Sunday, December 21, 2014

Sunday Snippets -- A Catholic Carnival


Crazy!  Crazy.  It's crazy busy around here.  I don't think I'd feel as stressed if it weren't for the fact that I'm still recuperating.  I tire so easily.  Yesterday, I had to walk for a mile and I did OK but I slept all the way home.  We were visiting my son in Roslindale.  It's hard to find a parking spot, so we didn't move the car; we walked. However, I still managed to post every day.  And today is the day my fellow bloggers and I link together at the blog, This And That And The Other Thing.  We catch up with each other to see what happened during the week.  Here's what's happening in my world:

Monday -- Mary, Mary, Mary, Mary, Mary, Mary, ...

Tuesday -- I started St. Louis de Montfort's Total Consecration to Mary.

Wednesday -- You know, it's hard to live in the world, and not be in it.

Thursday -- Did you know that a god is judged by how he treats mankind?

Friday -- Book Review of An Amish Second Christmas.

Saturday -- My Christmas present to all my friends.

Hope everybody is having a blessed Advent.  Christmas is coming this week.  Enjoy.  Our Savior will come.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Christmas Cards


It's taking me longer than usual to write my Christmas cards, this year.  I pray for each person and/or family I send a card to.  I also pray for the people who sent me cards.  It's my Christmas gift for each one of them.

Friday, December 19, 2014

An Amish Second Christmas


An Amish Second Christmas is a collection of four novellas by Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, Ruth Reid, and Tricia Goyer.  All the stories deal with Amish life, and the day after Christmas, which is a fun, social activity day, in the Amish world.  This day after Christmas is known as Second Christmas, hence the title. 

Since I read this book in December, I enjoyed the holiday theme even more than usual.  The four stories are light and easy to read.  I am going to recommend An Amish Second Christmas for my own book club to read for next December.  The first novella, When Christmas Comes Again by Beth Wiseman was a thriller, but not a scary thriller.  The suspense was tempered by the safety of the Amish culture.  An Englischer appears to be following Katherine.  Katherine’s husband has recently died, so this stranger stalking her made for some unwanted stress.  That is until he made himself known by giving Katherine pictures of her late husband, and a story that just couldn’t have been made up, or could it?

Her Christmas Pen Pal by Ruth Reid was very original.  I thought the story line different.  Joy was a hard worker.  She was such a hard worker that she didn’t have time to socialize.  Her fiancé dumped her because she was too involved in her work.  Her friends were her relatives, but since the family was struggling financially, everyone was working and trying to cope with the stresses of finances, family, farm, and work.  Joy confided her thoughts and feelings to her cousin in a letter.  Unfortunately, the letter was missent and Noah unknowingly read it.  Although it didn’t take him long to figure out what had happened, he felt the need to write back to Joy and express what he thought about her situation.  Well, they eventually become pen pals, and friends, but you need to read it yourself to enjoy the twists and turns, and of course the happy ending. 

A Gift for Anne Marie by Kathleen Fuller was a pleasant surprise.  The mother was getting married, and this fact was a shock to her family, especially to Anne Marie.  The father of the family had recently died.  And Anne Marie’s mother was remarrying so soon!  It’s time for Anne Marie, herself, to be married.  And Anne Marie’s mother was remarrying!  A stranger was stepping into her father’s place.  This stranger was taking the family out of state to his farm.  It’s a good thing Anne Marie’s best friend, Nathaniel, was there to support her.  She couldn’t have understood and dealt with the shock of her mother remarrying were it not for him.  Nathaniel was more than a good friend and he manages to surprise me, as well as Anne Marie.

Don’t read The Christmas Aprons by Tricia Goyer on an empty stomach.  The plot of this novella turns around a super fantastic vanilla crumb pie.  This pie is so good, its recipe is a secret—until the end.  (I bet more than one reader has made this recipe.) The pie was entered in a fund raiser.  Only bachelors could bid on the pie.  The winner of the bid, also won a date with the baker.  That’s how Ester met Ammon.  What’s funny is that neither one was looking to be married.  Ester was only visiting to help out a relative.  The same with Ammon, but his mother unfortunately had a stroke during the visit.  He didn’t know what to do: stay and care for Mom, or go back and care for his farm.  He chose his mother, which I thought very commendable.  How a young man treats his mother speaks volumes about how he will treat his wife.  Ester thinks like me; that’s why this novella was my favorite—the pie was good, too.

Every single one of these novellas was an enjoyable read.  I think they’re perfect for the busy season because they’re easy and quick.  I learned about the Amish, too.  I had never heard of a Second Christmas, before this.  I also learned that the Amish are no different than I.  This only proves that we really are all made in the image of God.


This book was given to me in exchange for my honest opinion, by booklookbloggers.com.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Judging

Sometimes, I wonder why God bothers with us.  People can be unfaithful, unthinking, dirty, miserable lowlife.  Really--why does God put up with us!  Why?

Reading a treatise Against Heresies by Saint Irenaeus, in this morning's office, I found one answer.  The saint says,

Just as a doctor is judged in his care for the sick, so God is revealed in his conduct with men.

Imagine that!  Following that line of thinking, St. Paul says,

God has made the whole world prisoner of unbelief that he may have mercy on all.

I'm gobsmacked!!  This is way beyond me.  Also, I kind of think it's passing judgement on God, which of course would be wrong--way out of line.  Who are we to even think of judging Him.  But wait a minute.  Don't people do this all the time?  When someone blames God for the bad that happens, aren't they judging God for what they perceive as His doing?

I think it's best just to trust God.  As mere humans, we can't see the whole picture, only the part that we play.  And I also think it's best not to judge anybody, let alone God.  Judge not, lest ye be judged.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Virtues of the World

St. Louis de Montfort, in his Consecration to Mary talks about avoiding the  lures of our culture.  He refers to the lure as virtues.  But those that are tempted are only using their eyes and feelings.  People appear to act as Christians, but they never think of God, or trouble themselves with discernment of His Will.  These are some of these worldly virtues:

  • what people say
  • convention
  • good cheer
  • witty deprecating jokes
These people can be unaware that without God, they'll never be satisfied.  

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Rush, Rush

Day One of my consecration to Mary isn't going so good.  Tomorrow will be worse because I'm babysitting all day.

Time is the culprit.  I didn't sleep well, so I woke up late and rushed.  I was in a hurry so I threw a smoothie together so I could drink it while I was running around.  I had no time to shower, maybe later.  I did sit down with my cup of coffee and looked at the first meditation for Day One.  It was Chapter Five in Matthew.  That's the beatitudes.  I thought I could skip that because I stare at the framed beatitudes every day; they're on my wall.

I had to pick up my granddaughter and bring her to nursery school.  Then I had to go to physical therapy.  I've been given exercises to do 10 times a day!  When do I have time to do that?

Afterwards, it was time to pick up my granddaughter and bring her to daycare.  Finally, I could go back home.  I prayed Morning Prayer.  I looked at the second meditation for the consecration.  It was a continuation of chapter five in Matthew.  That's all.  I know these verses.  There's no commentary.  Oh, I found my breakfast smoothie.  I figured that would be my lunch too because I don't have time to prepare anything.

I'm in a cribbage tournament, this afternoon.  No way I can let my partner down and not show up.  Besides, if I stayed home, do you think I'd be in a mood to pray?

Cribbage is now over.  I'm making supper and getting ready for a Christmas party, tonight.  I'll also look at the third meditation for Day One.  And now I have physical exercises to do.

One nice thing encouraged me today.  Anna Elissa, from Bent Bow Blog wrote a comment on yesterday's post encouraging me.  She said she was nudged into the Monfort's Consecration to Mary, too, and it changed her life because it changed her attitude.  Read her post here.

After reading Anna Elissa's comment, I felt guilty.  I can't just glance at the meditations and say "yeah, yeah, I know these verses."  I should meditate on them.

I tried.  I looked at the Tips on Prayer and Meditation and read a good method.  The word ALTAR helps.  A is for adoration of God. L is for love and that's reciprocal love for God.  T is for thanksgiving.  A is for ask. Lastly is R, for reparation.

I'd say "Well, tomorrow is another day, except tomorrow I will have even less time than today.  Lord help me.

Monday, December 15, 2014

I Can Take A Hint


I give up.  As my four-year-old granddaughter would say, for a couple of whiles, I have been hearing "Mary, Our Lady, the Blessed Mother."  Now I honor Mary as the Mother of Jesus.  But I don't love her as a mother, or sister--maybe a friend.  Well, I'm tired of being pushed into the same room as her; people mentioning her to me, and picking up something to read and it's about Mary.

First it was Father Gordon MacRae and his consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  I've been following his blog, These Stone Walls, for years.  I really didn't pay much attention to his posts about his consecration.

Then it was Donna in prayer group who spoke about visiting Medjugorje.

Then Father Francis asked me if I knew a lady by the name of Janine who lives in my town and has visions of Mary.  "What?"    "No I don't."  But still.  Mary, Mary, ...again and again.

The other day I got a Christmas letter from Father MacRae.  Again with his consecration to Mary! OK.  I think I'm being nudged in that direction.  And I'm pretty sure I have a book on the total Consecration to Mary, somewhere.

So I dig out my book, St. Louis de Montfort's True Devotion Consecration to Mary.  It's no pamphlet!  It's bigger than some bibles!  It's a whopping 420 pages.  And I'm supposed to follow it for 5 weeks! 

OK.  I'm being led to do the consecration. I'll try it.  I promise I'll try it and I'll blog about my progress here on my blog.  I'm praying it will make a difference in my life because Mary brings you to Jesus.

Prepare the way.  Look out Jesus, I'm looking to hook up with You.