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Showing posts from January, 2010

Vaticaneese

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Since the Vatican has urged its clergy to "get with it" and use the internet to spread the Good News, it is now looking at itself. Good thing, too. I try. My chapter tries. My friends try. All serious Catholics try. But try as we might, it takes a person with a strong sense of purpose, to successfully plow through Vatican documents.

Catholic News Service explains what the Vatican is trying. I readily identified with the passage reading that the Vatican recognizes that even the most papal sympaticoes are discouraged when reading papal texts.


"This is a topic we need to face in an explicit manner. Many times we speak, but in a language that is no longer comprehensible," he said. He said that's something that may be the focus of an upcoming plenary session of his council.
...

Msgr. Paul Tighe, secretary of the communications council, launched what might be called a trial balloon on the question of language in a recent article in Cultures and Faith, a publicat…

Blame

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Musing in nonsense today.

Since God is love and all forgiving, what do you imagine happening if instead of Adam and Eve throwing the serpent, or each other, under the bus, they confessed and asked for mercy.

Remember God is forgiving and loves us.

Eve sobbed, "Lord, forgive me. I wanted to be like You; and took and ate what was forbidden. I am so very sorry."

Mmmmmmmmmm. What if?

And let's dream on:

Eve cries, "I alone am responsible." Adam interrupts, "No Lord, I am responsible; you put me in charge, and I failed you." Eve insists, "No Lord, Punish me." Adam more insistently, "No, it was my responsibility and I was weak. I alone am responsible. Punish me."

Mmmmmmm. Let's continue....

Adam and Eve in unison cry, "Lord forgive us. We love You and will never hurt You, again."

Weeell, if I were God, I'd say, "I love you, too. Forgetaboutit."

But I'm not God.

Lies

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Define a lie. Would it be something completely false? Is it not a lie if just a bit of it were false? What about manipulation? Is manipulating the information so that the entire story isn't heard, but only some parts that suit your agenda, would that be a lie?

I'm talking about the newspapers who reported that the Walk for Life was getting smaller, probably because the marchers were getting too old to walk. Where were these commentators?

I ask if they were even at the same March for Life, that I was. Granted this was my first march, but I heard the comments when I couldn't find a seat for Mass. People said they had never seen it this crowded. No standing room!

I also heard that the kids that were there, and supposedly there weren't that many, were there only because they were given the day off from school. How quickly we forget! Kids are kids. What did you do when you had a day off? I remember being in high school when Pope John XXIII died. We had the day off to go to Mas…

'till Somebody Loves You

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You're nobody 'til somebody loves you
You're nobody 'til somebody cares
You may be king, you may possess the world and it's gold
But gold won't bring you happiness when you're growing old

The world still is the same, you'll never change it
As sure as the star shines above
You're nobody 'til somebody loves you
So find yourself somebody to love

These are the lyrics to You're Nobody 'till Somebody Loves You, by Michael Buble. I remember Dean Martin singing that. Am I dating myself? It's worth it. You young people miss out on this one. Good song.

The song came to mind while I was reading Caritas in Veritate. This Encyclical Letter is our assignment for Dominican Study Group.
Pope Benedict XVI says:
As a spiritual being, the human creature is defined through interpersonal relations. The more authentically he or she lives these relations, the more his or her own personal identity matures. It is not by isolation that man establishes his worth,…

Forgiveness

My brothers and I saw a video, today. It showed two brothers fighting. The bigger one smacked the smaller one. Immediately, the little guy started screaming to his mother that he was hit. The mother came in the room and asked what happened? She listened to the sobbing little brother and the mother took his side. The older boy immediately ran upstairs.

The mother telephoned the father and related the story. When Dad came home, the first thing he did was go into the older boy's bedroom. He wasn't there. He went into the other bedroom; he wasn't there, either. Nor, was he in the bathroom. Upon entering the master bedroom, the father saw a big lump in the middle of the bed.

The boy was hiding under the covers.

He was hiding from shame. The gist of the father's talk consisted of "forgiveness." The father assured the son that there was nothing the kid could do that would cause him to not love his son. He would never stop loving him.

Mmmmm. What about whe…

March for Life

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Wicked Awesome! Wicked Great! Wicked Sweet! Wicked Wonderful! Wicked, Wicked!

The worse part was the bus ride, but let's begin at the beginning.

The bus left St. Brendan's at 9:00 PM. We arrived at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception at 5:00 AM. It was a miserable night of trying to sleep on the bus. The bus only stopped for us once-- for 15 min. I only had time to make a pit stop and grab a bottle of water out of the vending machine. There was no leg room on the bus. One spring had sprung in my seat. There was no room. The two bus drivers talked all night, keeping me awake--but I couldn't sleep anyway, so I shouldn't blame them. I just couldn't get comfortable.

At 5:00, it was dark, cold, and beginning to rain. We ran into the Basilica. People were in their seats already for the 7:00 AM Mass. There wasn't a seat available. Standing room only and Mass wasn't for two hours!

So I went downstairs to the Crypt where there was Adoration.…

Walk for Life

I'm leaving for the Walk for Life, in DC. Blogging will be nil.

I'll be at Mass at the Basilica for 9:00.

After that, I could be with any one of the following:

Breakfast with Democrats for Life
Walking with Massachusetts for Life
Dominican Laity
Dominican House of Studies
Dominican Friars
St. Mary's Parish
St. Brendan's Parish
St. Blaise Parish
Cardinal Sean Patrick
Therese
Lou
Harold
Michael

Lost.

So. Sew Us Together

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This is a picture of my parish church, St. Mary's, at Christmas. Tonight, St. Mary's Women's Club had a wicked good evening, at the Mill Store.

We are such a good group. We're a good example of "community." We share a good liturgical life. We have an opening Mass, we have a Night of Recollection, and a special Mass for us on Laudate Sunday. We women are the Lectors and EM of these Masses because enough of us are, anyway.

Our members are of all ages. While some of us have been members for so long, we don't have to pay dues, anymore, others are young enough to have babies. We kind of are one extended family of generations.

At our meetings, we have presentations, demonstrations, trips, movies, concerts, games, and I don't know what else. Tonight, we met at the Mill Store. The Mill Store is an old mill converted into a place that sells fabric, yarn, craft supplies and that sort of stuff. Many take lessons there. We learned how to make a tote ba…
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Retreat


A Monastery
on top of the grassy mound
my old car climbs up

Mother of God Monastery has the most beautiful Eucharistic Shrine, I've ever seen. The Dominican nuns there have perpetual adoration. I plan to stay the weekend: resting, praying, re-acquainting myself with my Beloved.

Inside the Monstrance
Love Itself beats a warm pulse
heard inside my heart

All my senses feel His presence.
After awhile, we are One.

The Best Homily

This weekend, because of different demands, I attended three Masses. I listened to the Gospel story of Jesus turning the water into wine, 3x.

I am amazed at the vast difference in homilies.

The first was the 4:00 PM, Saturday night. I had to participate in a little talk about the Arise Together in Christ Program. Father talked about how important a wedding was in the culture of that time. He also said the most beautiful metaphor. Actually, he was quoting something that Richard Crashaw wrote, "The conscious water saw its God and blushed."

Wow! The water in divine presence blushed.

I also had to Lector at the noon Mass. The Mass celebrant was the Pastor, whom we haven't seen for over a month. His sister was dying and he was her main caregiver and stayed with her until she died. His homily consisted of family ties and responsibilities. The Blessed Mother and her Son's relationship.

Lastly, I went to a Bilingual Hispanic Mass because it was a "Good-Bye C…

Girls' Night Out

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We went to Cinema Pub. I knew the girls would like it. It was their first time there, and I knew that they would never have ever gone there if I didn't take them.

We had a wonderful time. The movie was Invictus with Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon. We all loved it. I particularly loved it because I admire Mandela's philosophy of "No future without forgiveness." In fact, that's one of my all time favorite books, No Future Without Forgiveness, by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Of course, I had to google the poem Invictus by William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged…

Psalm 79

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Haiti is still very much on my mind. Everyone's mind. In class tonight, we used Haiti as our conversation topic.

Some question the existence of God when disaster strikes. I always think thank God we have Him when disaster strikes. We live on earth, not heaven. Here in our world bad things happen. Why? It's the nature of our world. That's why we need God. Remember God gave the world to man to take care of. Hence, we must take care of the victims of Haiti. There's many organizations taking donations. I'm giving just a few places:

Aid to the Church in need.

To Haiti Health Centers

Catholic Relief Services

Tonight's prayers in the Liturgy of the Hours were poignant when applied to Haiti.

Psalm 79

.2 God is for us a refuge and strength,
a helper close at hand, in time of distress,
.3 so we shall not fear though the earth should rock,
though the mountains fall into the depths of the sea;
.4 even though its waters rage and foam,
even though the mountains be shaken b…

Expect a Second Collection.

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Haiti
Human beings are at their best in situations where we can help each other. There are many organizations that can help. This earthquake devastation is of Biblical proportions. I noticed the earthquake in San Jose last week. It was about 4.0. Then a few days later, I noticed San Francisco was hit with a bigger shake. I was waiting for California to be rocked with the big one.

Poor Haiti. They had nothing to begin with and now they have less.

There are many ways to give. I'm not advocating one over the other. Don't be surprised if you're asked for cash. It is worth more, and used directly in Haiti will help stimulate their economy.

So expect a second collection in Church, this weekend.

Stuffed Tomatoes

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Book Club is serious business. I took a couple of days off from work simply because I was the hostess for this month's book club.

I needed one day to prepare and one day to recuperate. You probably think I jest. Let me explain:
My home is well lived in--cluttered. I have to clean.
The appetizers are more important than anything else.
The book discussion is just an excuse for us friends to gather.
The wine has to be good. Pinot Grigio and Pinot Noir and in my case some rum to spice the hot mulled cider. (It's cold outside.)

So I began the day, shopping for ingredients. I was making stuffed tomatoes. Lest you think I'm some kind of slacker, let me set you straight. I am talking about stuffed CHERRY tomatoes. Yup, the teeny ones. Cleaning the house takes time, too.

I prepared stuffed cherry tomatoes and a four layer dip for appetizers. The cherry tomatoes were a hit! Every single last one of them was eaten. The dip was good, too. I placed the dip in the middle of th…

What has God done for Me?

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My Facebook friend, Brother Vito, Franciscan seminarian extrodinaire, suggested that I blog this question, when he saw it posed on FB.

At first, I was going to make a list: 3 happy, healthy, productive children, a happy marriage, etc.....but that would go on forever. Everything I have is due to God. It's all part of His plan.

So, I'll give the most important blessing God has ever done for me. HE died for me, so that I could have everlasting life; HE saved me. HE loves me and watches over me and my family, and always will.

THANK YOU JESUS FOR LOVING ME.

Pond Hockey

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In my travels today, I happened to pass by a little pond that I pass by frequently. Quite a few cars were parked along side the road. What's going on?

It was a game of Pond Hockey. Kids shovel off the ice; plop down a hockey net, put on their skates, and play hockey. It's great fun.

Everytime I played, the boys made me goalie. I was thrilled.

Stupid.

Pucks came shooting for my head.

I learned fast. Quick reflexes, and a few saves, and I was a hero.

:-/

I guess I wasn't such a fast learner, after all.

Yankee Swap

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The Hope of Bethany Lay Dominican Pro-Chapter had an Epiphany Party this morning. Everyone had to bring a pot luck dish of food and a gift. Last night after teaching I was too tired to make any food to bring, or even to wrap a present. So I was going to go to see old friends and just not eat nor participate in the gift exchange.

But I couldn't sleep, last night. Four o'clock found my eyes, wide open. So I got up and made blue berry muffins and wrapped the present. I found a bag of coal and gift wrapped that, too. That made two presents.

The gift exchange is a Yankee Swap. Every one draws a #. Number one picks a present, opens it, and shows everyone.

#2 picks a present. She shows everyone. However, if she wants, she can exchange her gift with # 1.

# 3 picks a present. She shows everyone. But she has two people to swap with. # 4 will have three people to swap. It goes on and on.

You can never tell how the Yankee Swap will go. One year, this ugly planter that looked…

Changhun

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Changhun is the name of my Korean student. I'm teaching him presentation skills. He needs formal speech skills, as well as impromptu.

I'm probably learning more than he is. I admire his observation and listening skills. He picks up everything. He should be a fast learner. If only I could pull him out of the Korean community and immerse him in an American family.

He's been here in this country for two years and his English language is nil.

Our aim is for him to pass the TOEFL test, get into graduate school and get a job.

That's all.

Saint Raymond of Penyafort

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Today is St. Raymond of Penyfort's feast day. He wrote something that makes you think; maybe it even gives you hope.

*...all who want to live righteously in Christ will suffer persecution.

So when you don't go along with the crowd, or don't think like the current culture, or you seem to think that you don't fit in, you are blessed. *May you never be numbered among those whose house is peaceful, quiet and free from care...Your purity of life, your devotion, deserve and call for a reward; because you are acceptable and pleasing to God your purity of life must be made purer still, by frequent buffetings, until you attain perfect sincerity of heart. If from time to time you feel the sword falling on you with double or treble force, this also should be seen as sheer joy and the mark of love.

May the prayers of Saint Raymond free you from concern of what others think.

* From a letter by Saint Raymond of Penyafort, Monumenta Ord. Praed. Hist. 6, 2, Romae 1901, pp. 84-85

Saint Nicholas

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I know why Saint Nicholas chose me. He is known to be wise (I need a wise patron, for sure.), and he performed good works in secret for the poor and oppressed (And I'm sure he wouldn't mind throwing in a few good works for the foolish and accident prone), and he is known as the Patron ofPrisoners. There you go. I volunteer in a prison. I belong to a Lay Dominican Chapter inside a prison. Some of my dearest friends are cons and ex-cons. I love this guy!

There are many legends about his many deeds. He is the inspiration for our Santa Claus. Santa Claus is the Americanization of the Dutch for Saint Nicholas. His stories contribute to our stories of Father Christmas, St. Nick, and of course, Santa Claus.

Today I visited the Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton, MA. It is only a few years old. It was founded by Gordon Lankton in 2006, to house his personal collection of icons. I was blessed to meet him, personally, today. He had gathered them from his travels back and…

Apostle Creed

The Apostle's Creed has twelve points of faith in it. Hence, the Twelfth Day of Christmas is attributed to this prayer.

Yay! It's complete. I did it!

Saint Nicholas of Myra

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Finally! On Dec. 28th I told you about Matthew at Catholic Life picking patron saints for the year. Rather, the saint picks you. Well, I got picked by St. Nicholas of Myra.

I don't know why St. Nick chose me. I've read about his life and I don't see any reason that connects us. Just about everybody reveres him. He's the patron saint of Russia and Greece. There's many icons of him.

He is the patron saint of judges, murderers, pawnbrokers, thieves, merchants, paupers, scholars, sailors, bakers, travelers, maidens and poor children. He is also known as the friend and protector of all those in trouble. Oh-oh. I hope trouble isn't brewing for me this year. And he's the patron of murderers--look out everybody. Don't piss me off.

I like his life story. He doesn't die a horrible death like Peter Martyr. He doesn't live a terrible life like St. Margaret of Castello. He's an average guy who try to live right and do right. He loved to sur…

Ladies Dancing

This is the Eleventh Day of Christmas and the connection I see is that there were eleven faithful disciples of Jesus.

Eleven ladies dancing...

Epiphany

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Today is the Epiphany of the Lord. I heard some interesting tidbits in Father's homily.

Herod is always depicted as a bad guy. But besides murdering his wife, three sons and brother-in-law, he also melted down his gold plates to have the gold to trade for food to feed his people.

The three Magi came on dromedaries. Magi can be kings, wise people, priests, or science authorities like astrologers. Dromedaries are bigger than camels. They are like thoroughbred camels. In fact, Dromedaries are used in races. Picture a dromedary trying to fit through the eye of a needle. (It's easier for a dromedary to fit through the eye of a needle than a rich man to get to heaven.)

The gifts are symbollic: gold for a king, incense for a priest, myrrh for annointing.

Times change. Diapers are the appropriate gift, nowadays.

"10"

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas ten pipers were piping. They certainly had much to pipe about.

The "ten" probably refers to the Ten Commandments.

Again, I'll spare you and not list them. ;-)

Drums

Nine drummers drumming...

The nine whatever represent the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit--Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.

And I'm sorry I ever started this Twelve Days of Christmas thing. Boring. But I'll finish doing it because that's the way I am.

Friends

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Guess who's on Face Book. My best friend in the whole wide world. I'm so happy. I can't explain it. You see....well....let me explain.

Actually, it's unexplainable. Is there such a word? What I mean is....well...I can explain who she is, but I can't explain the relationship. I can't express the feelings, the emotions, WTF!

I'll try.

I met Chris in 2000. (Year of the Holy Spirit) We both had joined a parish prayer group. We both fell in love with our Faith that year. We attended Life in the Spirit Seminars, we were anointed with the Holy Spirit and our lives meshed somehow.

She is a generation younger than I, but it never mattered. The leader of the prayer group was Fr. Aniello. He was a sweet heart. We both loved him.

Let me give you a run down of how we spent prayer group day. I went to work, came home and prepared supper, cleaned up and attended prayer group. Chris stayed home with her babies and did mommy things and attended prayer group. F…

My Ten Best of 2009

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In order of their impact upon me:

1. Karen's Wedding

2. Karen's Bridal Shower

3. John's Death

4. Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, O.P.'s visit to my chapter and his Talk at the Summer Speaker's Series
on the Cape.

5. Fr. David Kammler, O.P.'s visit to my chapter.

6. Retreat to St. Joseph's Abbey in Spencer, MA.

7. Entire change-over of priests in my parish.

8. Fr. Fleck, O.P.'s death.

9. Ms. Dorothy Murphy, O.P.'s death.

10. Ted Kennedy's death.

Lactating Mothers

Eight Maids A-Milking reminds me of mothers who are nursing their babies. Since the Twelve Days of Christmas has religious connotations, I think of Mary and her new born babe.

There are also eight beatitudes.

Don't worry. I won't list them. ;-)