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Showing posts from May, 2009

Incorruptibles

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Little Rose, I love you.

Little Marie Rose Ferron is a friend of mine. We were introduced through a mutual friend. I had never heard of Rose before, even though she lived 10 minutes away from me. When I first heard of Rose, I just had to go see for myself, even though she died in 1936.

Marie Rose Ferron was a stigmatized ecstatic. She contracted what was probably polio and suffered very much. Rose endured suffering joyfully to show us how to live with Jesus. She recognized that her sufferings were not in vain, but valuable because she offered them for the salvation of souls. She was a victim soul.

Within an hour of hearing Rose's story, I was praying a Rosary at her shrine, in Woonsocket, RI. I couldn't believe that I lived 10 minutes away, for the past 20 years and had never heard of her. The shrine has since closed, but every time I'm in her neighborhood, I visit her grave and offer up a prayer.

Little Rose came to mind this morning, because I was reading about 10 …

Satan

The other night, in Dominican Study Group, we were discussing God's mercy. One of my "cloistered brothers" said that sometimes, when talking with others they'll confess that they feel too unworthy to ever be forgiven. The things that they've done are just too evil to be be forgiven. So he said that he tells them about God's mercy and stresses the point that if Satan, himself, were to get on his knees and beg for forgiveness, that God would forgive him.

This just didn't sit right with me. I recalled that Fr. Aniello once told my prayer group not to waste their time thinking about Satan. He chose to be lost forever.

Fr. Aniello is only an email away. I wrote and he responded: "The biggest difference between human beings and Satan (and his devils) is this: we are still on the way and we are free to say, yes or no; instead the evil spirits made their final choice long ago.

Any human being can repent till he/she lives on this earth. There is no sin th…

Final Promise Day

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Last weekend I attended a friend's Final Promise Day. I made his acquaintance when I belonged to his chapter. Mr. Thomas Dominic O'Connell, O.P. made his Final Promise in the Lay Fraternities of Saint Dominic on May 24, 2009.

Tom's brother, Father Mark works in the Chancery. He's Vicar of something or other, and managed to get Bishop Edyvean to celebrate Mass. The ceremony was impressive with the two priests, and one a bishop.

It was good to see all my friends in that chapter. Long after the festivities were over we just sat around talking--catching up on our lives.

Community is a good thing.

Mystic CT

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I took a day off from work today to go to Mystic CT. I went with my friends Joan, Barbara, and Diana. We went shopping in the village of Mystic. The shops remind me so much of Woods Hole, MA. There is even a drawbridge, which we had to wait for--just like everyone does in Woods Hole.

We went to lunch and walked around some more. But the rest of the time we spent at the Museum. We walked around the Amistad. Our favorite shop was the Chandlers. It was a good day.

Even the weather cooperated by stopping the rain.

Retreat Day Five

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In my last posting, I neglected to relate my spiritual direction session with Father Aquinas. It started off funny. Funny meaning odd. You see in January I wrote him a letter and instead of writing a letter back, he telephoned me to come on a retreat and we can talk then. The time finally arrived. He confessed that he lost the letter and didn't remember what I had written. Coincidentally, before I left for retreat, I looked through by computer files, and couldn't find that letter. So instead of being angry or hurt because of AQ's careless negligence of my letter and me, I just laughed. I was content with meeting with him at that time.

It was the best session I've ever had with him. He actually directed me. He gave me suggestions, and concrete practices to perform. He feels that as long as I stay close to the Eucharist, I should be alright.

My last day at St. Joseph's Abbey consisted of prayer and packing and good-byes. I wasn't sad. Most people com…

Retreat Day Four

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Every day we, as a group, had a conference with a monk. He was Father Robert. We concentrated on John 18 and 19. Father Robert was a man in love with words. He relished them. He rolled them over and over on his tongue. He'd hesitate and then repeat them again. He was obsessed with "Jesus was One with the Father." And He wants us to be One with Him, too.

Father Robert celebrates Mass like that, also. He emphasizes important words, stops, and then you can see him consciously speaking from his heart to pronounce the words for Consecration.

During meals we listened to a tape of Dr. Joseph Shaw. I don't know the name of it but he was talking about the parables.

I went to Father Robert for direction and we chatted about the Second Coming. It just may be that my dying and going to the Father will be Jesus coming to get me. That's a Second Coming.

In the afternoon, I spent my time waling around the other side of the lake. On the road down the hill, I came face …

Retreat Day Three

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Wednesday was a new day. Alleluia! Praise God. I woke up pain free. The stomach ache was gone. And! On my way to Lauds, I saw one of my fellow retreatants go in the visitor's chapel, and not in the cloister, where we were told to go. I followed her to tell her that she was going in the wrong place. But! She told me that we didn't have to go into the cloister with the monks; we can go in the visitor's chapel, which is better.

Way, way, way...much, much, much better. The visitor's chapel is adjacent to the altar; so close you feel like you are concelebrating. The priest comes to us to give Communion.

THERE'S NO GAUNTLET OF MONKS TO PARADE THROUGH!

Praise be to God! God is good, all the time!

What a wonderful start to a wondrous day!

After breakfast, I walked. The trouble with St. Joseph's Abbey is that it's on top of a hill, a very steep hill. This means that wherever you walk will involve coming back uphill. I did it. I walked all week. …

Retreat Day Two

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I was awake for Vigil but too warm and cozy to get up. Then I slept right up to the time when the bells for Lauds rang. I jumped out of bed, threw on my clothes and looked in the mirror and scared myself.

Awk! No time for hair fixing, so I grabbed a hair elastic and put my hair in a pony tail and put on my baseball cap.

As retreatants, we are allowed to sit in the stalls, like the monks, only way, way, way in the back. It's a long church. The altar is way up there away from us.

As I sat and watched the monks come in through the door, one old monk did a double take when he saw me. He pointed to my hat. At first I thought he was telling me that he liked my Red Sox baseball cap. But he motioned for me to take it off. TAKE IT OFF!

OH NO. :-( It's not that my hair was ugly; it's that I am ugly like that. Remember that I had Cronkhite Canada Syndrome and my hair didn't grow back like it was before. I am bald on the sides of my head. My hair grows only on the to…

Retreat

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Home. I had two bad days and three wicked awesome days, at St. Joseph's Abbey in Spencer, MA. I'll gradually give you almost a day by day description of what I went through.

First:the reason I went there in the first place was that my Spiritual Director was assigned there. I met Fr. Aquinas at Mt. St. Mary's Abbey in Wrentham, MA. He was there for 9 years. He became my Spiritual Director because he said "women should be spiritual directors for men and men should be spiritual directors for women."

January he was posted to St. Joseph's Abbey. I wrote him a long letter which he didn't answer. He just wrote back telling me to come on retreat and we can talk.

But he wasn't there the first day. I had visions of him opening the door with opened arms and greeting me as the long lost friend that we have become. In fact, more often than not, he was not there. What kind of "guest master" is that? There's always a lay person there to he…

Retreat

OK, I'm off. Fr. Aquinas has beckoned and I'm going.

Be back Friday.

St. Joseph's Abbey in Spencer, MA

Chapter

Our Lady of Mercy Chapter had a business meeting. No fist fights were threatened this time. The only thing closest to that was a long (too long) discussion about wasting paper. Sister Ruth keeps updating the schedule. We have so many copies, that we don't know which one is the latest. Dennis keeps handing out "Readings". It just seems like we're using up too much paper. There's no solution, either. We do use scrap paper. We can't do word of mouth. There's nothing to do about it.

Sister Ruth passed out PAPERS to join the Fr. Lataste Association. Sister Pia Elisabeth, O.P., from the Dominicaines de Bethanie, wrote us a letter explaining that Fr. Lataste was declared a venerable on June 1, 2007. We are to write encouragement and support letters to show that he should be beatified. His remains are in the sisters' Motherhouse's chapel. Many people come to pray at his tomb.

We close the meeting with praying the Office of the Dead for our P…

Book Club

What a day! This morning I had breakfast with the girls. This afternoon I went to Book Club. Tonight I went to Mass.

The Club went to see Linda's new home. It's beautiful and just right for her. She's an artist, so it includes a studio. We enjoyed it very much.

For this month's reading, we had chosen A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. We contrasted what our thoughts were when we first read it, and what we thought, today.

The most obvious change was how I felt about Katie, the mother. When I first read this book, I was about 18. Then, I thought Katie was mean and unfair. She obviously loved her son more than her daughter. And when she chose that the boy should go to high school, and the daughter go out to work, well that was unacceptable to my 18 year old mind.

Now, I feel differently. Katie worked hard, very hard. She did the best she could. I don't think she loved her son more. She just loved him differently. Perhaps, siblings don't see that, but as a mot…

Book Sale

Hard covered books $1.00 and soft covered $.50. What a bargain! The Friends of the Library conducted their Spring book sale. I was volunteering tonight and had the first pick.

Wow!

I spent $ 25 on enough books to fill a library. None of the books are fiction. I got some philosophy and religion books, some health books, a lot of poetry and CD's. I'm all set for the summer. My favorite pastime is reading on the beach. Washburn Island here I come.

Can't wait to go to bed tonight, so I can start reading. I always read in bed until I get sleepy.

Good night.

Transformation

Dominican Study Group was tonight. Steve and Doc, from Facing History and Ourselves, came with a DVD and a CD. We watched "The Lunch Date." It was a cute little story of an obviously "well off" lady in Grand Central Station. She had an armful of shopping bags. The camera panned the surrounding area and showed some sordid characters hanging around. When SMACK, the lady was jostled and dropped her pocketbook and bags. A black man stopped and helped her. All the while they were picking up her scattered stuff, she kept protesting "I'll do it; don't help me; you'll make me late for my train..."

She was too late for the train.

Resigned, she went back into the station with an anxious expression. She seemed to look for something (probably her wallet)but didn't find it. She dug around in her pockets and found enough change to purchase a salad. Pushing her shopping bags into a booth, she settled down to eat, only to realize that she didn't have…

Ms. Dorothy Murphy, O.P., R.I.P.

Ms. Dorothy Murphy, O.P. has died of an abdominal aorta aneurysm that burst during an operation. She was the President of the Lay Fraternities of St. Dominic for I don't know how many years, but for as long as I've been involved in the Lay Dominicans. This marks the end of an era.

What I can't get out of my mind is something that happened to me last night. I was awakened with fierce acid reflex. I have never had acid reflex in my life. I wouldn't even know what heart burn was except that I had it when I was pregnant.

Dick has acid reflex and is under a doctor's care. Anyway, I woke up at midnight in severe pain, The pain was excruciating. It was paralyzing. I couldn't move because of the pain. It was centered right below my rib cage. My first thought was Dorothy. Is this what she feels? I united myself with her to offer up our pain together. But the pain was absorbing all my thoughts. Since I couldn't move I tried to talk but it was too weak.…

St. Mary's Evening Walkers

Yesterday in the church bulletin, I saw a blurb about "St. Mary's Evening Walkers." Those that are interested walk an hour, which comes to about three miles. Tonight there were four of us.

I liked it. The time went fast because we chatted and walked.

That walk brought my pedometer up over 11,000 steps.

Alleluia!

Haibun

Today is Mother's Day. All three of my children came over my house. Hubby cooked. I did nothing except accept everyone's love. What could be better?

Upon reflection, I wrote this haibun about my three children. It goes without saying that this is tongue in cheek.

Blessed

My husband and I are blessed. We have sired three important personages. It didn't start out that way. They were ordinary babies. As children, they were average. Somehow, about the time of puberty, yes, somehow, somewhere, sometime, something happened.

We noticed it first, with the first. Well, that's to be expected. We knew her the longest. She somehow acquired a superior status. Her bearing as she surveyed her domain suggested royalty. A superior attitude held sway over her siblings.

A proper Princess
Perception of privilege
Proud propriety


The second child grew up with classic middle child syndrome. Perceived slighted. She had to be assertive to be noticed. Demanding, even. Vying for atten…

Good Bye

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St. Mary's Parish had a "Farewell Reception" for Fr. Dave and Fr. Ted. They both have been reassigned.

It's difficult to say good bye. It seems like you just get use to them and they have to go. I can't imagine how they feel.

I hope they have fond memories of us. We gave them a guest book, which is really a nice "coffee table book" of psalms. We used it as a guest book by putting our names next to a meaningful psalm.

For Fr. Dave I chose Psalm 150 and thanked him for his service.

For Fr. Ted I chose Psalm 32 and asked him to learn the song "Faith of our Mothers."

That's kind of a private joke between us. Whenever Fr. Ted celebrated a Mass for a martyr he sang "Faith of our Fathers." It didn't matter who the saint was, that's what he sang. So one day I told him that I was sick and tired of "Faith of our Fathers." "Aren't there any songs about women?"

He thought that was funny and said that if I…

What Men Like

I was reading "What Men Like In Church" in CathNews and it said that men like "singing proper
macho songs" in church and feel uncomfortable with hugging, holding hands or sitting in circles discussing their feelings, a British survey has found.

Nearly 60 percent of men who surveyed said they enjoyed singing at church, the UK Daily Telegraph reports.

A majority of men, 60 percent, said they do not like flowers and embroidered banners in church with 52 percent saying they do not like dancing in church."

So, how come no no one wonders what women like in Church? After all, most of the people in church are women?

Regional Meeting

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Region One in the Province of St. Joseph, the Lay Fraternities of Saint Dominic, held their Spring meeting today, at Mary Immaculate of Lourdes Church, in Newton Upper Falls, MA. About 30 people attended.

We discussed dues. They're due, but we should give them to our chapter treasurer and let her send them in.

The bookstore is doing well. We were glad to hear about that.

The Province is trying to set up grants. We need to have people to do it, set it up, etc. Grants would go to things like making promotional materials. Getting speakers. And?

We all got scolded about the way we do (or don't do Minutes). That doesn't apply to me because I do do my Minutes conscientiously.

We have a summer student brother. But we might note be able to get him because of the dates he's available and the dates we're available.

Then we talked Budget.

We're poor.