Saturday, December 3, 2016

Prayer Request

All Lay Dominicans have been requested to pray this prayer for peace.  I don't see why everyone isn't praying it.  What do you think?

 The sanctuary of Fatima, where the jubilee of the centenary of the apparitions of the Virgin has already begun, proposes a beautiful prayer for peace. In Fatima the Blessed Virgin incessantly invited us to pray for peace. Here is the text proposed:

O God, All-Holy Father,
who gave us Your peace through Jesus
and through Him you wished to lead us to Your Heart
--in this place where the Virgin Mary invites us to pray for peace in the world 

and where the Angel of Peace exhorts us to adore God alone –,
grant us, we pray, that peace may reign among all peoples;
that the leaders of the nations find ways towards justice,
that we may all reach the peace of heart
and that, through the intercession of the Queen of Peace,
we may become builders of a more fraternal world.
Through Christ, Our Lord.
Amen.
Would it be possible for us to pray this prayer together, every day?

Walk by Faith to Live Joyfully




Walk by Faith to Live Joyfully is Charles De Feo's story, his family, and how to overcome difficulties in life by clinging to and growing in faith in God under all circumstances, regardless of the good or bad. It also contains a collection of poems written by Charles and 5 other family members. The majority of the poems were written by his Uncle Alex who also happened to be his godfather. His writings inspired Charles' writings. He, along with Charles' parents, grandparents, and brother, always have been important influences in his life. Uncle Alex loved his family and was always nearby. It is incredibly important for men to be role models to the young. Charles was blessed with great male role models. His father, brother, and uncle modeled the faith to him and were great examples of authentic Christian masculinity. His mother was also a great role model as were his grandparents and other family members. 

Let’s get started on this journey together. Be prepared to open your mind and heart and learn something new about faith. Part of this book is a guide book to follow to help you pick yourself up and get out of difficult circumstances. Let's hope and pray it helps you on your daily walk to start living a joyful and abundant life, as Charles DeFeo learned to do through prayer, study, and accepting the help and love of others.

 May God bless you abundantly and may you start walking by faith to live joyfully even when you cannot see. (BlueNose Press, Inc., 2016. 224 pp., https://www.amazon.com/Walk-Faith-Joyfully-Charles-DeFeo/dp/0997672013/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8.)

Friday, December 2, 2016

Mental Ability Standards for Death Penalty


Supreme Court examines mental ability standards for death penalty: WASHINGTON (CNS) -- In the second death penalty case before the Supreme Court this term, the justices were asked to consider if the state of Texas used accurate standards to measure intellectual ability.

This is 2016. Why do we still have a death penalty? Read this article and you will see that our justice system is broken. And we rely on this justice to kill people?

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Belts

When going through metal detectors, everyone has to take off their belts.  I know enough not to wear a belt and complicated tied shoes, when going through metal detectors.  I laugh at people who always have to wear a belt, and shoes that one has to sit down and pull off and sit down and worm their foot back into.  Don't they think ahead?  Do they like making others wait for them to take off their belts and shoes?  Or do they have oppositional personalities--because I told them not to wear a belt and go buy a pair of clogs or loafers, they won't?  Do you think they just don't think?  Are they self-absorbed?

These thoughts came to mind when I read the Gospel for this Second Sunday in Advent, Matt. 3:1-12.  John wore clothing made of camel's hair and had a leather belt around his waist.  Why would an ascetic wear leather?  Why not rope?  Why anything at all?

This morning I was reading December Magnificat.  Father Peter John Cameron, O.P. wrote an editorial on belts.  He quotes the Jesuit Father Cornelius a Lapide saying that a belt can be penitential.  Leather is sturdy and strong.  John's hair shirt held securely in place with a leather belt would prick and be very uncomfortable.  Following this thought, so would a "girded" mind. The tight belt helps keep the mind focused on the task at hand and not fantasizing who knows what.  So that's why John wore a leather belt.

So did St. Dominic.  In fact, there's a story that said when Dominic and Francis met, they exchanged belts.

Knowing this background information, doesn't erase my amusement at people going through metal detectors. They are not ascetics.  They are not wearing belts for spiritual reasons.  My feeling  is that they don't think.  They don't think of others--that they'd be holding people up.  They don't think ahead.  They never think to buy different shoes.

God bless them.


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

No Vacancy

Pauline Books & Media have this great book for resources for Advent & Christmas.  It's called The Advent-Christmas Book by Joan Marie Arbogast, illustrated by Virginia Helen Richards, fsp and Photos by Mary Emmanuel Alves, fsp.

Since I'm doing faith formation for adults, I've adapted the book's version--"No Room at the Inn," to "No Vacancy."  Here's what I'm doing:



Write “No Room” on seven sheets of paper.  Have tape ready to secure the papers.  You will be attaching these signs to seven of the ten chairs needed for this demonstration.

Supplies:
10 chairs                      7 No room signs            Christmas music        tape for the signs

Directions:
This is the opposite way of playing “musical chairs.”  Instead of one person being eliminated, one by one, at a time.  Seven out of ten people are eliminated at once!  Only three are left and eventually only one.  Follow these steps:
1.        Set up ten chairs.
2.       Stick seven “No Room” signs on seven of the ten chairs, leaving three chairs sign less. 
3.       Ten volunteers circle the chairs to the music.  They are journeying to Bethlehem.  When the music stops, three people scramble to sit on a chair without a “No Room” sign.  Everyone standing is out of the game.
4.       Remove one of the three chairs and repeat the process of music and circling the chairs.  Stop the music.  One of the three people is eliminated.  Remove a chair—one chair is left and two people.  Repeat the process of music and when the music stops only one person can sit on the chair. He/She wins the last room in the Inn.  

    Afterward, I'll explain that this was only a game.  But looking for a place to stay and passing motel after motel, inns, and bed and breakfast homes, with signs that say No Vacancy, is not a pleasant experience, especially when your tired.  Imagine if you were pregnant, tired, and in beginning labor.
  
   Ask if anyone has ever experienced looking for a place to stay and met with "No Vacancy" signs.  This has happened to me twice.  One time I went back home and the other time I had to leave the area and settle for a cabin on a camp site.  I made do--which is what the Holy Family did.  


Monday, November 28, 2016

Vatican Christmas


As Vatican Christmas tree goes up, pope's Christmas schedule released: VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- As a towering spruce tree was erected in St. Peter's Square, the Vatican released Pope Francis' liturgy schedule for Advent, Christmas and the month of January.

82-feet-tall!

The tradition of placing a Christmas Tree as well as the life-size Nativity Scene in Saint Peter's Square started in 1982 during the pontificate of Pope John Paul II,[1] when the Polish-born Pope introduced the northern European symbol of Christmas spirit.[2] The tradition of erecting a Christmas Tree was celebrated in northern Europe and in PolandPope John Paul II's country of origin, but not in the Vatican at the time.
The first tree came from Italy. Since then, the offering of the Christmas Tree to the Pope has become an honour, and each year the Vatican accepts a tree donated by a different European country or region.[1][3]
The Christmas tree is installed in the centre of Saint Peter's Square, together with a life-size nativity scene that is unveiled on Christmas Eve.[1] The nativity scene has seventeen life-size statues. Of these, nine are the original figures donated in 1842 by Saint Vincent Pallotti for the nativity scene in the Roman church of Sant'Andrea della Valle, and the other eight figures were added over the course of the years. In 2006 the Italian province of Trentino, and the local council of a village of Teserohave provided a further thirteen sculpted wooden figures and animals, as well as household utensils for the depiction of daily life.[4]

-- The pope will celebrate Christmas Mass at 9:30 p.m. Dec. 24 in St. Peter's Basilica.

-- Christmas blessing "urbi et orbi" noon Dec. 25

-- Dec. 31 Evening Prayer, "Te Deum" in thanksgiving for the year that is ending.

-- Morning Mass in St. Peter's Basilica Jan. 1, the World Day of Prayer for Peace and the feast of Mary, Mother of God.

-- On Jan. 6, the feast of the Epiphany Mass in the Sistine Chapel and baptize several babies.

-- Pope Francis will preside over an ecumenical evening prayer service Jan. 25, the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. The service concludes the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Bad Start

It's not good.  It started when I arrived at church early to change the table cloth in the prayer room.  The door downstairs was locked.  OK, I went around, up all the stairs, into the main church.  I walked all the way through the church, down the back stairs, all the way through the downstairs chapel, through Sacred Heart Hall to the prayer room.  The door was locked.  The connecting door to the next room was locked.  Lord???

OK.  I walked back through Sacred Heart Hall, the chapel, and up the back stairs.  I was reading at the 7:30 Mass.  I opened my pocketbook to take out my reading glasses.  They weren't there.  Lord???

I reasoned that I did know my reading.  After all, I had practiced reading it all week.  I even did a Lectio Divina on it.  But it was the announcements and prayer of the faithful that I couldn't see to read.  What if my fellow lector didn't show up?  But she did.  Thank you, Lord. Katie read everything except my Second Reading.

No altar servers showed up.  Lord?

Katie and I did double duty, serving as lectors and acolytes. It was fine until the very end.  We looked at the recessional cross and then Katie said, I don't think I can lift it out of its stand.  "But the kids, do."  "Then you carry it."  I thought about it.  Lord?  No one carried it; we went without.

Two of our breakfast group couldn't come.  I was alone.  Lord?  But two were left so we went to Bay Leaf Crossing for breakfast.  It was good, too.  Thank you, Lord.