Sunday, October 31, 2010
Funny how being only three months old she can express herself with facial expressions and body language.
She has two other costumes--Tigger and Winnie the Pooh. Tigger is my favorite.
I'm blogging while answering the door for the kids trick a treating. They're all accompanied by parents. My neighborhood is perfect for this. We have loads of kids. I think people drop their kids off here to do their trick a treating. The kids are very polite. The parents all get candy too, and some ask hubby what the score of the football came is--the Pats won.
Nice night--no rain, not freezing, the sound of crunching and pushing fallen leaves. Monsters in the street laughing and calling to friends. Dads carrying around cans of beer while holding their princesses/witches/cowboys/hockey player/ballerina........'s hand. Jack o Lanterns line our driveway with happy smiles, and I'm going to shut the door, and put out the bowl of candy for the night. I hope it's all gone. I don't want any left in the house. Trick or Treat.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
One of the oldest ministries in the church is the care of the dead. Cemeterians' ministry involves the care of cemeteries. They manage and care for cemeteries. Some of the cemeterian societies are large enough to offer bereavement ministries. In the early days, they took care of the catacombs. Presently, they perhaps could offer development, planning, engineering, landscape architecture planning, financing, etc. (We lives in such complicated times). But rest assured, they also look toward the future. I guess you could say, it's the nature of the business.
Friday, October 29, 2010
We were welcomed by two friends of my "cloistered brothers:" Thomas Groome and John McDargh. They're theology profs. They both have visited my chapter. The major Talk was by Sister Suzanne Jabro, CSJ. She is the founder of Restorative Justice Works in California. She started the Get on the Bus program. And that's what she talked about.
The prisons in California are situated in remote areas. They are difficult to get to because there's no public transportation nearby. Sister Suzanne arranged for children to take her bus to visit their incarcerated parents. Some parents hadn't seen their children for 10 years. I teared up watching the video of the kids seeing their mothers.
After the speaking part of the program, there were Breakout Sessions. In my session, I met a Deacon who was also a retired sheriff. He handed me his business card. I was shocked to see this picture on it. I was shocked because my "cloistered brother," Marco drew this picture. I asked the Deacon, how he got this picture, he said his friend Dan drew it.
Look above Jesus shoulder. See in the bottom of the cinder block, the name Marco. Well, wait till I tell Marco this story.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
I love to be alone in the Church at night. My parish church's basement is like a parish hall. Meetings go on down there. There's also a chapel, but because of the meetings right beyond the closed door, it's kind of noisy. I can tune that out. But it's the light that I don't like. It's too bright.
So I sneak upstairs to the darkened main church. If I'm lucky, the door's unlocked, and I can go in. Immediately, the darkness hits me. There is nobody here but me and Jesus in the Tabernacle. I feel like I have His undivided attention. Yeah, yeah...I'm not talking theology. I'm talking poetically. It is a special feeling. This church that I know so well, is just different, at night. The feel of it is different. The atmosphere is more still than in the day. Solitude is felt deeply.
And I know you'll think I'm crazy, but His Presence is felt more poignantly. (I told you, this isn't theology.) My prayer is deeper. My trust palpable. My faith bonded securely. WOWZA
Am I afraid of being alone in the dark building? Nope, not in the least. I'm more afraid when jogging, alone.
Once, or maybe twice, I've encountered strangers in the dark. I was startled, but not afraid. One was a strange young man who very quickly ran by me, down the stairs, and out the door. He must have been praying like me. The other time was heralded by the sound of water. I saw a man near the altar. And to tell you the truth, I thought he was desecrating the altar (I did hear water!). But all he was doing was watering the flowers. It was the new, young priest that had just been assigned to the church. He was running around, watering the flowers. I don't know who I thought watered the flowers, but the priests weren't even on the list. But I suppose, why not?
Anyway, I'm usually alone--just me and my Beloved. And it's a special moment.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Marathon by Judith Hughes, M.D., O.P.
Running recalls primordial eons
when predator and prey,
chasing and escaping,
meant to outrun death.
A fall was loss and win--
a meal of exhausted meat
to fuel another run.
Man's naked soles run fastest;
so remove your shoes!
Bare your feet for the sacred path.
Exorcise those predators within,
reptilian, carnivorous, nocturnal,
pushing you forward,
tearing at your gut.
Exertion is a deadly stalker.
Rest and stop struggling!
Ignore cravings, hunger and hope.
Why run?...a predatory thought.
Some choose to walk. All finish.
Behold the prize: prey and purpose,
the goal of glory, tempting trust.
Dehydrated, delirious, doubting
souls hunger, gasp and stumble.
Why fear? Be fit.
Only the unfit watch the race
and cheer: Go!, Go!
Be faster than the slower thousands.
Be master of your heart and breath.
Bear the pain--it passes.
Receive the offered orange
and drink the living water.
Throw out your arms to love,
your chest to break the golden ribbon.
Fall prostrate on the finish line,
And hear the words: "Well done."
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
By the rivers of Babylon,
we sat and then wept
as we remembered Zion.
When on the poplars
we hung our harps
our captors asked for a song.
Our tormentors wanted songs of joy:
"Sing to us one of the songs of Zion!"
How could we sing the Lord's song
in a strange and alien land?
If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
may my right hand fall useless!
May my tongue cleave to my palate
if I remember you not,
if Jerusalem is not the first of my joys.
Remember, Lord, the Edomites -- what did
they do when Jerusalem fell? They said "Tear
the city down, tear it down to its foundations!"
O daughter of Babylon, you will be sacked
happy is he who repays you
and does to you what you have done to us!
Happy is he who seizes your infants and dashes
them against the rocks!
Christian Community Bible, Claretian Publications, 1995
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Read 2 Timothy 4: 6-8
What's the difference? I know you're going to tell me that the Pharisee in Luke 18: 9-14 is giving credit to himself and not to God. I don't see that. Read 2 Timothy 4: 6-8. Well?
Yeah, yeah...all the commentators say that the Pharisee's prayer was not as acceptable as the tax collector's. And I'll take their word for it. But the way these two readings are juxtaposed today on the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, certainly does not portray Paul any different than the proud Pharisee.
But Paul is a Pharisee. And Paul's later writings show his spiritual progression, so we know him better than this quick look at the praying Pharisee. But I think the contrast is nil, especially the juxtaposition of the two readings, today.
Let me put it this way; which am I -- a Paul, or a proud Pharisee?
O God, I thank you for making me Catholic.
I thank you for placing me in this country, in this time and place.
I have tried to obey your commandments and the Church's.
I thank you that I have not fallen like the rest of humanity--into our modern cultural morass.
I have always tried to do your Will.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Woe is me.
What has happened? Something that probably has never, ever, happened to anybody before. I can't hardly believe it, myself.
My washing machine has stolen a companion. I am bereft of my favorite Rosary. The one that fit so nicely in my hand. The one that felt so pearly smooth when you fingered it. The one that was small enough to always fit in your pocket, without spoiling the line of your clothes. The one that lay flattest under my pillow. The one that was a pretty pearly pink on little tiny beads, that I was planning to give to my granddaughter, when she is old enough. The one that I loved to pray on.
ugh...........I feel naked.........I feel lonely...........and I feel stupid for not checking my pockets before I put the jacket in the washer.
Presently, the Rosary is stuck in the little tiny holes that perforate the inside tub of the washer. I tried gently tugging on the beads. If I yanked the beads hard, they'd just break, and I'd have no Rosary, at all. So it just lies there.
I tried WD-40.
Yeah, I did try prayer, but I feel foolish asking for such a personal preference. After all, it's not like I don't have other Rosaries.
My family is aware of the problem and have all tried to dislodge the beads. Hubby has quipped, "Maybe now you'll do the laundry more often now. You know, just to see your favorite Rosary."
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
And! I also love "whooping." Whooping is preaching with rhythm, vocal emotion, heart, body, and soul. Black ministers are known for it. This YOU Tube Video is Rev. Tellis Chapman whooping. CNN had a feature on Whooping. There "whooping" is defined as a synergy between the pastor and the congregation. And it certainly is. But all preaching is. Whooping pastors use chant, melody, and response preaching to reach their parishioners, in their unique style of preaching.
Can only black ministers "whoop?" Some say "yes," because they think you have to have lived the poor, suffering life, that growing up black molds you into. But the Rev. Paula White is a successful white "whooper."
Personally, I don't think it's a skin color prerogative. I think it's living the poor suffering life. You have to have suffered. Much like singing the "blues". You have to have a soul molded in suffering. Simpatico.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Sunday, October 17, 2010
The Order of Preachers also has Cooperator Brothers. This is a vocation to be encouraged. The Brothers are called, like all Dominicans, to preach. But not all friars feel called to be priests. Some friars feel called to serve in other ministries. These friars do not want to study theology, nor feel called to be priests, yet they are called. Brother Paul Byrd, O.P attempts to define a Cooperatator Brother: ... cooperator brothers are not "exceptions" to the rule of religious life--their vocation is what religious life is all about: consecrated living, the praise and worship of God, and the ministry to the Church. They are fully religious, and equal in every way as religious to religious who are also called to be priests. In this way, they are not auxiliary, cooperators, coadjutors, etc., they are religious brothers.
The Dominican Family includes many fraternities. Each one adds its own dimension. The cooperator brothers do everything the ordained friars do, except sacramental ministry. This includes medicine, teaching, chaplaincy, parish pastoral ministry, spiritual direction, retreat work, administration, arts, you name it... It's not lack of intellectual ability that makes a friar decide to be a cooperator brother. It's lack of vocational calling. It might be humility, or maybe it's that a man feels called to be a religious but doesn't want to study theology. Many are called, few are chosen.
The Central Province of St. Albert the Great, has a good program. Brother Paul explains on his blog:
Cooperator brothers are men whose love for God and desire to serve the Church has led them to seek to live as vowed religious. They are freed by the vow of poverty to give what they have to others; freed by the vow of obedience to do what the Church, through the Order, asks of them; and freed by the vow of chastity to love all those they encounter. With the support of their community of fellow Dominicans, they go about their prayer, study, and ministry with joyful hearts. And though they are not priests, their lives are rooted in the sacramental life of the Church.
If you are a young man, you can go see for yourself, what's it all about. Their site is www.domcentral.org/vocations All others can pray and support them.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
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Preaching the Gospel. Father Bede Shipps, O.P. gave a Day With Mary, sponsored by the LFSD of Our Lady of Divine Providence and St. Thomas Aquinas Chapters. He showed us the connection between Mary and the Dominicans.
Affordable housing in Massachusetts: Questions and Answers from the Catholic perspective on Question 2. Published in the 10/15/2010edition of The Pilot
Friday, October 15, 2010
Lay Fraternities of St. Dominic
Province of St. Joseph (Eastern USA)
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
October is the month of the Rosary. And since we owe a lot to Saint Dominic for the Rosary, I was very pleased to read about the connection between St. Dominic and the Rosary, in Catholic Digest.
Monday, October 11, 2010
Well, that's exactly what we're not. We're a serious group/club/family made up of people--and those people are the very ones we're serious about, not the book.
Anyway, next month's book is Still Alice by Dr. Lisa Genova. I would have never picked this book to read on my own. It's about Alzheimer's. Sounds like it will be depressing, doesn't it? Specifically, it's about early onset Alzheimer's. We follow Alice, who at age 50 discovers that she has Alzheimer's.
The only reason I'm reading it is because it was Monique's pick. She said we'd like it. I have the library's copy. God bless the Franklin library. They gather enough books for our Book Club and hold them in reserve for us members to take out. And I didn't want to buy this book; I didn't think I wanted to even read it. So the library book is perfect.
I'm about half way through it and it's a really good read. The book is written in the perspective of Alice, who has Alzheimer's. It's very, very different. And I like it. That's the best reason to belong to a Book Club. You read things you never would have read, were it not for the Book Club.
Your Hour, Lord, had come
To sanctify the hours of our day.
Indeed they now can be
Until the dead entombed no longer lay,
'Til ever passing time
Has ever passed unto eternity.
Before the dawn fires light,
To You the embers of my soul spark prayer.
Bright guides along Your Way
In voiceless books teach doctrine, oh, so rare.
Then, in community,
The Liturgy of Hours well we say.
The dissipating mist
Of mysteries Your words revealed unfold.
You graciously inspire
The presentation, new and yet of old,
That's sharp enough to run
Through sullen shaded hearts with loving fire.
An hour in the box,
With sinners left and right confessing shame,
Your punishment they fear,
But we are here for mercy, not for blame;
True sorrow, felt and willed,
Expressed through me to You Who always hear.
The Sacrifice begins
With steeple bells that ring and souls that sing.
Fine fabrics, marble, gold,
With holy gestures, rites befit the King.
As Lamb He gives Himself,
To gather stray sheep to a single fold.
To frail old friendless folks
In standard institutions, visits lift,
For hours slowly tick,
Awaiting hungry for the hallowed Gift.
Though legs and eyes subside,
Anointing brows and palms upholds the sick.
An hour for the flesh,
That needs nutrition, rest and so much more,
Lest vital signs rise high.
Due exercise is not a grueling chore.
Cam'raderie with friends
Rejuvenates until we say good-bye.
Your Hour, Lord, had come
To sanctify the hours of our day.
In fact, they now have been.
Our thanks dispatched up through the sun's last ray.
With You we watch an hour,
While silent stillness saturates the din.
Sit two candidates on a couch in the priory library.
If, when you come back (after spending time praying over your up-coming decisions), the candidates have:
+ counted all the books make him Provincial Treasurer
+ organized the books by author/title/subject/etc. make him Secretary
+ took the couch apart, bolts et al make him Director of Apostolic Ministries
+ centered himself in prayer make him Director of Prayer Life
+ texted everyone he knows make him Director of Community
+ wrote notes of the experience make him Editor of the Province's Newsletter
+ memorized the CCC make him Formation Director
+ took pics on his cell phone make him Design Editor of the Province's Newsletter
+ caressed and drooled over all the books make him the Province's Archivist
+ fell asleep make him an Alternate
I hope you'll find Faith's Fallible Formulae helpful when assigning positions.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Father's homily was about the ten lepers. Only one came back to give thanks, and that one was a Samaritan. Father happened to mention that Jesus sent the lepers off to the priests because it was the priests who declared whether or not one was a leper.
Well...I was wondering....
It's the other way around. The point is the same. But it's not the Samaritan that that story should revolve around, it's the nine others. That Samaritan was disobedient. Jesus told the ten lepers to go show themselves to the priests. Nine obeyed. And I like to think once those nine were declared clean by the priests, they could then enter society again, and search out Jesus to thank Him.
That other one, the disobedient Samaritan, didn't belong to their religion. So he wasn't going to go to their priests to declare whether or not he was clean. What did he care about their priests? Or their laws?
He was just giving credit to where credit was due--Jesus.
That being said, the point is the same: Jesus heals, and we owe Him thanks. Think of ourselves as the lepers. Sinners=Lepers
Jesus can heal us. We have sick souls and when we repent, and seek out a priest for Confession, we are healed. Our sins are forgiven by Jesus. Deo Gratias.
Return to me with all your heart, with fasting, weeping, and mourning, and rend your hearts, not your garments. Joel 2:12-13
Saturday, October 9, 2010
(1) The best type of bag to carry is a back pack. A fanny pack is too small. A tote bag ties up one hand.
(2) A stroller is best for the baby. Carrying the baby in front is too hot on hot days. Carrying the baby in the back is too hot, also, beside you'll cripple yourself, when the baby falls asleep leaning to the side. You'll have a dead weight leaning the wrong way. Besides a stroller can carry packages. I've even seen strollers with cup spaces on the handle.
(3) Don't throw away your empty water bottle. Save money by just refilling it, when you go by blubbers.
(4) A camera is a necessity. Disposable ones are pretty good nowadays. They capture memories.
(5) When people start getting cranky, eat. That's the secret.
(6) Sneakers are too hot on hot days. So in the summer wear sandals especially made for walking.
(7) Carry your Rosary in your pocket. Praying for those that need it will be appreciated. (You'll meet them everywhere.)
Friday, October 8, 2010
Do you agree with the need to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, which struck down all state laws criminalizing abortion and established a woman’s “right” to abort her unborn child in the womb?
Do you oppose the “Freedom of Choice Act” which both go beyond Roe v. Wade, guaranteeing a fundamental right to abortion with no restrictions or regulations?
Do you support a ban on physician-assisted suicide?
Do you oppose government funding for human embryonic stem cell research?
Do you oppose the death penalty?
Do you oppose using taxpayer money to fund abortions?
Parental Rights in Education
Do you support the right of all parents – especially poor parents – to be provided with the means (such as education tax credits) to choose the most appropriate school for their child, including a religious or independent school?
Do you support restoring full state reimbursement on mandates in religious and independent schools?
Do you support maintaining the historic understanding of marriage as only between a man and a woman?
Do you support immigration reform that regularizes the situation for undocumented immigrants already in this country?
Do you oppose punishing charitable organizations that provide social services to undocumented persons?
Access to Health Care
Do you support legislative action to provide access to health care for all in need?
Protecting the Poor
Do you support the Fair Labor Practices Act that would grant workers certain rights available to all other workers, such as the right to overtime pay, collective bargaining and a day of rest?
Do you support an increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit, available as refunds to families with the greatest need?
Do you support the right of faith-based health and human service providers to offer services to the community in accord with their religious beliefs?
Do you support the right of faith-based health and human service providers to make employment and employee benefits decisions in accord with their religious beliefs?