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Showing posts from January, 2011

My Brother

My brother, Ronnie, died this morning.  I don't know how to take it.  We weren't close.  He's 22 years older than I.  He was married and had a family and had moved on before I was even born.  I've only seen him a few times in my life.  He lived on the West Coast.  I live on the East Coast.

I have shed a few tears, and then wondered why.  Perhaps for a relationship that never was developed?  Probably because his death is a reminder of my own mortality.

 I don't know.

Glory to God

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Fr. Nic today went over the changes in the parts of the people in the Order of Mass in the Roman Missal, Third Edition.  I like the changes to the Gloria in particular.  They seem more appropriate to giving glory to God.  In fact, the part "We praise you, we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you, we give you thanks for your great glory, Lord God, Heavenly King, O God, almighty Father."  reminds me of the way the charismatic Catholics pray.  I can just picture them praying, standing up with arms raised, praying these words and elevating the prayer to "speaking in tongues."

Doesn't "...on earth peace to people of good will." remind you of the angels heralding Jesus' birth?

And "Only Begotten Son,...Son of the Father..."  show the relationship between Father and Son more closely?

And "with the Holy Spirit," which isn't a change, but adds a connection to our Trinitarian God that just nails it for me.

Change is good.
Related …

Saint Thomas Aquinas

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I know it's a day late.  AQ's feast day is January 28th.

I answer that not everyone has the talent of an Aquinas; not everyone has talent to master S.T.; not everyone has a taste for the study it requires; not everyone has time to devote to such study; and I'm a day late and a dollar short.

Again.

New Psalm

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The news tonight is flooded with the trouble in Egypt.  It seems particularly upsetting because there's always some country whose people are protesting one thing or another.  But this time, the news breaks into the regular programming again, and again.  It's serious.

I started to pray for the Egyptians.  My prayer turned to psalm.  I wrote it down.  As I've said before, the most focused prayer (for me) is psalm writing.  The entire psalm turned into synonymous parallelism.  The outline is Introductory Lament (1),Lament (2-4), Trust (5-9), Praise and Conclusion (10-12).

Psalm (Lament)

(1)Come Lord, help your people.
(2)Rescue the innocent from evil.

(3)The people are angry;
(4)they cannot think, only feel.

(5)I know You are everywhere,
(6)although it seems like you're gone.

(7)You are the God of all.
(8)We are Your people.

(9)You are our refuge.
(10)O glorious God!

(11)Come rescue your people.
(12)O glorious God!

As I pray and look it over, it seems to me that this pray…

Winter

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I think I'll run a contest to see how often one can shovel out the driveway and have the plow come and push all the snow back in.

One of the drawbacks to living in New England.

Catholics Come Home

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I'm glad the Archdiocese of Boston is promoting this "Come Home" initiative.  We've been doing this alone.  Now we have help.

I love being Catholic and want everyone to experience what I feel and see, too.  I want to share the wealth.

Those of us who feel likewise are inviting our non-practicing family and friends back to church.  C'mon, let's talk.  Tell us what questions you have.  What' s bothering you.  We can faith share.

What are you waiting for?

Wild Goose Chase

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I funny thing happened at work today.  My Director is working on the next Fiscal Year's Budget.  He said to me, "Find out how much we paid that guy who shakes the goose eggs, last year."

My intelligent response: "Wha......?"

Followed by, "We pay a guy to shake goose eggs?"

Yeah, he's the Department of something or other...Agriculture....Environment.....Massachusetts Department of something.....maybe.

So, I went to the bank of files.  I was lucky to have a teenager doing community service, so I had help going through last years' invoices.

Nada.

We looked up payments in our computer server.  We tried all the Department ...   Massachusetts....  MA....  Mass....State....

As we were looking up every possible connection to a company that would shake goose eggs, I had an epiphany.  This is a joke.  He's playing a trick on me--he's sending me on a wild goose chase.  Of course!  What kind of job is shaking goose eggs?  He's kidding, of cour…

eLumen

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I've been thinking about what I posted, yesterday.  I don't mean whether or not I have more virtual friends, than real.  I'm thinking about the Pope's message for World Communication Day.  I'm examining how I communicate.  That line of thinking brought me to the newsletter I am blessed to edit, eLumen.  eLumen is the newsletter sent out for the Lay Fraternities of Saint Dominic, in the eastern US (Province of Saint Joseph).  And I came to realize that eLumen does all that the Pope recommends.  Do you think he reads eLumen?


Pope Benedict XVI's  message is entitled, Truth, Proclamation, and the Authenticity of Life in the Digital Age.  You can find the entire text on the Vatican Archive Site: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/messages/communications/documents/hf_ben-xvi_mes_20110124_45th-world-communications-day_en.html B16 encourages Catholics to get involved in the internet. ( Are not we Dominicans encouraged to stay alert to the times in order to pr…

Virtual Friends v. Real Ones

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St. Francis de Sales is the patron saint of journalists and modern media.  Today, his feast day, the Holy Father talked about modern communication, specifically the internet.  He must read my blog.  ;-)

This is the 45th message on World Communications Day.  The title is "Truth, Proclamation, and Authenticity of Life in the Digital Age."  The full text can be found on the Vatican's Document Site.

I found it interesting that it is noted that the internet is altering not only the way we communicate, but how.   The language is changing.  The speed of a message may alter situations.  The potential for spreading the Gospel is exciting.  Yet, like all good things, there is danger.  There are also those that spoil the "good thing."  IOW, words can hurt and tone can affect the meaning.  Besides, there's always the danger of living your life on the internet.  The internet can be a giant time waster.  Some people may have more virtual friends than real ones.

Yikes, l…

Stop, Look, Be Aware

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Father Kevin added new insight to this morning's Gospel (Matt. 4: 12-23).  This is where the common phrase, "Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand," comes from.  Father said that the translated word, repent, is debated.  Repent comes from the Greek word, metanoia.  Some think that metanoia would be better translated in English as "convert," meaning to turn towards.  I like Father Kevin's translation.

"To hell with the past."  (No, Father didn't say that.)  Once you turn toward the light, toward God, is where your world will open up.  Everything is viewed through different eyes.

You see God's hands in events.  You see miracles in everyday occurrences.  You see God in people.  You get the idea?

If you've experienced this metanoia you know what I say is true.  Otherwise, it's like trying to "talk to a stranger about rock n' roll."

There is no need to go to Medjugorje, or Fatima, or Lourdes.  You don't have to go …

Married Saints

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Sometimes I joke with hubby about being married to him is my ticket to sainthood.  Then, sometimes, as an excuse for him not going to church, hubby will say that he doesn’t have to, “You pray enough for both of   us.”
Have you ever noticed, though, that there aren’t as many wives or husbands saints, as there are unmarried?  I don’t mean married saints, like Blessed Zelie and Louis Martin, the parents of St. Therese of Lisieux.  I mean one of the married couple is a saint, and the other not.  It seems it would be easier if the couple were on the same wave length, than one be the church goer, and one not. 
For example, let’s look at St. Anna-Maria Tiagi.  She lived with a demanding husband, (he was a church goer and pious in his own way,) and at times with her parents added to their household, and then her own widowed daughter and her six children.  She was that type of person.  Some people bring home lost kittens, Anna-Maria brought home lost people. 
She was of a spiritual bent and pra…

Make Up Your Mind

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C'mon St. Paul

1 Cor. 11:5    contradicts      1 Cor. 14:34

I've looked up the commentaries and no answer satisfies me.

WTF?

Pakistan Earthquake

It wasn't that long ago, Jan. 14th, where I posted the results of the relief efforts of the Dominicans (Order of Preachers).

No sooner had they finished sweeping the floor, when an earthquake struck -- 7.4 magnitude.  While it is 7.4, the loss of life is not what it could have been.  Still, work has to be done.

If you would like to help out with monetary donations, the address is below.  The mail is a little disorganized right now, so the Mission Office in New York will be used.  This is the office that the Lay Dominicans use.  Send your donations there and note that it is specifically to be used for the victims of the Pakistan Earthquake 2011, as opposed to our mission in Kenya.  Although that is a most worthy effort, also.  In fact, Father Tom's Kids is one of my favorite charities, but the Pakistan relief is more immediate.

Mission Office
Provincial Office
Province of St. Joseph
161 East 65st St.
New York, NY 10065

More Snow

Dominican Sisters have fun.

Duh!

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It's an interesting linguistic fact that, in English, a double negative forms a positive.  In some languages though, a double negative is still a negative.

However, there is no language in which a double positive can form a negative.

Yeah, right.

L'Angelus

Although the L'Angelus band is cajun/country, they're Catholic, too.

Martin Luther King Service

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Image via Wikipedia Tonight the Franklin Interfaith Council held a service celebrating Martin Luther King.  I thought it was very tastefully done.  The Cameroon Singers were a big hit.  They had everyone up on their feet and clapping their hands.  It was great fun.  I'd say they were the hit of the night.

I was glad that it was held in the Church of Latter Day Saints because that's just about the only church in Franklin that I haven't been in.  They have a nice big hall and gymnasium.  It was perfect for gatherings.  It's nice and new.

Their bishop, Tom Badstubner always has such a gentle voice.  He must be very pastoral.  I saw the pastor of the Methodist Church, Dianne Carpenter, for the first time, also.

The highlight however was meeting a beautiful little girl with the name "Faith."  I didn't say anything (See my post about "Faith.)   She seems OK with it.  She was named after her mother's friend.  …

Ring Card Announcing the Word

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Most people would be surprised to learn that I'm self conscious.  They see me give talks, act, lector, lead groups, facilitate classes, teach, and other positions that push me to be "up front."  But what they don't realize is that I don't enjoy doing these jobs in the front (with everybody looking at me).  I push myself to do them mostly because no one else will do it.  Usually, no one else stepped up, volunteered, or agreed to do it.  Sometimes because it's my idea and I don't trust anyone to do what I envision. It's a job I have to do!

I'm rambling.

Let me explain.  When I was a child, every Friday night my Dad would watch the Friday Night Fights, sponsored by Gillette.  (I can still sing their Look Sharp/Be Sharp March, by Mahlon Merrick.)  When a round ended, a young lady would enter the ring, raise a sign high over her head, and sashay around the ring.  She was always scantily clad and wore spiky heels.  Of course, this would always draw a r…

St. Placid

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This morning at Mt. St. Mary's Abbey, it was a Mass for Sts. Maur and Placid. Father Kevin said St. Placid always made him feel uncomfortable because he was too perfect.

 But today's Gospel, Mark 2: 13-17, tells us that Jesus was most comfortable with sinners.  So that makes Fr. Kevin feel better.

He also said the nuns make him feel very comfortable.

The Divine Word Expressed

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The divine Word is truly expressed in human words.  I'm talking about Scriptures.  My chapter is reading Verbum Domini and I'm loving it.  I'm only in Part I.  This is just the introduction to the overall exhortation, and exhortation is what it is; it's not an encyclical.  I surmise that it is a summary, explanation, and perhaps even Pope Benedict XVI's reflections on the Bishops' Synod in 2008, on the Bible's relationship to the mission of the Church.  I'm appreciating how I view the Bible.  It's not just history, is it?  It's not just stories, nor poetry, or genealogy.  Of course Scriptures have all that and more.

This morning a novice sister read the Reading from Hebrews 4: 12-16.  It echoes my thoughts.


The Word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart...


and tonight when I Lector, I'll finish wit…

Report on the Order of Preacher's Pakistan Relief

Here is a brief report onwhat we have done and what we have stared to do.
Phase One: Flood Relief already offered:
A.We helped through Pakistan Television Relief program:200 Families B.Financial Help forMedical Camp help in Noshera:100 Families C.Financial help for Kot Addu victims c/o Major Superiors Relief trip from Lahore:200 Families D.Financial help for Medical Campy in Rangpur:100Families E.Financial help to Dominican laity in Khushpur and Warispura :70Families F.Financial help to Victims of floods in Lahore city:20 Families G.Financial help to the Victim of floods in Sindh and Faisalabad:80Families H.Flood relief offered in Kot Adu in November100 Families
All together we have offered flood relief to 870 Christian, Muslim and Hindu families if different parts of Pakistan.

Phase Two: Construction and Repair work
Our second phase is of constructing 30 new Houses and get 70 Houses repaired rehabilitation started in September and will be completed in January 2011. Here are the details of t…

Fast Food

You will never look at the "golden arches" in the same way again.

God Encounters Man

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This picture of a wall of icons, is from the Russian Museum of Icons.  Icons are prayers.  Looking at one will lead you to prayer.  Sometimes they tell a story, sometimes an image will touch you, and bring you to prayer.  That's what icons do.

Prayer is different for all of us.  Right now I'm having a discussion with the blogger of Adoro te Devote.  We're talking about contemplative type of praying.  But there's different kinds. There's something for everybody.

St. Augustine tells us that singing is praying twice.  I wish I could sing.  Lectio Divina is reading and praying.  The Rosary is a combination of contemplative, rote, repetition, and active prayer.  Praying the Divine Office is joining in a world-wide praying of the psalms that continues around the world, praying constantly to God.  The Mass is the best prayer.  Adoration is important, too.

In all prayer, we have to remember to pause and listen.  Listen for God speaking to us.

If you can't hear Him, …

The Importance of a Name

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All my life I have struggled with my name, "Faith."  From childhood to adulthood, I hated my name.  It made me a shy child.  It made me different.  And as a child, that's not a good thing.  I remember as a Brownie Girl Scout, knocking on doors to sell my cookies, and people yelling from inside, "Who is it?"  I would answer, "Faith."  They's say, "Who?"  I'd repeat, "Faith, even louder."  They'd repeat louder, "Who?"  (In fact, this happens today, too.)  People never understood what I was saying.  So I tended to not enter into situations that would possibly involve people asking my name.

I know as an adult, you're probably thinking, "but I like different names".  That may be nice to read a pretty sounding name, as a character in a book, but in reality, living with a different name can be a burden.  It makes me wonder about the intelligence of parents who give their babies different names.  Don…

Addendum

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This morning I wrote a post asking why Jesus would bother with baptism.  A bigger question would be why He would bother with the crucifixion, but that question is for another post.  I was pleasantly surprised to hear Fr. Frank (Fr. Frank is in the picture) ask the same question, in his homily.  He thought the best answer he ever heard was from an elderly priest in a nursing home.  The priest said that Jesus was making water holy.

Yup, that simple.  Don't dismiss that explanation.  Look what Thomas Aquinas has to say.


Article 1. Whether it was fitting that Christ should be baptized?Objection 1. It would seem that it was not fitting for Christ to be baptized. For to be baptized is to be washed. But it was not fitting for Christ to be washed, since there was no uncleanness in Him. Therefore it seems unfitting for Christ to be baptized. Objection 2. Further, Christ was circumcised in order to fulfil the law. But baptism was not prescribed by the law. Therefore He should not have been bap…