Sunday, March 26, 2017

So Blessed

Dominicans in Claddagh, Galway at St. Mary's
Here I am in Ireland with a bunch of religiously  impaired people. And today is Sunday.  From the plans they were devising I knew Mass wasn't on the schedule. I mentioned going to Mass but they said "We're going to the Shrine of Our Lady of Knock Wednesday.  You will have all the church you want then.

Bummer 😩

So, We were planning on going shopping in Claddagh. We parked along the harbor and we're walking to the shopping district when I saw a Dominican friar at the entrance of a church greeting people!

Suddenly, words came out of my mouth.

"Hey! Look.  I'm going to Mass, come back in an hour.

And no one batted an eye.  They said "OK."

Why Catholics in Scotland want a Statue for a Martyred Priest

Mosaic of the martyrdom of St John Ogilvie in St Aloysius Church in Glasgow. Photo credit: Lawrence OP via Flickr CC BY NC ND 20 CNA
Why Catholics in Scotland want a statue for a martyred priest: Glasgow, Scotland, Mar 23, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- Four centuries after the martyrdom of St. John Ogilvie, Catholics in Scotland have launched a campaign to mark the place in Glasgow’s city center where he was executed.

Definitely, needed.  John Ogilvie is the only martyr Scotland has.  Click on the link to read the story.

Friday, March 17, 2017

The Way It Was

Bourne Bridge over Cape Cod Canal

“There is only one reason I would ever leave ever you.”

 I explained to my fiancé about my alcoholic parents.  I had had a childhood of bickering, fighting, drunken screams, police, embarrassing situations, and secrets from friends.  No more… I couldn’t bear it.

“If you ever become a drunk, I’ll leave you.”

And that’s the way it was.  Oh, I’m not a prude.  I’m not against wine at meals, a nice cold beer on a hot day, Friday afternoons at the VFW.  But not habitual drunkenness.

And that’s the way it was.  There was one time, however, when I did pack up my bags and leave.  It was B. C.  (Before children).   It was a Friday.  He didn’t come home his usual Friday time.  And when he did come home, he staggered through the door into the bedroom and fell face down onto the bed.  He was stinking drunk!

I screamed.  I cried. 

I couldn’t believe it.  He was just like my father.  How could he turn into such a selfish, weak, booze soaked wretch!

He wasn’t responding.  He was out of it.  What could I do?  I needed to show him how I felt but he wasn’t listening.  I told him I would leave him and that’s what I decided to do.

I packed a suitcase.  Even though we were renting an apartment, we owned a summer cottage down the cape. I thought I’d go down there for the weekend and after a few days, sort things out between us.  Let him stew.

Just before I left, I put the cat and dog in the car.  He wasn’t getting them!

We lived in Hyde Park, at the time, so it was a good hour before I was crossing the Cape Cod Canal.  I cried all the way there.  And it was while crossing the Bourne Bridge when I remembered that we had rented the cottage out that week.  I couldn’t go there. 


 I thought I’d stay at a motel and charge it.  Let him pay the bill.

But I had the cat and dog with me.  Damn.

The only other alternative I could think of was to go home to my parents.  No way.  What a predicament!  Before my tears were mostly anger, now I was wallowing in self-pity.  What to do?
My sister’s, that’s what I decided to do.  She had six kids and no room for me, I know, but she’d let me stay.  I knew she would.  The only problem was that she lived in Methuen, which is on the border to New Hampshire.  It was early morning.  I had already driven more than hour to the Cape; here I was driving back an hour to Boston; it would be another hour and a half from Boston to Methuen.  I was tired.  But I was still steamed and all cried out.

By the time I reached Boston, my eyes were burning.  The lids were heavy and it was a struggle to focus. I would never make it to my sister’s.

The car found its way back to Hyde Park.  I was too emotionally wrought to think.  All I wanted to do was sleep.  The dog and cat were glad to be home. The house smelled like a barroom.   I put my suitcase in the closet and followed the stench to the bedroom.

There the drunken sot lay.  He hadn’t moved.  He was oblivious to the emotional hell I had just been through.

And I was too tired to care. And that’s the way it was.

I woke to the sound of vomiting.  He was extremely sick.  His world was spinning.  He was miserable.

I didn’t speak a word.  He was too miserable to notice. 

Actually, I don’t think I knew what to say.  Should I tell him how I spent the night?  For some unknown reason, I decided not to; we weren’t speaking anyway—with me it was deliberate—with him it wasn’t possible.  He was preoccupied with the devil’s revenge.

The next year we were entertaining friends.  The occasion presented itself—the story was told.  My friends laughed at the time I left my husband—for four hours.  (Is that all?)  We all laughed, except for hubby.  I turned to him and said, “You never knew that.  You were too drunk!!!!)  He was silent and his eyes inscrutable.

And that’s the way it was, until months later when we were getting ready for vacation, but I couldn’t find our suitcases. 

“Have you seen our suitcases?”


“Where are they?”

“I hid them.  I don’t want you to leave me, again.”

And that’s the way it was, is, and always will be.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Jesus Wouldn't Say That

In RCIA class we were doing a skit reenacting the story of Bartimaeus.  The skit has Jesus saying "Go your way; you are healed."  But it was read as, "Go away!"

It was so funny.  He said it so emphatically.  I think he really saw the words as a command without thinking that Jesus wouldn't have said that.

After everyone laughed, he looked at what he said and laughed at himself.

Another blind man was healed.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Why It Matters Who Jesus Is

Why It Matters Who Jesus Is: "I have been reading, with both profit and delight, Thomas Joseph White's latest book, The Incarnate Lord: A Thomistic Study in Christology. Fr. White, one of the brightest of a new generation of Thomas interpreters, explains a different attitude of approach when considering Jesus."  Bishop Barron, the author of this article, explains that he was taught in the 1980's to look at Jesus psychologically and relationally.  Fr. White's approach is to understand Jesus ontologically.

Bishop Barron explains his view on the link above.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Empty Tomb

Grace Gifford Plunkett

One of my favorite Irish songs is "Grace."  It's a love ballad.  The story is a true one; it's about the love story between Joseph Mary Plunkett and Grace Gifford.  Plunkett was an Irish rebel and was executed because of the part he played in the Easter Uprising.  Just before he was executed, Grace and a priest were allowed in his jail cell.  The priest married them.  The couple only had 15 minutes together.

Grace painted this picture of the Madonna while she was in jail, in 1923.