Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Coffee Sombrero

After shoveling, I wanted a drink--a warm drink. Specifically, I wanted something like a hot chocolate but I wanted a kick to it. So I made a coffee sombrero. A coffee sombrero consists of coffee liqueur and milk. I usually use Kahlua, but when I was in Mexico, a few years ago, the liquor salesman talked me into buying Cleofas. He said Kahlua is what is sold in my area and so that's what I'm familiar with, but Don Cleofas was better. Of course, he gave me a sample. And I agreed with him. Cleofas is better.

Zapping the mixture in the microwave a bit will warm it up. Mmmmm, hot coffee Sombrero.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Year

The New Year isn't starting very well. A snow storm is predicted for Dec. 31st, which means I won't be going to church for the Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God.
Also, my Spiritual Director, Fr. Aquinas Keene, ocso has been transferred. Now what?!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Virtual Jubilee Gallery

The Order of Preachers (Dominicans) are celebrating their 800th anniversary from 2008--2016. One way they are celebrating their anniversary is to open a "Virtual Jubilee Gallery" that will be an exhibit of Dominican art (writings, poems, art work, music and other artistic media), which will be displayed on their website, www.op.org. Each year of the Jubilee will have a different theme and invitations to contribute each year are given. This year the theme is "In the beginning was the Word: St. Dominic, Preacher of Grace." Naturally, I sent something. I wonder if they just put everybody's work up, or do they pick and choose.

I guess I'll find out soon enough.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Contemprismatic

Contemprismatic=contemplative + charismatic

Actually, I have to give half the credit for this word to Charlotte Therese. http://charlotte-therese.blogspot.com or http://katolskakyrkan.blogspot.com I met Charlotte Therese in a Charismatic Discussion Forum, a few years ago. I have since lost touch with her and the group. No reason especially, just new servers, new computers, and getting too old to remember email and site addresses. Anyway, Charlotte Therese is a Lay Carmelite and I'm a Lay Dominican. Both of us thought it odd that we were comtemplatives, yet participating in a Charismatic Discussion Group.

Being a Dominican, however, it really is not all that odd. Dominicans and half and half: contemplative and active. To combine the two charisms, we came up with the term and concept.

I think it is an important contribution to our language.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Feast of St. Stephen

I don't think I could ever be a martyr. I'm too much a coward. God would certainly have to bless me with super human courage. I probably would be crying too much to beg for mercy or say anything. Hopefully, I'd have enough presence of mind to write Credo in unum Deum, in my blood before I died.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Alex's Christmas Light

Alex beams as he shows his Christmas card--

The prisoner artist, with soft eyes,
has to peer beyond to see
behind bars

Happy garland embraces think branches,
bright lights shining
behind bars.

Kairos moment! When I see
that emblazoned tree is,
behind bars.

Alex gives a present of hope
to us--who put him
behind bars.

Merry Christmas to all and
may all see the Light.

*First published in Justitia, Schoolboy Publications, 2006, p. 23.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Advent Wreath Fire

A Christmas Eve to remember! Since my children are adults, now, we exchange presents on Christmas Eve because Christmas day they go visit their in-laws, and boy friends and girl friends. So there we are exchanging gifts, after our supper of Chinese food. No one was paying attention to the Advent wreath, which was the center piece on the dining table. Karen asked, "What was that burning smell?"
"What' smell?"
I think we all looked at the fire place at the same time. But this was a different smell--a pine smell.
I looked at the table, and there was our Advent wreath on fire! Dick threw his wine on the fire and then someone else threw water. It was out and no damage done, except that's the end of that Advent wreath. We won't be able to light the white Christmas candle.
But we got a new story to add to our repertoire of Christmas tales.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas

You know what I like best about this time of year? The way people treat each other. It just seems that every one is happier and kinder. Even if they're rushed and in a foul mood, they often apologize because they know they shouldn't be.
Today was a really happy day because we had our Christmas party at work today. We gave out our presents; everyone brought food, and we wished everyone well. This is what is meant by the peace of Christmas.
I wish the day was longer.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Chanukah

The Festival of Chanukah is celebrated by lighting candles for eight nights. Actually, olive oil is preferred but candles are permissible. Chanukah is commemorating the rededication of the Temple of Jerusalem after its desecration by Antiochus of Syria.
The lights must burn for at least a half hour after the stars appear. On the first night, the first candle is set at the extreme right of the Menorah. On the second and each succeeding night, an additional light is set to the left and kindled first.
May your Chanukah candles burn brightly.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Updates

First, I'm not as alarmed as I was about Agustin's letter. Fr. Wayne said Agustin's verbal or rather written expression is not uncommon for his culture. We Anglo's don't refer to deliverance or exorcism. I told Agustin to talk to an ordained minister, either a priest or a deacon. He needs to receive the sacrament of Reconciliation, too.
Second, the snow sets a prayerful mood. The rhythm of shoveling reminded me of chanting. I wished I knew some psalms by heart. But the Jesus prayer works, also. It was so quiet out there in the snow. I just felt close to God.
Tonight I went to the 7:00 PM Mass. Very few people were there due to the snow storm, no doubt. That's why I went. There's another due tomorrow. The thought occurred to me that I bet the Lector didn't show up. So I read the Readings while waiting for Mass to begin.
I was right. The Lector didn't show up. So when Father asked for a Lector, I volunteered.
Guess what.
I was the Lector that was assigned for tonight. Idjit!
:-/

Friday, December 19, 2008

Snow Cancellations

Too many Christmas parties. In a way, I'm glad a blizzard is storming outside. Tonight's part is cancelled and so is tomorrow's. Good. I can finally get my tree decorated and wrap presents. It's hard to keep one's mind peaceful and serene and focused on the true meaning of Christmas when social obligations beckon.
Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Response to Cronkhite Canada Syndrome

the path seemed as easy and unsuspecting
as falling in love,
but that’s the draw–the love pulls like taffy
and everything is sweet;
then the path veered away from the warmth;
and You were silent.
The path was very cold among silent gods;
hypothermia in the soul
worse than the purgatorial illness
confusing Jesus
with zeus and mars and zen and no one;
and You were silent;
warm love emanated from the circle’s center;
I felt it.
dare I crawl closer, unworthy worm that I am;
I believed it;
You were there. You are there. You were there.
help my unbelief.
Mary, John, and Mary hovered at the foot of Your cross;
I believe it
My husband, children, and friends stayed by mine,
I saw them as
I saw You in their eyes and hands and words;
I walked the path.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Agustin

Agustin sent me a very disturbing letter. He speaks of sprinkling holy water around his cell and reciting prayers of exorcism. I feel very unprepared to help him, especially since he's there and I'm here.
What really frustrates me is that I've asked for help from others, via email, and they haven't responded? I hate it when people don't respond. Can't people say that they don't know, or they'll get back to you? But in ignoring me, I'll only resend the message because I think you didn't get it.
Poor Agustin, whatever it is that he's going through, he sure could use some prayers.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Prolatio Singers & Players

I went to a concert of Advent, Marian, and Christmas Music by the Prolatio Singers & Players, this afternoon. It was really different. Prolation is a subdivision of the rhythmic system which in Medieval Music governed the proportionate duration of the semibreve and the minim. And Medieval it sounded, especially Dennis Ferguson's Mi Atyank Ata Isten. Mi Atyank is a 16th century Hungarian carol. Ferguson arranged it such that tenors and altos augment each other. The first stanza was the original. But after that several composition devices are used. Tenors sing the melody as basses mirror the tune. Altos sing it a fifth higher in augmentation. Sopranos also sing in augmentation, but at pitch and in retrograde. Lastly, the Sopranos sing the original melody in duple time as the other three voices sing in three different pentatonic modes simultaneously. Hence they are called the Prolatio Singers. Very nice.
The other works use three voice for antiphons and two solo voices for verses--typical of Medieval times. There were also recorders and a cello.
It was such a nice afternoon with a nice way to spend Advent.

SOLT

We went to a Christmas party, last night. I met a priest there that belongs to the religious order, SOLT. SOLT translates into Society of our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity. This caught my attention because my religious name is Sister Faith of the Most Holy Trinity.
This morning I googled SOLT. Surprisingly, this order was founded in the 1950's and their founder is still alive.
I thought this a kick because being a Lay Dominican, my order was founded in 1206. Imagine being able to see, to talk to, to touch....your founder.
Imagine if Dominic Guzman were still alive.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Omega

She's here! Omega is finally here! Omega is Helen, who finishes the newsletter eLumen. I start it, so I'm Alpha, and Helen finishes it. You have address us with a solemn deep voice: The Alpha and the Omega.
Seriously, I was worried that she'd have trouble. She was driving through an ice storm. But she arrived safely. She's here to give a Talk to my chapter on Sunday. So we have the weekend together.
After supper we chanted Evening Prayer together. I love to chant with someone. I do it alone sometimes but it seems to take forever. But with someone else--I could go on for ever. Community is important, isn't it? Someone once told me that just the fact that we all are born because of the union of two people is proof that we're not made to be solitary human beings. Makes sense to me.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Integrity

Those of us who leave work early today to go to Zumba Class cut short our lunch period, from an hour to half an hour. Well, I forgot and used the whole hour lunch. Later in the afternoon I asked my cubby mate, how come she didn't go to lunch and she responded that she only took half an hour because of Zumba.
I forgot!
So I said I'd put half an hour vacation time on my time sheet to make up the time. My friend said, "Don't be so stupid. No one will know." She was really angry about it. She also said she'd tell our union rep about how stupid I am. "I'll tell everybody." She said.
I wasn't even tempted to do what she wanted. I know the difference between right and wrong. It's a matter of my personal integrity. I have my own standards.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Our Lady of La Salette

"P and P" is Pray and Play. I took a "P and P" day off from work. I slept in. I took a long bath. I dressed and went out to eat at a good restaurant. Afterwards, I went to the national shrine of Our Lady of La Salette in N. Attleboro, MA. I was blessed to see and hear Fr. Pat give a concert. Afterwards, I received the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I went to Mass, I prayed for the Pope Intentions.
You know what this means?
I received a papal indulgence! La Salette is a pilgrimage site.
The Shrine is also decorated with lights--like 3000 + lights.
A blessed day!

Human Life International praises His Royal Highness Henri de Luxembourg

Founded in 1981, the Human Life International is the world's largest pro-life, pro-family organization that is dedicated to defending life, faith and the family. HLI praised
His Royal Highness Henri de Luxembourg for refusing to sign legislation legalizing euthanasia in Luxemburg. The Grand Duke said that for him this issue is a “question of conscience.” Rev. Euteneuer, President of HLI, expressed his appreciation in a letter faxed on December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
The move represents considerable political risk for the Grand Duke, as Reuters reported December 4, “Luxembourg's parliament looks ready to strip the Grand Duke of his last lawmaking power as a controversy over euthanasia comes to a head. One of Europe's last royals with political sway may lose his formal veto by taking a stand against a law legalizing euthanasia.”
The sovereign dropped his traditional political neutrality by announcing he would refuse to sign a bill adopted by parliament to legalize euthanasia. Since then, Minister of State Jean-Claude Juncker announced that a Constitutional Amendment would be proposed, whereby the signature of the Monarch would no longer be needed for a law to take effect. This would remove one of the legislative roles of the Grand Duke, namely approving new legislation. The Grand Duke’s strong Catholic beliefs have been cited in his bold stand that bucks the pro-death trends of the European Union.
Euteneuer’s letter said, in part, “Please accept on behalf of all the associated member organizations of Human Life International in eighty countries our greatest admiration for your courage in refusing to sign the legislation legalizing euthanasia in Luxembourg.
“Your well-formed Catholic conscience is a precious gift that honors the Royal Family of Luxembourg, as one of the greatest responsibilities of the monarchy is the duty to resist demagoguery and all attacks on public morality.
“Human Life International, which has offices in eighty countries, exists to defend the right to life from the moment of conception to natural death as well as the sanctity of marriage. You have our deepest admiration and support in this battle to respect life. Thank you for the magnificent example that you have given to all the heads of state in this difficult period of history.”

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Communion

Book Club was tonight. We have a wonderful celebration at Jayne's house. We always go over to her house because she decorates so beautifully and she's a gourmet cook. Everything was wonderful except the conversation at the table. We asked one of our member's about her mother, who had recently died. She told us about how wonderful the staff was at St. Vincent's. She said, "Sister Ramona gave us all communion." We questioned ALL. She said, yes All. See, she's Episcopalian. Then she said, "To tell you the truth, the thought of Communion grosses me out!" Another friend, who I respect very much, also Episcopalian said, "Well, think of it as a tangible expression of Love." I chimed in saying that that was a good way of looking at it and then the rest of the table agreed.

Monday, December 8, 2008

John Mallon steered me to a funny video of Cardinal Arinze on pro-abortion politicians. It's from Andrew Rabel in 2005. Still current.


Dear friends,
Hey, have a good laugh at this one on this Youtube video. Cardinal Arinze is quite amusing. Sad that the latest stories are that he is about to retire, and a house is being built for him in Nigeria, where he will settle now. He just passed the milestone of his golden anniversary of priestly ordination, in his home diocese of Ontisha.
God blessAndrew
PS But remember at the age of 76, he still gets a vote in the papal conclave until he is 80! So we see what happens.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kv3MRyKfEHA

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Dinner with Friends

My friends and I had our annual birthday dinner. My birthday is the end of Nov., Merrell's next Sat., and Chris' is near the end of the month. Judy is included but excluded. Her birthday isn't even close to ours, but we let her tag along.
It was a good time. We talked a lot. I brought grilled chicken salad. We talked a lot. Chris brought junk food. We talked a lot.
Oooppss!!! I just realized that we forgot to sing Happy Birthday. But we ate the cake; it was oreo cake. We also talked a lot.
Merrell and Judy were our hostesses. Chris gave me a beautiful wreath to hang on my front door. She made it herself. Know what she gave me for Christmas? She gave me another beautiful handmade wreath. I have two side-by-side front doors. Don't forget; we talked a lot.
And I gave Chris something that I've wanted to give her since September. Between talking a lot, I explained to her that I entered a poetry contest. The poem I entered was about her and our relationship. Our relationship involves a lot of talking--a lot! But I won first prize with that poem! I've been waiting for the moment to give her the poetry book. I explained that she was the inspiration and well.......the poem explains it better.

Missing Chris
Happy is he who find a friend and he who speaks to attentive ears. Sirach 25:9
My soul mate, Chris would help with my mess,
over spinach artichoke dip, nachos,
ice tea, girl-talk, dope slaps, and laughter;
deftly would your perspective fix my problem;
snap smooth wrinkled excuses and cobwebbed thoughts,
as we share late night secrets and pray for grace.
__________________________________
Before I went to the birthday dinner, I was at Chapter. One of my brothers, out of the blue, asked me who Chris was in my poem, that won first prize. I was very surprised! That poetry book has been hanging around since September. What made him read it now? What made him pick out that poem? What made him ask "Who's Chris in your poem?" So I explained that Chris and I were on parallel faith journeys and use to "talk a lot" together, and I mean "talk a lot." We had fallen in love with Jesus, somehow. We're both cradle Catholics but in 2000 the Holy Spirit dope slapped us in a Life in the Spirit Seminar that our prayer group conducted. We were born in the Holy Spirit. All we could talk about was Jesus. All we could think about was Jesus. All we wanted to do was do things involved with talking and thinking about Jesus. We became very close friends with the spiritual director of the prayer group--Our Lady of Hope Charismatic Prayer Group. He, Father Aniello Salicone, Chris and I would go out to eat, after prayer group. We talked a lot. We talked and talked so long that the restaurants would ask us to leave. We'd stay and the employees would be cleaning up and there we were talking, talking, and talking.
That's what the poem is about. That's the story I told my brother. For some reason, my little story about our friendship touched him. My brother told me that he was going to relate my story to his support group, read my poem, and ask for prayers for Chris and for everyone to have one good friend.
Did I mention that we talked a lot?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christmas Meme

Since Eric Pavlat invited all bloggers to participate in this Christmas Album Meme, I'll bite.

If you were trapped on a desert island and it was Christmas and all you had was a small generator, Christmas lights for your coconut tree, an endless supply of Christmas cookies and eggnog, your CD player and 6 Christmas CDs , which 6 albums would you want them to be?
I would choose:
Gentle Night by (gulp) the St. Louis Jesuits, distributed by North American Liturgy Resources
Christmas Regina by the Regina Musical Company
The Bethlehem Children's Chorus by Metacom, Inc.
Joy To The World by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir by Columbia
Tchaicovsky's Nutcracker, read by Christopher Plummer and conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas and the Philharmonia Orchestra
and the sixth would be a homemade cassette, Christmas, of Rev. Pius Devoti, s.x., may he rest in peace.

My fellow bloggers can all consider yourselves tagged.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas Shopping

Oh, oh. I was suppose to do Christmas shopping. I did shopping for myself, instead. Ugh! I only did a little and that was for my daughters. But I bought myself two pairs of dress boots: black and brown. Some jewelry for me. Some fragrances for me. Some pajamas for me (and the girls). Some underwear for me.
Me, me, me......
I'm disgusted with myself.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Laptop

My husband, Richard, has fallen in love with the Sony Outlet Store. For my birthday last month he bought me a Sony Cybershot. It's a camera. For Christmas he just got me a new laptop. It's a pretty pink color with nice big screen. I've been having fun with it all night. It's not connected to the internet, yet, so I can't blog on it yet. That's coming, for sure.
I saw him eyeing the TV's. I have a good idea that that's what Santa is going to bring him.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Catholic Bloggers Union

Message from John Mallon
John Mallon is trying to assemble an email list of Blogs in the English speaking world, especially in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines. He is currently working as Contributing Editor for Inside the Vatican magazine, doing media relations for Human Life International, and assisting at the Envoy Institute in a promotional capacity. He has two degrees in theology and frequently has items of interest to Catholic Bloggers worldwide. With 25 years of experience in the Catholic Press, he has found that major secular outlets are often closed to these messages. If you have or know of Blogs that would be interested in receiving press releases and other pertinent materials for your Blogs, he would very much appreciate getting a mailing list of these blogs for this purpose. This is not spam. Anyone not wishing to receive these materials will be removed from the list immediately upon request. Catholic Blogs are absolutely critical for spreading credible information on the Church. This mailing list could serve as a News Agency supplying news and other information to Catholic Blogs.
It is absolutely maddening trying to harvest emails off of Blogs, where people won't post their emails. He is only interested in people who want to receive these messages, not bothering anyone.
For more on John Mallon please visit his website at: http://johnmallon.net <http://johnmallon.net/>
Please let me know if you can help.
Thanks & God bless you,
John Mallonjohnmallon@mac.com <mailto:johnmallon@mac.com>
http://johnmallon.net <http://johnmallon.net/>

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Moral Life

Fr. Bob gave a little adult catechises, last night. It was good. Some of it was over my head, but I got a lot out of it, nevertheless. I think most people felt the same way. It's Father Bob's style. For example, the title of this posting is what I would say his talk is about. But he named his talk, "How Can I Live a Moral Life that is based upon Sacred Scripture and the living Apostolic Tradition?" See what I mean? He talked about freedom, law, Truth, conscience, choice and a lot about sex. He said we all desire: happiness, life, love, and sex. Can't argue that.