carefully and patiently in the light of God’s will. For very often, sad to say, we are so weak that we believe and speak evil of others rather than good. Perfect men, however, do not readily believe every talebearer, because they know that human frailty is prone to evil and is likely to appear in speech.

Not to act rashly or to cling obstinately to one’s opinion, not to believe everything people say or to spread abroad the gossip one has heard, is great wisdom.

Take counsel with a wise and conscientious man. 8 Seek the advice of your betters in preference to following your own inclinations.

A good life makes a man wise according to God and gives him experience in many things, for the more humble he is and the more subject to God, the wiser and the more at peace he will be in all things.

http://www.ccel. org:80/ccel/ kempis/imitation .ONE.4.html

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Theodore Dalrymple on What the New Atheists Don't See

I have just run across a very thoughtful article in the City Journal on the topic of the various vituperations and imprecations cast a believers of all sorts by the newest crop of atheist authors (Hitchens, Dawkins, Harris).
Written as it is by a man of letters who is not himself a believer, I found it to be especially credible, reasoned and thoughtful.

Dalrymple addresses some of the more strident and shocking claims of this group of authors. The most shocking idea I met with in the review, having not--I will admit--read the book in question was Harriss' idea that one must consider the wisdom of killing people because they entertain a certain belief. I mean here that he feels, owing to "the link between faith and behavior" that such an idea might be a good one. Gee, and we thought Diocletian was long dead.

We are accustomed, in the United States and the rest of the Western World, to say that whatever we have to suffer in the cause of our faith is of the "mere inconvenience" category of things. Or at least is confined to subtle job discrimination and family insults. I believe that most sane persons of any philosophical bent or belief system would still decry the idea of genocide --but maybe a day will come when that is no longer true, and even we in the West will be able to earn the crown of a "red martyrdom" rather than a "white" one. To say I rather hope not certainly doesn't capture the sick, sinking feeling I had when reading that the idea had been offered forth in End of Faith.

Anyhow, go and read the Dalrymple Article. There's a lot more to it than that bit of sickening info (I guess I've got to start reading these vituperative books, just to know what's up) and I found the article so well written, that I expect to be looking back for more of his thought and reviews.

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Eve of the Feast of OHF St. John of the Cross

Heads up all ye Carmelites! Today is the eve of the feast of Our Holy Father St. John of the Cross--whom I find I am growing love more and more!

A Poster of Controversy

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the Blog of Lon has a very interesting and controversial post regarding how Jesus' actual teachings are or are not followed by those who call themselves Christians.

Look at the poster and think about it. Where do you stand here? The actual post has excellent comments, some of which get close to my thoughts here, without actually getting there. Here goes.

I know that Jesus loves each of these people with an everlasting love, and that he died to save them. What greater service could there be than that? However, he never condoned evil or endorsed or served the causes of those who do evil. Look at all of his interaction with the Pharisees. Look at the cleansing of the temple. Yet even this is service, because to tolerate evil inanother does not do them any service of love, but is in itself sin.
Jesus, who truly loves Osama bin Ladin (but who abhors all evil) would never serve him in any way which enabled him to continue in falseness. Rather, He died for him, and calls out to him to turn away from evil and do good. To me, the image is an apparent contradiction, but really the deeper one goes, the more one can see that it is not so. It is just hard for people to get past the rather shocking image.

It is so hard for us to accept the idea that God loves passionately the one whom we hate. And we must not hate--but that does not translate to endorsing, accepting or "serving" evil

So while I find the image controversial and thought provoking, I don't find it offensive or dissonant in the way which many seem to.

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Tiny Wonder

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A friend at Stumbleupon, 14PeaceNow, has this--the story of convicted forger A. Schiller-- on his page. This is mind boggling to me.

Schiller spent the last 25 years of his life in Sing Sing prison. When he died in the late 1800's several straight pins were found on his body. He had painstakingly inscribed the Lord's prayer on each pin. What I want to know is, who even thought to look?

Consider the size of a regular straight pin. On the page the head's diameter is reported as being 1.17 mm in diameter or 47/1000ths of an inch! What an artist,and what a sweet and flawless hidden sacrifice to the Lord!

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Saturday, December 08, 2007

Our Holy Father on the Immaculate Conception

"As a merciful Mother, Mary is the anticipated figure and everlasting portrait of the Son. Thus, we see that the image of the Sorrowful Virgin, of the Mother who shares her suffering and her love, is also a true image of the Immaculate Conception. Her heart was enlarged by being and feeling together with God. In her, God's goodness came very close to us."
- - Pope Benedict XVI (December 8, 2005)

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Thanksgiving Prayer After Mass--St. thomas Aquinas

Thanksgiving After Mass

Lord, Father all-powerful and ever-living God, I thank You, for even though I am a sinner, your unprofitable servant, not because of my worth but in the kindness of your mercy, You have fed me with the Precious Body and Blood of Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. I pray that this Holy Communion may not bring me condemnation and punishment but forgiveness and salvation. May it be a helmet of faith and a shield of good will. May it purify me from evil ways and put an end to my evil passions. May it bring me charity and patience, humility and obedience, and growth in the power to do good. May it be my strong defense against all my enemies, visible and invisible, and the perfect calming of all my evil impulses, bodily and spiritual. May it unite me more closely to you, the One true God, and lead me safely through death to everlasting happiness with You. And I pray that You will lead me, a sinner, to the banquet where you, with Your Son and holy Spirit, are true and perfect light, total fulfillment, everlasting joy, gladness without end, and perfect happiness to your saints. Grant this through Christ our Lord, AMEN.

--Saint Thomas Aquinas

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Monday, November 19, 2007

New US Military Chaplain Appointed!

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Thanks be to God, we have a new US Military Chaplain. Archbishop Timothy Broglio has been appointed by the Holy Father as the new head of the archdiocese for the Military Services, USA--a flock of some 1.4 million Catholic.

Archbishop Broglio, who is originally from Cleveland Ohio, is currently the apostolic nuncio in the Dominican Republic and the papal delegate to Puerto Rico.

The US military see has been vacant for only 7 weeks, since the for shepherd, the Archbishop Edwin O'Brien, was installed as Archbishop of Baltimore. To me, this short period of vacancy
(hey 7 weeks is blazing speed for any bureaucracy) is a mark of touching concern on the part of the Holy Father.

I believe it is very rare for a US native, once part of the Vatican Service, to return to a US Diocese. Archbishop Broglio, welcome home.

Thank you, Papa!

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St. Raphael Kalinowski

Today is the memorial of St. Raphael Kalinowski, OCD. This polish discalced friar was canonized in 1991. This year is also the centenary of his death.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

And in Contrast.....

Please read A Martyr's Letter To His Girlfriend
This is a letter from Bartolome Blanco Marquez, a young martyr of 1930's Spain, who perished in the religious persecution of the time.
Here you will find all that is lacking in so many modern relationships. What a touching, true and lasting love this young saint has for his beloved.

Our Holy Father's Prayer Intentions for November

Prayer intentions from Pope Benedict XVI for November:

"That those dedicated to medical research and all those engaged in legislative activity may always have deep respect for human life, from its beginning to its natural conclusion." His mission intention is: "That in the Korean peninsula the spirit of reconciliation and peace may grow."

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More Dark Evidence that Cohabitation Outside of Marriage Does Not Work

An associated press article appearing today by David Crary details the "dark underbelly of cohabitation".

From the article:

"..many scholars and front-line caseworkers interviewed by The
Associated Press see the abusive-boyfriend syndrome as part of a
broader trend that deeply worries them. They note an ever-increasing
share of America's children grow up in homes without both biological
parents, and say the risk of child abuse is markedly higher in the
nontraditional family structures.

"This is the dark underbelly of cohabitation," said Brad Wilcox, a
sociology professor at
the niversity of Virginia. "Cohabitation has
become quite common, and most people think, 'What's the harm?' The harm
is we're increasing a pattern of relationships that's not good for

The report goes on to say that, according to a Missouri study, children living in households with unrelated adults are almost 50 times as likely to die of inflicted injuries as children living with their biological parents.

Of all families with children, nearly one third of them now live in one-parent families--29 percent.

It is so sad to me that what some of us had only considered old-fashioned and unduly restrictive we have ignored to our everlasting grief. Our God is a wise parent; would that we return to being wise children.

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Saturday Prayers for the Holy Souls

Let us continue to remember our obligation to pray for the Church Suffering--this month, but really always. We will surely have good friends in heaven when those who have been helped by our prayers attain at last their sure reward!


My Jesus, by the sorrows You suffered in Your agony in the Garden, in Your scourging and crowning with thorns, in Your journey to Calvary, in Your crucifixion and death, have mercy on the souls in purgatory, and especially on those that are most forsaken; deliver them from the torments they endure; call them and admit them to Your most sweet embrace in paradise, where You live with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen


O Lord God omnipotent, I beseech You by the Precious Blood which gushed forth from the sacred Side of Your divine Son Jesus in the presence and to the great sorrow of His most holy Mother, deliver the souls in purgatory and among them all especially that soul which has been most devout to this noble Lady, that it may come quickly into Your glory, there to praise You in her, and her in You through all the ages. Amen.

Say here: one Our Father and one Hail Mary


Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen.

Merciful Father, hear our prayers and console us. As we renew our faith in Your Son, whom You raised from the dead, strengthen our hope that all our departed brothers and sisters will share in His resurrection, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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St Francis on the Hail Mary

Hail Mary

When I say "Hail Mary",

the heavens bow down,

the angels rejoice;

the earth jubilates,

hell trembles;

and the devils take flight!

--St. Francis of Assisi

The more I think on Mary as truly my Mother, the calmer I become, for I see a place of sure refuge. Always, always, always--she takes me straight to Jesus. I know she is helping me to receive the graces I need to begin to trust more in the Lord always, no matter what happens.
Who better to take our cares to the hands of her Divine Son, Our Lord.

How I love her!

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Friday, November 16, 2007

My Newest Rosary--Ad Majoram Dei Gloriam

Here is a link to the description of my newest rosary added to Ave Maria
The Rosaries Name is "Ad Majoram Dei Gloriam". I added a bit about why that name feels right to me in the description online. There is just something about the subtle depth of beauty in these stones, and the almost hidden shimmer, plus their weight, that suggests to me the life of those most seriously dedicated all to His Glory.

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Irish Dilemna over Stricter Breathalyzer tests

an interesting article in the Times Online
discusses how new, stricter blood alcohol levels could result in priests being convicted of drunk driving as they have to travel from parish to parish to say Mass. Now here is a problem that never occurred to me.

What I found most interesting however, was the lengthy comments section following the article. Seldom have so many been so confused, I think. It also saddens me to see such unapologetic Catholic bashing, and ridiculing of Our Lord's Presence in the Holy Eucharist.

It gives me a whole new feeling for the first Friday devotion, which I'd like to do, but always seem to have an excuse out of. Maybe not now. I almost felt as is some people were literally spitting on Him.

"Oh, Jesus, in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar, I adore You!"

"Oh Sacrament Most Holy, Oh Sacrament Divine, all praise and all thanksgiving be every moment Thine!"

There. Now I feel a little bit better.

Here is another article in a German publication on the same issue:
Proposal Could Tip Irish Priests Over Legal Limit

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A Beautiful Prayer of St. Gertrude the Great

Olive Tree of Mercy

O Olive tree of mercy! Hail Mary, Mother of God. Hail Mary, Queen of
Kindness, and Olive Tree of Mercy, from whom the remedy of life came to

Since, by your Son, you became the true Mother of all mankind,
now for the sake of His love, keep me in your motherly love, despite my
unworthiness. Help me to believe! Preserve and strengthen my faith.

Grant me your care in this life, and receive me with the plenitude of your motherhood at the hour of my death.
--Saint Gertrude the Great.

I like this especially, because of the wonderful image of Mary as the Olive Tree of Mercy. Such a strong and enduring source, from whom so much life and healing richness flows!! May I rest beneath her branches, nourished by her goodness, all the days of my life. And I pray the same for you.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

A Baby Step Milestone on the Road to Reunion

With great joy I read today that the final document produced by the plenary assembly of the Joint International Commision for Theological Dialogue Between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church contains the seeds of future steps toward reunion. This important assembly was held in Ravenna this October and was prsided over by Cardinal Walter Kaspar and the Metrolitan Ionnis of Pergamo.

On Vatican Radio, Cardinal Kaspar reported that, " for the first time the Orthodox Churches have said yes, this universal level of the Church exists and also at the universal level there is conciliarity, synodality, and authority; this means there is also a primate; according to the practice of the ancient Church, the first bishop is the Bishop of Rome. However, we did not talk of the privileges of the Bishop of Rome, we merely indicated the praxis for futre debate. This document is a modest first step and as such it gives rise to hope, but we must not exaggerate its importance."

Perhaps a modest beginning, but nevertheless historic and important. Pray very much for the continuing success of efforts toward the reunification of communion between these "two lungs of the Church"!

No doubt there are many roadblocks to be passed, but this is such encouraging news. The only sad note is that the Russian Orthodox Church has abandoned the plenary assembly over an inter-Orthodox tussle between Moscow and Constantinople, concerning the recognition of the autonomous Church of Estonia. So let's also pray that this may be resolved, because obviously it is so important that the Russian Orthodox Church participate in these talks.

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Saint Albert theGreat

Saint Albertus Magnus (Albert the Great) was called such in his own day because of his great learning. But I think what truly ennobles him with this title was his understanding that all knowledge was less than nothing if not rightly used for the aims of love.

He said:
It is by the path of love, which is charity, that God draws near to man, and man to God."

At the end of his life, he had to let his great learning fall from his hand, as God required the return of his burning intellect. Apparently St. Albert suffered from Alzheimer's disease, or some other form of senile dementia. But there is no evidence that this was a source of disquiet for this great saint, for he had gone beyond human wisdom and encountered the living Source of All Wisdom---God, who is Love.

Saint Albert the Great, pray for us, that we may use our intellect in the service of love, and so draw near to God!

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

More on Scripture from Pope Benedict

In his audience today, the Holy Father reflected on St. Jerome, specifically on his love and lifelong study of Sacred Scripture.

Truly "enchanted" by the word of God, Jerome asked himself: "How could
we live without the science of Scriptures, through which we learn how
to know Christ himself, who is the life of the believer?" (Ep. 30,7).
Hence the Bible, the instrument "with which God speaks to the faithful
every day" (Ep. 133,13), becomes catalyst and source of Christian life
for all situations and for everyone.

In his audience the Pope goes on to discuss how Jerome encouraged this love in all Christians, but also how he cautioned that Scripture must always be viewed and interpreted with both the aid of the Holy Spirit, and through the lens of orthodox Catholic Teaching.

For him an authentic interpretation of the Bible always had to be in harmony with the faith of the Catholic Church. This is not an external requirement imposed on the book. The book itself is the voice of the people of God in pilgrimage, and only in the faith of these people we find the right frame of mind to understand sacred Scripture. Hence Jerome warned: "Stay firmly attached to the traditional doctrine that has been taught to you, so that you can preach according to the right doctrine and refute those who contradict it" (Ep. 52,7)

Pope Benedict and St. Therese (Her Relics) Have a Visit!

Today Our Holy Father Pope Benedict rejoiced to be able to pray with the relics of St. Therese of Lisieux. Her relics have traveled to Rome with an entourage from her home Diocese of Bayeux and Lisieux.

Our Holy Father said:

St. Thérèse would have liked to learn the languages of the Bible in
order to better understand sacred Scripture," he said. "Following her
example and that of St. Jerome, dedicate time to frequent reading of
the Bible. By familiarizing yourselves with the Word of God, you will
discover Christ and remain in intimate contact with him. (From an article published in Zenit)

How this would please the Little Flower! She so much loved Scripture, and especially the Gospels, that to be held up by the Holy Father as an exemplar of this love must be pleasing to her. How I wish I could have prayed with her relics when they came to the US!

I need to take this to heart!

"For it is God's will that by doing good you should silence the
ignorant talk of foolish men. Live as free men, but do not use your
freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God."- 1 Peter

How much more effective to love in silence is than to talk, talk, talk without love.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Looking at my Pics on Another Computer

Drat--here in the hotel lobby on IE, my latest rosary pic looks rather dark. Sigh.
I am still looking for better picture quality.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Advent Themed Rosaries

Today I uploaded the first of my Advent themed Rosaries to the website. The pictures with the digital camera are taking some learning about, and I am about middling satisfied with this one. I'd like the rosary to appear larger, without having to make the picture bigger, so as to be able to see the best detail. Still--better than the film ones I had been using!

I really like this rosary--it is especially pleasant to pray with, and I enjoy the subtle relationship between the Ave and Pater beads. The Crucifix is one of my favorites, and I think the Infant of Prague center is especially suitable to the season.

Hopefully, I can get another one up before I have to take off for work tomorrow. I have two more Advent rosaries ready to go.

Praying for Those Who Have Gone Before Us

It is an important duty of ours to pray for the dead because although they may have died in grace and in friendship with God, they may still be in need of a last purification in order to enter into the joy of heaven. Prayer for the souls of the dead can be expressed in various ways, including a visit to the cemetery. Going to these sacred places provides an auspicious occasion to reflect on the meaning of earthly life and to nourish, at the same time, hope in the blessed eternity of paradise. - Pope John Paul II (All Souls Day Nov. 2, 2003)

This month is devoted to the Holy Souls. I remember reading that our prayers for them have this wonderful double effect--that they help the souls in purgatory, and that in turn they help us. Those souls who have reached heaven aided by our prayers will remember us in gratitude, and help us in our turn. What family members are supposed to do for one another.

I like to pray for everyone who has died, but I admit that I like to pray especially for my ancestors--until I came back to the Church it never occurred to me that I could do this service for them.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Use Me, Lord

Here is a lovely passage shared in one of my email groups today. The one who sent it did not know it's author, nor do I:

Moses stuttered.
David's armor didn't fit.
John Mark was rejected by Paul.
Hosea's wife was a prostitute.
Amos' only training was in the school of fig-tree pruning.
Jacob was a liar.
David had an affair.
Solomon was too rich.
Abraham was too old.
David was too young.
Timothy had ulcers.
Peter was afraid of death.
Lazarus was dead.
John was self-righteous.
Jesus was too poor.
Naomi was a widow.
Paul was a murderer. So was Moses.
Jonah ran from God.
Miriam was a gossip.
Gideon and Thomas both doubted.
Jeremiah was depressed and suicidal.
Elijah was burned out.
John the Baptist was a loudmouth.
Martha was a worrywart.
Samson had long hair.
Noah got drunk.
Did I mention that Moses had a short fuse?
So did Peter, Paul-well, lots of folks did.

There are lots of reasons why God shouldn't have called us. But He'll
use us in spite of who we are, where we've been, or what we look like.

I find this very comforting, for I am full of fears and weakness--but God can use me anyway.

Use Me, Lord!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Angelic or Evil?

How evil are you?

A testimonial to the inaccuracy of Quizzes!!!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

St. Therese

Well, The Little Flower's feast day is tomorrow, don't forget! I will be traveling out of town for my
job, so I hope I can find someplace to attend Mass. And on top of that St . Mother Theodore Guerin's feast day is Wednesday, and I will be away for that too. Sigh.

Oops, and please don't be offended, dear guardian Angel, you know I never forget about you! (October 2nd, I am sure you know).

September the 19th our parish had a lovely Mass in honor of St. Mother Theodore (or St. Theodora Guerin, if you insist--but she will always be Mother Theodore to me). We had a statue installed in our garden, and Archbishop Buechlein came down to celebrate Mass. St. Joseph's in Terre Haute, Indiana (my very own parish), was the first place Mother stopped at the end of her journey--to assist at Mass, before continuing on to the woods across the river that was to become St. Mary's of the Woods and the Motherhouse of the Sisters of Providence in the U.S. So she is very special to us. I was off at work on that day too, but was very much there in spirit!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

St. Therese Novena

Boy am I good at coming in on the second or third day of things!! This is day 2 of the Novena for the feast of St. Therese of Lisieux.

Novena to St. Therese
To be Said Each Day:

Come Holy Spirit and fill the heart of the faithful, and enkindle in them the fire of Your Love.

V. Send forth Your Spirit and they shall be created.

R. And You shall renew the face of the earth.

Let us Pray: O God, who hast instructed the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant that by the gift of that same Holy Spirit we may be ever truly wise and rejoice in His consolation. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Acts of Faith, Hope and Charity

Oh my God, I believe in thee and rejoice in the gift of faith, strengthen this gift in me. All of my hope is in thee, may it always reside there and grow ever stronger. I love thee with all of my poor strength, grant to me and increase of they love, that I may return it to Thee more each day.

Act of Contrition

Oh my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pangs of hell, but even more because you are all good, and worthy of all my love. With true contrition I turn again to you, and resolve that with the help of your grace I firmly resolve to sin no more, and to avoid the near occasions of sin. Amen

Concluding prayer to be said Each Day

Dear Jesus, you have said that unless we become as little children we will not be able to enter the kingdom of heaven. Grant through your grace that we may learn to follow the way of spiritual childhood of the blessed virgin St. Therese, and through her example of trust and humility come to enjoy forever the glory of your kingdom.

Second Day:

Oh my dear Sister, now that you see Our Dear Savior in heaven, still bearing the wounds He endured for our sins, you know even more vividly the value of souls, and the priceless value of the Most Precious Blood which he willingly shed to save them. As I am one of those children for whom Christ died, obtain for me all the graces that I need to profit by that Precious Blood. Use you great power with Our Divine Lord and pray for me!

Intercede for us always all the days of our lives, but most especially during this Novena, and obtain for us from God all the graces and favors that we ask through your intercession. Amen.

Well, the Fence is Looking Better

....but the pool is still not closed. Did you know that a good power washing can turn an ugly gray privacy fence a beautiful lovely brown color? Thanks to my nephew, I now know this happy fact. I got to play too, and it is a lot of fun using a powerwasher, I must say!

Today the fence! Tomorrow the pool??

Friday, September 21, 2007

Pool Closing Update

Well, it is now well after Labor Day and the pool is not yet closed. This marks the start of my weekend, so I'll have to see what can be done about that. Of course, there is also the yard to be mowed, the house to be powerwashed, the recently chopped done vines to be stump poisoned, the laundry caught up, the.....I think I better stop the list now, or I could get a bit whiny about it, ya think?

And so, of course, with all this to do, I am prioritizing very well, and spending an hour working on my blog, and another hour working on the Rosary website.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Our Lady of Sorrows

This image is one of the most haunting sorrowful Virgins I have ever seen. I don't know who painted it--if anyone knows and can tell me, I would be grateful to know, and to give proper attribution.

Today is the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows.

the 7 Sorrows of Mary:

1. The prophecy of Simeon.
2. The flight into Egypt.
3. The loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple.
4. Mary meets Jesus carrying His cross.
5. The Crucifixion
6. Mary received the Body of Jesus from the cross
7. The Body of Jesus is placed in a tomb.

One way of praying this devotion is simply to meditate on each sorrowful event while praying a Hail Mary for each.

Two Hearts Network has a lovely Our Lady of Sorrows page that I would encourage you to visit. I found some beautiful prayers there; some I had never seen or heard of before, such as the "Sorrowful Hail Mary", which follows.

The Sorrowful Hail Mary

Hail Mary, full of sorrows, the Crucified is with thee; thou art pitiable amongst women, and pitiable is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of the Crucified, implore for us, the crucifiers of thy Son, tears of contrition, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

----approved by Pope Pius IX in 1847

Monday, September 03, 2007

Labor Day

Well, Here it is Labor day---aka "the day after which the pool shall be closed day". Let's see if I can do a more timely job of it this year, shall we? Stand by, and I will keep you posted. This experiment is called accountability (but not very, I guess--as you nonexistent readers are hardly likely to fine me for lackadaisical pool closing).

Today is also the feast of St. Gregory the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church--who did not really invent Gregorian chant. However, he did collect and preserve these chants and also wrote important works on the Mass and the Divine Office.

St. Gregory, pray for us!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Intriguing Facts about Indiana

Since I am from Indiana, I found this interesting. Lots of people do think there isn't much
but corn in Indiana, but now we know better. A friend of mine sent this to me in an email, without
attribution, so---thanks to whomever, and to Beth, as well.

This is a public photo belonging to Dee Johnson

found on flickr. Thanks, Dee for allowing this beautiful photo of
an Indiana barn to be shared.

Facts about Indiana : I'll bet you didn't know......

Tomato juice was first served at a French Lick, Indiana hotel
in 1925.

The first tomato juice factory was also in French Lick, IN.

The world's largest orchid species collection is found at Ball
State University in Muncie , Indiana .

The first regulated speed limit (20 - 25 mph!) was initiated on
Indiana roads in 1921.

An average of 400 funnel clouds are sighted each year in

The city of Gary , Indiana , was built on fill brought from the
bottom of Lake Michigan through suction pipes.

There are only two Adams fireplaces in the United States .
One is in the White House and the other in the Diner Home
in Indiana .

Josie Orr, wife of former Indiana Governor Robert Orr, flew
bombers and cargo planes during World War II.

The Indianapolis Methodist Hospital is the largest Hospital
in the Midwest .

One of the first complete bathrooms in Indianapolis was in
the home of Hoosier poet, James Whitcomb Riley.

The career of Dorothy Lamour (famous for the Bing Crosby-
Bob Hope Road Movies) was launched in Indianapolis .

Aviatrix Amelia Earhart was once a Professor at Purdue

Crown Hill Cemetery ( Indianapolis ) is the largest cemetery
in the U.S.

The library in Fort Wayne , Allen County , Indiana houses
one of the largest genealogy libraries in America .

Wabash, Indiana was the first electrified city in the U.S.

Pendleton, Indiana was the site of the first hanging of a
white man for killing Indians.

The Courthouse roof in Greensburg , Indiana has a tree
growing from it.

The world's first transistor radio was made in Indianapolis .

Clark Gable and wife Carole Lombard (born in Fort Wayne ,
IN) honeymooned at Lake Barbee near Warsaw , Indiana .

The American Beauty Rose was developed at Richmond ,

Elkhart, Indiana is the band instrument capitol of the World.

Frank Sinatra first sang with the Tommy Dorsey band at the
Lyric Theater in Indianapolis .

Purdue Alumnus, Earl Butz, served as the Secretary of

U.S. 231 is the longest highway in Indiana (231miles).

Johnny Appleseed is buried at Fort Wayne, Indiana.

The singing McGuire Sisters spent their childhood summers
at the Church of God Campground in Anderson , Indiana .

The main station of the Underground Railroad was in
Fountain County, Indiana.

There are 154 acres of sculpture gardens and trails at the
Indianapolis Museum of Art.

La Porte County is the only county in America having 2
functioning courthouses. (I think we can add Vanderburgh
and Elkhart Counties in with that also.)

Nancy Hanks Lincoln is buried in Posey County, Indiana.

Crawfordsville, Indiana ( Montgomery County ) is the only
site in the world where crinoids are found. (What is a crinoid,
you ask? A form of deep-water marine life that looks
something like a starfish.)

Now, dag nab it, I was in Crawfordsfille working just last week! Could I have gone to see some crinoids, I wonder???
Pendleton, Indiana was the site of the 'Fall Creek Massacre'.
A museum housing 3500 artifacts of pioneer heritage now
exists on that site.

St. Meinrad Archabbey is located in Spencer County and is
one of only 2 archabbeys in the U.S. and seven in the world.
(Abbey Press is an operation of the archabbey.)

A Buzz Bomb (German - WWII), believed to be the only one
on public display in the nation, can be found on the Putnam
County Courthouse lawn in Greencastle.

Roberta Turpin Willett was born in Indiana .

Red Skelton was born in Vincennes , Indiana .

May West and Claude Akins were from Bedford , Indiana .

The inventor of the television, Philo T Farnsworth, lived in
Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Forrest Tucker was from Pendleton , Indiana .

You can't ship wine to Indiana . (So how does it get here?)

Bob Greise is from Evansville, Indiana and was quarterback at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN

Toni Tenille (of The Captain and Tenille) is from Indiana .

Oprah Winfrey built her residence in N/W Indiana .

Florence Henderson is from Indiana .

John Mellancamp is a Hoosier and resides in Bloomington .

The much sought-after Hoosier Cabinets are an Indiana

90% of the world's popcorn is grown in Indiana .

The Jackson Five are from Gary , Indiana .

The birthplace of the automobile, the pneumatic rubber tire,
the aluminum casting process, stainless steel and the first
push-button car radio was in Kokomo , Indiana .

Pretty neat, huh? And you thought there was only corn in

Friday, August 31, 2007

Design Decisions, Decisions

Well, I am overdue to take down my First Communion Specials and start thinking about Advent and Christmas designs.

I have made up an Advent themed Rosary which is ready to be photographed and put up. It is done in Swarovski crystals, mostly "purple velvet" with one decade of light rose for the Third Sunday. Sort of an Advent wreath theme.

Its hard to believe that it is time to think about this already.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

My Latest Rosary up at Ave Maria

This is one of my very favorite Rosaries, and I especially love that I found these terrific beads to use. The Ave beads are 6mm vintage Swarovski hobnails with a beautiful AB coating on one side of the bead. (See how some of the rounds appear to have AB and others do not, in the photo--this is owing to the one sided coating). This crystal is totally opaque, like fine milk glass. The Our Father beads are also this same lovely old milk glass crystal, but they are older--really more like very vintage, or antique, and the AB is on all the faceted surfaces.
Really fantastic!

I love the purity of the white for First Communion, plus the shape of the Ave beads hints at the Eucharist, and the AB, especially on the Our Father beads seems to me to be sort of Eastery, which is the heart of First Communion "season".

I used a gold filled Crucifix and a vintage reproduction goldplate over Sterling Silver center. The center is especially nice for a Communion theme, as it depicts two adoring angels flanking the chalice and Host. The little medal you see in the photo is a tiny Miraculous Medal.

Although this was designed as a Communion Rosary, I think it works well for any special occasion gift for a young lady--or a woman for that matter, as the 6 and 8mm beads make it not too small for adult hands.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Rosary Website Back Up Again

Well, I have (or rather my friend who has done all the work has) my rosary website up and actually functioning. I am thinking of some posts about design work that I am doing; or perhaps the angstiness of learning how to use a digital camera. I am so intinidated by the thing, it isn't funny.

Anyhow, please check out my site here. I don't have much up in the way of my own stuff yet--confer hand-wringing remarks re the digital camera--but I am tackling that in the next couple of days.

The Part of Me That Nobody Sees

And here I am, exposing it on the internet? The scary thing is, this test gave a result that is all too true.

The Part of You That No One Sees

You are balanced, peaceful, and sincere.

You're the type of person who goes along to get along.

And you're definitely afraid of rocking the boat.

Underneath it all, you fear your world falling apart.

You'll put up with a situation that you don't like in fear of changing it.

Disruptive and forceful people intimidate you - and sometimes exploit you.

What Kind of Soul Am I?

You Are a Peacemaker Soul

You strive to please others and compromise anyway you can.

War or conflict bothers you, and you would do anything to keep the peace.

You are a good mediator and a true negotiator.

Sometimes you do too much, trying so hard to make people happy.

While you keep the peace, you tend to be secretly judgmental.

You lose respect for people who don't like to both give and take.

On the flip side, you've got a graet sense of humor and wit.

You're always dimplomatic and able to give good advice.

Souls you are most compatible with: Warrior Soul, Hunter Soul and Visionary Soul

Latin Mass Poll

Vote Here!

Thanks to Father Z at What Does The Prayer Really Say? .

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Almost Holy Week

Apparently I have almost given up Blogging for Lent. I wish that I could say I have made a "Good Lent", but I don't know.

My daughter and I resolved that we would be more loving and less argumentative with each other this Lent, but in my judgement, that has been a miserable failure--and mostly owing to me, I might add. Sara has her own set of issues, as do we all, but she is less responsible for our constant bickering simply because she is less adult, and some of her struggles to be civil to me have to do with her condition (she is a fairly high function person who does have Pervasive Developmental Disability), so she may be expected to sometimes view me as the enemy, etc...
just like most adolescent daughters do.

I, however, have no excuse. Every day I tell myself that I will remain patient and loving. Every day I pray for the grace to be faithful to this resolution. Almost every day I fall down, at some time. Its pretty well beyond humbling, let me tell you.

And yet I still want this to be the Lent where I can look back and say. "From that time on, she left everything and followed the Lord."

Since the Lord always leads to Calvary before Easter, this is hard. Harder than hard, it is impossible for me unless He carries me. I know He is, because I would be just a disintigrated pile of goo were He not, but I am at a "seeing only one set of footprints" stage.

If anyone reads this, please pray for me.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Really? No Kidding!

You scored as Roman Catholic.

You are Roman Catholic.
Church tradition and ecclesial authority are hugely
important, and the most important part of worship
for you is mass. As the Mother of God, Mary is
important in your theology, and as the communion
of saints includes the living and the dead, you can
also ask the saints to intercede for you.

Roman Catholic


Neo orthodox


Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan






Classical Liberal


Reformed Evangelical




Modern Liberal


What's your theological worldview?
created with

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Long Blog Holiday

Well its been awhile! Took off for Christmas and just sort of never came back, but I've been with you (my readership of 0!) in spirit.

Lately I've been having dreams of Lent--probably because it starts tomorrow, ya think?

What are you giving up, or taking on?