Showing posts from August, 2010


...You are the God of the lowly, the helper of the oppressed, the supporter of the weak, the protector of the forsaken, the savior of those without hope.  Judith 9:11

Sometimes I see him in the Common.
Sometimes he appears on the "T."

It's Jim, the Suitcase Man,
My friend who thinks I'm an angel.

He's walked the day; God knows where!
Traveling for hope, looking for love.

He's talking to invisible people.
but they're nicer than most.

Head down, one foot in front of the other.
Plod, plod, plod along, my friend.

God's Got My Back

Before  Chapter, I had a conversation with one of my "cloistered brothers," that reminded me, (again) why I love them so.

Brother is telling me that he's been feeling lethargic and just "punky."  The doctors tell him that he has an iron deficiency.  Then he goes into detail about his regimen of pills and diet.  I'll spare you the details that I had to listen to, not because there not important, but because I kinda zoned out mid-way through his recitation.

Somehow this monologue segued into his diverticulitis.

After all this, he said something that woke me up.  "But I'm not worried.  God's got my back."

Indeed, when I think of the twists and turns in Brother's life, I can see that he has a full regiment of angels working overtime.  And all that work is not in vain.  He is now one of the most pious people I know.  His Faith is solid.  He doesn't even watch TV.  It holds no interest for him.  Praying and spiritual reading are his lif…

Word to the Wise

Capuce up

If you ever see a Dominican friar in this position,
don't bother him.

In particular, don't ask him a dumb ass question.

Understanding St. Augustine in a Minute

Want to understand St. Augustine?  It'll only take you a sec.  Just click on this link.

Actually, I owe a lot to St. Augustine.  He is an indirect founder of the Dominicans St. Dominic was an Augustinian Canon.  Also, I follow the rule of St. Augustine, as does the entire Dominican Family.  Spiritual hugs today

When in Rome...

Did you know that "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." comes from a conversation between St. Ambrose and St. Monica?

When Monica moved from North Africa to Milan, she found religious practices new to her and also that some of her former customs, such as a Saturday fast, were not common there. She asked St. Ambrose which customs she should follow. His classic reply was: “When I am here, I do not fast on Saturday, but I fast when I am in Rome; do the same and always follow the custom and discipline of the Church as it is observed in the particular locality in which you find yourself.”

Have a good Feast Day--St. Monica.

You're So-o-o-o Catholic!

My friend Chris and I use to tease each other by playing a game we called "You're so Catholic."  I was reminded of this game, when I read Matthew Warner's article in the National Catholic Register, "How "Catholic" should you be online?"

Chris to Faith:  You're so Catholic that all the religious medals you wear clang so much, the cows come

Faith to Chris:  You're so Catholic that the UPS driver gets lost in the Nativity Scene set up in your front

Get it?

We're not crazy.  We're just Catholic!

The Atheist Meets the Dominican

An Atheist is flying in a hot air balloon.  Heat lightning strikes the balloon, and the Atheist crashes in a tree.  He's physically unhurt but is dangling helplessly, caught in the branches of a tree.  A Dominican praying his rosary walks by, and says,  "My good man, you are dangling helplessly, caught in the branches of a tree."

"You must be a Dominican."  The Atheist accuses.

"I am," replies the Dominican.  "How did you know?"

"Well," says the Atheist,  "Everything you state is the truth, but it is absolutely of no practical use to me."

"Ah!" exclaimed the Dominican.  "And you must be an Atheist."

"I am," replied the Atheist.  "How did you know?"

"Well," says the Dominican "you don't know how to save yourself, yet you expect me to do it.  And you have found yourself in an insolvable situation, and it doesn't occur to you to appeal to a higher power."


Yesterday's post on Mother Teresa had a good comment, that I forgot to mention.

The post related the story of Mother caring for a dead man.  A journalist writing and taking pictures of Mother Teresa's Homes, said to her, "I wouldn't do your job for all the money in the world."  Mother responded, "Neither would I."

Mother Teresa

Father Martin Hyatt celebrated the Mass tonight.  It was wonderful to see him.  I haven't seen him in a few years.  I've known him from childhood.  In fact, I call his mother, Auntie Angie.  He looked like he lost weight.  He certainly did -- 55 pounds.  He also had heart trouble.  He's had a couple of shunts put in.  Please pray for him and his continued healing.

He told us a story about Mother Teresa.  She and another sister came upon a man in the gutter.  He was disgusting, and obviously dying.  He reeked; he was lying in his own diarrhea and vomit.  A cloud of flies buzz around him.  He was covered with bugs and maggots.  Many would have walked on and let him die.  But not Mother Teresa.

She hailed a cab to take the man to their home for the dying.  The cabbie said that he'd take Mother and Sister but not the man.  His stench would permanently linger in the cab, not to mention stain the upholstery.  He couldn't do it.  So mother looked around and saw a wheelbar…

In Love -- AGAIN!

My daughter and I were deep in discussion.  This is the daughter who just had a baby a month ago.  The discussion was about how we loved our husbands.  We married them because we loved them.  But after having a baby, we have to add a new definition to "love."  Love of your own baby, your own flesh and blood, love of this child that you helped create -- well -- words fail.

The love between mother and baby is above the love between husband and wife -- exponentially!

Who knew?

And there is no way, anyone can understand this.  You have to experience it.

Just think.  God loves us more than this much.  WOWZA  That explains why He did what He did.

You're Welcome to Come

Make your own free invitation card

I'll Love You Forever -- Vows

Read Paul's declaration of love in his vows.

This human longing to love God, to possess God, if you will, as one's beloved, is found in many expressions throughout Holy Scripture. One could think of the author of the Book of Wisdom when he writes, "I loved her [Lady Wisdom: a feminine image of God] and sought her from my youth; I desired to take her for my bride, and became enamored of her beauty." (Wisdom 8:2); or think of the many images from the Psalms, such as: "O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water" (Psalm 63:1). or "What else have I in heaven but you [God]? Apart from you I want nothing on earth. My body and my heart faint for joy; God is my possession for ever" (Psalm 73:25-26). Yeshua ben Sira put it bluntly, "With all your might love your Maker..." (Sirach 7:30a)

Perhaps no other book captures the human longing and love for God as poe…

Count Your Blessings

.....ah, what concerns you?

Blogging Rules

In "A Holy Rule for Internet Communicators," Father Mark Carr reiterates what the USCCB has said about blogging.  IOW, play nice.

Father Carr thinks like a Dominican.  He uses his blog to preach.  More specifically, Father Carr thinks like a Lay Dominican Blogger -- like me!  He not only sees, but recommends that the laity use blogging to preach the gospel.  I call it my cyber-ministry.

But I'm not tooting my own horn.  I can't.  I must not!!  I have always kept in mind that everything I do must be for God.  I have to stay humble or I'm lost.  Father  clearly admonishes: However, blogging and other forms of media on the internet have a severe spiritual danger to them as well. When one is commenting from his own perspective on everything in light of Catholic values, one can easily become self-focused and develop a higher opinion of him or herself. This is a danger in any form of social ministry. Interesting, Father continues  by recommending a way of life for blogger…

The Friar Solves a Mystery

The story in the Catholic Herald, would make a great movie.  A book  would be a classic who-done-it.

Fr Marius Zerafa, OP,  a Maltese Dominican and former museum director, helped retrieve a painting of St. Jerome, stolen from the co-Cathedral of St. John in Valletta on New Year's Eve 1984. For two years after the heist, nothing was heard about the picture. It had simply vanished. Then one day Fr Marius was approached by a young man who handed him a tape and a Polaroid picture of the painting of St Jerome. Over the next eight months he would work ceaselessly towards retrieving the lost painting. “They gave me a password,” he says. “And indicated that I wasn’t to speak to the police. They wanted half a million Maltese lire for the painting.” At the time Fr Marius was director of the Museums in Malta and had set up the National Museum of Fine Arts in Valletta. Today, the Dominican art historian lectures about sacred art at the Angelicum in Rome, hears Confessions at Santa Maria Maggiore d…

Book Club

The Argonauta Book Club met at Jayne's house for Brunch and book selection.  As usual, Jayne out did herself with her selection of food: quiche, fruit, mimosa, pancakes, and I'm afraid I don't remember what else.  Fantastic!  Jayne is a gourmet cook.

The book club received its name from the very first book we ever read, Anne Murrow Lindberg's Gifts from theSea.  In Gifts from the Sea,

The Argonauta is an unusual creature that is not attached to itsshellat all. It is a cradle for the young, held in the mother Argonaut's arms until the egg hatches and swims away. Theshellis then left behind while the mother sets out to seek a new life. The author sheds any melancholy and allows herself to be entranced by the concept of the Argonautashell. It is freer than the other shells and is the best representation of the middle years of life. The children have gone and the mother is left to venture out to sea in search of the unknown next step.

We felt that we had reached this poi…

Readville, MA

Hubby is always talking about Readville.  He comes from there.  When I married him we lived there--for about 8 years.  I liked it.  I particularly enjoyed that I lived in Boston, and could take advantage of all that Boston offered; yet I was outside of it.  Readville is the name for a section of Hyde Park, and Hyde Park is a section of Boston.

Anybody who lives, or comes from Readville, does not say they're from Boston, or even Hyde Park.  Oh no!  As Thomas Aquinas says, "Distinctions are important."  You are from Readville.  And proud of it!

Now I live in the suburbs.  But when I do take the train to Boston, I always gaze wistfully out the train window at Readville, and reminisce about the many times I heard those trains go by and listen to the train whistles.

All this came to mind tonight.  I was at Mass.  The celebrant was the Rev. Msgr. Peter Conley, from St. Jude's Parish in Norfolk, MA.  Msgr. Peter told a story from his youth.  He comes from Readville, too.  He…

Fr. Lataste Discussion

Aug. 11, 2010, I blogged about Fr. M. Jean-Joseph Lataste, O.P. and the retreat that he gave to the women. prisoners in Cadillac, France, in 1864.  At the time, I couldn't get over the fact that these sermons were written over one hundred years ago, and I was still feeling moved by them.  Well, today in chapter we discussed these sermons.  And it turns out, that I wasn't the only one.  Some of my "cloistered brothers" were moved, also.  Yes, some admitted to crying.  Can you imagine the impact of hearing and seeing Fr. Lataste in person; when we're moved just by reading? 

He must have had a very charismatic personality.  And don't forget; these were written in 1864. 

Let me give you a little taste of Lataste:

Christ our Savior was on the cross, and all the people -- soldiers, Scribes, Pharisees and the priests -- everyone who was there -- insulted and mocked him.  (Matt 27; Luke 23)  Two thieves were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. …

Lee Dae-ho

US doesn't own baseball.

South Korean sets home run record
Associated Press/AP Online

SEOUL, South Korea - South Korean slugger Lee Dae-ho has set a Korean major league record by hitting home runs in nine consecutive games.
Ken Griffey Jr., Don Mattingly and Dale Long share Major League Baseball's mark by hitting home runs in eight straight games.

J.K. Moon, an official with the Korea Baseball Organization, said the Lotte Giants infielder hit a three-run homer Saturday in a game against the Kia Tigers in Gwangju, about 210 miles southwest of Seoul.

(This version CORRECTS to Korean league in first paragraph, extended headline)

A service of YellowBrix, Inc. .
Related articles by ZemantaS. Korean homers in record nine straight games (


The Pope has only spoken infallibly twice in the history of the Papacy. And both had to do with Mary. Being a Dominican, I know the first--The Immaculate Conception. (AQ was wrong.) The second time was in 1950, when Pope Pius XII declared the doctrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Enjoy the feast.

Blogging, Again

Boston hosted the Catholic Media Celebration, recently.  Here is a video of the presentation of blogging.

Faithful Faith

My brother in community, Tom posts a little observation:

A virtue, not a metric

Somewhere along the line, the term "faithful Catholic" changed from a description to a grade. The adjective "faithful" changed from characterizing actions to measuring opinions. It stopped referring to the theological virtue of Faith and started referring to The Faith -- specifically, The Faith understood as an itemized set of propositions to which assent is to be given.

I think it's time we stop preparing for the Council of Trent.

If we do that, if we understand "faithful" as properly applying to someone who lives by faith in Jesus Christ rather than to someone who signs off on a list of doctrines, then I think we will have a much better grasp of what's going on. (We also might be able to wean people off that noxious phrase of self-puffery, "faithful to the Magisterium.") At the very least, our conversation and thoughts will be about Jesus rather than about whic…


Ave Maria, gratia plena

I keep bumping into Our Lady of Fatima, too.
Something's up.

Fr. Lataste in Prison

It's 1864 and Fr. Marie Jean-Joseph Lataste, O.P. is giving a retreat in Cadillac prison.  This is a prison for women.

I can't get over the fact that these sermons I'm reading are a couple of centuries old, and they still touch me.  Imagine if I were there!

I must tell you--how deeply I have been touched by you.  More than once, I have been moved almost to tears in the confessional.  When I have urged some of you to patient and offer your suffering to God, you have replied: "O, yes, Father.  It is so miserable here, I have suffered so much, but I never allow a day to pass without thanking God for bringing me here.  Deep in my heart there is a great joy, since I love him.  I would never have believed that one could find such joy in loving.  [and when I said], "Do you really love God now?"  [you replied,]  "Oh yes, father, yes I love him with all my heart."  ...

The world, which judges only the surface of things, would find it hard to believe that.  B…

For the Sake of Argument

Outside of the Echoes of Truth Choir, Dominicans sing terribly.

Know why?

Because they're eyes aren't on the notes.  They're too busy looking ahead to see if they agree with it.

In Spiritu et Veritate: The Great Reversal

In Spiritu et Veritate: The Great Reversal: "Homily: August 10, 2010, Feast of Saint Lawrence, deacon and martyr; St. Catherine of Siena Church ; Austin , TX The Great Reversal I..."

Fr. Gerald Mendoza, O.P. posts a homily on his blog about C.S. Lewis's Narnia.  Everything is winter without Christmas until Aslan comes along.  He sets about reversing the great winter.  So does Jesus, set about reversing our Original Sin.  He has a couple of good stories on this one posting.

Hic Cups

A picture collage by Smilebox

Afraid Not!

A piece of string thinks he has a vocation to the Dominicans.  (Yes, even string can preach.)  So the piece of string rings the doorbell to the priory.  A friar answers the door and the piece of string says he wants to speak to the prior.  The prior comes and the piece of string tells the prior that he would like to join the Dominicans.  "But, you're a piece of string!" exclaims the prior.  "So?" says the piece of string.  "We don't accept string in the Order.  The LFSD is enough!  But I draw the line at string entering.  No I'm sorry but no pieces of string may enter the Order of Preachers."
   What a sorry sight to see the poor piece of string droop away.  Dejected and alone he told his tale of woe to his string friends.  One of them comes up with a brilliant idea.  He said, "Take your two ends of string and tie a big, bit knot in them.  Then take the two ends above the knot, separate the strands and tease them into frizzies.  There,…

In Spiritu et Veritate: Thomas Aquinas and the Summa Theologiae: Week One...

In Spiritu et Veritate: Thomas Aquinas and the Summa Theologiae: Week One...: "Thomas Aquinas and the Summa Theologiae: Week One This is the first week of a promised overview of the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas ..."

V for Victory!: August 8th: Litany of St. Dominic

Celebrating St. Dominic

My "cloistered brothers" were in rare form today.  They put on a special program to celebrate our Feast Day.  We didn't have enough time together.  It all had to end too soon.
   The chapter's music group, Echoes of Truth, played and sang for us.  The chapter's Sacred Movement Group performed, also.  We played Dominican Trivia.  And we even had a Franciscan preach to us.
   Father Martin Curtin, OFM CAP preached on the beginnings of the two Orders.  What particularly impressed me was the story of seeing Christ in others.  Fr. Martin made me see Christ in a new way.  I use to wonder, when I saw a particularly revolting person, where Christ was, in that person.  Fr. Martin in talking about community life, said that annoying people encourage us to act like Christ.  That's where Christ is--"us" being moved to be better persons.  Finally, I get it.

And in a Franciscan's preaching!  Who knew?


 Dominic Preacher of Grace, Christ the Heavenly Face by Mrs. Faith Flaherty, O.P.
Dominic the contemplative, Christ Paraclete Divine;
Dominic the holy priest, Christ our Most Sacred Wine!

Dominic the teacher, Christ the Living Word;
Dominic the merciful, Christ our One and Only Lord!

Dominic blessed preacher, Christ the Divine Prophet;
Dominic full of compassion, Christ who paid Adam’s debt!

Dominic our founder, Christ the King of Kings;
Dominic disciple, Christ in whom salvation brings!

Dominic man of Mary, Christ the Son of Man;
Dominic light of the Word, Christ the world’s New Adam!

Dominic man of prayer, Christ with us, Immanuel;
Dominic, communicator, Christ with whom we choose to dwell!

Dominic man of faith, Christ the Divine Way;
Dominic confessor, Christ the Holy Gate Way!

Dominic lover of God, Christ the promised Paraclete;
Dominic saintly religious, Christ Sacred Mystery Most Complete!

Dominic disciple, Christ the Head of the Church;
Dominic carrier of the torch, Christ the Liv…

Cyprian's Letter

This AM I was reading a letter by Saint Cyprian, bishop and martyr.  He is writing to his fellow Christians about what the Emperor Valerian did to the Pope.  Since I tend to converse in hyperbole, I was bemused by the casual tone of his missive.  He lists the atrocities as if he were listing grocery supplies:
If these Christians do not recant:
Senators, distinguished men ----- deprived of rank and property
Upper class ladies ----- deprived and exiled
Imperial staff ----- property confiscated and imprisoned
Sixtus II ----- put to death
4 Deacons ----- put to death

Was St. Cyprian in shock?  How could he so calmly write about such vile slaughter!  Granted, not everyone's a drama queen, but for cryin' out loud, atrocities cry out for notice.  Someone's has to call attention to evil machinations.

Contemplating Cyprian's letter I see that he, and probably his readers, were actually rejoicing.  Yes, rejoicing.    They considered martyrdom a welcome goal.  They were happy for…

Franklin TOPS MA 463

I won the sampling slap down.  After all our discussion about how to make healthy exchanges in rich ingredient Italian cookies, when it came to putting your money where your mouth is, when the rubber hit the road...nobody brought in their cookies.  No one except me.  Therefore, I won.

Mmmmmmmm.....sometimes when you win, you lose.

Now, I have to make them again to enter the St. Rocco Italian Cookie Contest.  And I'm going to be busy next week, too.  Laurie's wedding is next weekend and it's a weekend event.  That's also the time of St. Rocco's.  Somehow or other, I've got to make time to bake those cookies.  And do a good perfect job of it, too.  After all, the honor of T.O.P.S. is at stake.

Lord, help me.  Is there a patron saint of baking?  St. Rocco will have to do.

St. Rocco intercede with prayers for me since I'll be extremely busy.  If possible, a miracle would be appreciated.  You know I'm not the world's best cook, and I'm up against so…

Cardinal Law

Note the Cardinal in procession.  Somebody relay the message that there's some people in Boston who would like to speak with him.

Amaretti Lite

Amaretti Lite, like it?  That's what I'm going to call my Italian cookie.  (See this morning's posting.)  I went shopping after work for the ingredients.  If T.O.P.S. choses my recipe, I plan to make some alterations.  First, I'm adding Amaretto.  The mixture was too dry, anyway.

I wouldn't form the dough into balls.  Actually, I thought they'd melt down, but they didn't.  The result was that they took too long to brown, and the bottoms got too brown.  They just don't look that good.  Next time, I'll flatten the dough on the cookie sheet.

Even if my T.O.P.S. group doesn't pick my Amaretti Lites, to enter the St. Rocco Italian Cookie Contest,  I'm still making it again.

I  can do better.