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Showing posts from May, 2011

Lost and Found

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Brother Tonto lost a contact lens while pulling weeds in the garden. Again.  He looked everywhere: under leaves, under clumps of earth, on himself, etc.  Brother Tonto prayed to Saint Anthony:  Tony, Tony, please come down; mycontact lens is lost and must be found.


Then Brother Tonto prayed to St. Jude.

The lens was nowhere to be found.  Brother Tonto finally gave up looking and told the Prior.  The Prior came out and looked around the garden.

After a few minutes, the Prior bent down and picked up the lost lens.  "How did you find it," asked Brother Tonto?

"We weren't looking for the same thing," exclaimed the Prior.  "You were looking for a small plastic circle.  I was looking for $ 150."


My Prayer for Memorial Day

Again, I thank God I'm Catholic.  I love our respect for the dead, and the love we Catholics have for the Mother of God.  Here is my Catholic prayer for today, Memorial Day:

Mary, as Mother of God, I ask you to intercede for those who have died serving their country.  Bring to your Son, my prayers that they may enjoy the fullness of heaven.  I honor with respect these men and women who have died serving in wars, terrorist attacks, peace keeping missions, and other works keeping my country secure.
     Eternal memory be granted to these servants of God.  Forgive them their sins, have mercy on them and bring then into Your loving presence.  Amen

As a Catholic, I've been taught the connection between that lifeless corpse decaying in the ground and the fullness of life that soul has been given, through Jesus' Redemption.  Thank You, Jesus!  Deo Gratias!  Thank God, I'm Catholic!

Memorial Day 2011

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Image via Wikipedia On this day of remembrance, it's good to go to Mass.  I was going to say church, but we're having an outdoor Mass in the cemetery.  Memorial Day is to honor all American soldiers who have died defending our country.  This day of remembrance use to be called, Decoration Day.  President Grant started the tradition to honor all who died during the Civil War.

A good website to read and reflect upon is maintained by the descendants of soldiers who died in the Civil War.  It's a reference site that will direct you to other readings.  There's plenty of thought provoking literature.

While I was praying for our brave soldiers, I realized how blessed I am to be Catholic.  Catholic is the best religion to die in.  We are always praying for our dead.  We don't just dedicate one Memorial day to be remembered.  Our souls are constantly being prayed for.  One day I'll be one of those "Holy Souls in Purgatory," that the parish prays for.  My death w…

Salve Project

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This post is for my brothers and sisters in the Dominican Family.  The Salve Project celebrates the many different ways and voices that Dominicans use in our preaching.  A video is being composed of these ways and voices.  This project will highlight the unity and diversity of the Order of Preachers around the world.

You need to record a video of your community singing the Salve Regina and send it to the International Promoter General of the Internet, Father Scott Steinkerchner, O.P. at internet@curia.op.org

Just 20 seconds is enough.  While you are singing and recording the Salve Regina, move the camera around the group so that different angles, areas, people, and scenes show different places.  Don't worry about mistakes, or the singing, only portions of the video will be shown.  Fr. Scott can edit and work around problems.

How about it?  Sounds like fun.  My "cloistered brothers" would do it, if they weren't so "cloistered."

Arab Christian Hallelujah

Arab Christian Flash Mob in a Beirut shopping mall.

The Sudan

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The Sudan has suffered devastation by man and nature.  Lord have mercy.  A few years ago I was horrified by the confusing conflicts.  I still have a poster up in my room, that reads, "Stop the Genocide,"  Be a Voice for Darfur.

Presently, I am reading What is the What by Dave Eggers.  Eggers writes of his life as one of the "The Lost Boys."  The setting is the Sudan.  Then today I read in Zenit, that the Church is more than a little worried about the new border line drawn between North and South Sudan.  Violence is always feared.  What will happen to the Christian minority in Muslim North Sudan?  Prayers are needed.

A few years ago, when I first heard of the terrible trouble in Darfur, I wrote this poem.  Today, it all came back to me, as I pray for this poor country.

A Window into Darfur or a study of Complacency*

Ann's retirement home was idyllic:
water view, temperate climate, close to nature.
Stories of deer crossing through and salt licks,
co-hogging, bass …

P & P Day

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Customize your own slideshow

Pray and Play Day today!  Here is a slide show of the play part, which was spent at the Bridge of Flowers in Shelburn Falls, MA.  The pray part was spent tonight in Dominican Study Group, where we wrote psalms.

The wicked's tattoos scream outrage
An abomination upon themselves.

That's the best they could come up with....???????.........

Translation ?

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Image via Wikipedia Oh, I get it.  Today is the Feast of the Translation of the body of Saint Dominic.  A translation to me is moving from one language to another.  So a translation of a body would be to change the language written on the grave.

No?

How about to move the body from one place to another?

Better.

Can I pray in Latin while picking the body up, and then move to pray in English to put the body in its new chosen resting place?

To read about the Translation of the Body of Saint Dominic without any nonsense, I recommend my fellow blogger, the Specious Pedestrian.

The 5 Best Diocesan Websites

The 5 Best Diocesan Websites

Boston Archdiocese is one.   \0/   \0/   \0/   \0/   \0/   \0/
http://www.bostoncatholic.org/

What do you think of Cardinal Sean Patrick's
http://www.bostoncatholic.org/Cardinals-Corner/Blog/Cardinal-Sean-Blog.aspx?id=174

The Difference Between a Blessed and a Saint

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If you ever had a chance to look at the Order of Preacher's Liturgical Calendar, you'd see a lot of people with the title Blessed.  You most probably have never heard of any of them.  They're certainly not on the Church's calendar of saints.

Why?  That's the difference between "blessed" and "saint."  A "blessed" is for a local community; a "saint" is for the universal church.  In the explanation of the process, Sanctorum Mater, you'd read that a "blessed" has to have an approved miracle, and is honored in his cult, or community.  Such is the case with Pere Marie Jean Joseph Lataste, O.P.


What is Beatification? Beatificationis an official declaration by the Pope that a person (called a Servant of God) practiced the Christian virtues to a heroic degree during his or her sojourn on earth. Before the Servant of God under consideration is beatified, a thorough examination of his or her life, virtues, and reputation for…

Bl. Hyacinth Marie Cormier, O.P.

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It's late.  I just got in from a meeting, but I just have to write down my thoughts.  Today, in the Dominican Liturgical Calendar, is the Feast Day of Blessed Hyacinth Marie Cormier, O.P.  I just love his life story because of the way he allowed the Holy Spirit to move.  He just stepped out of the way and let God do His stuff.

Bl. Hyacinth was of such delicate health that he was given the religious name of "Hyacinth."  It seemed that he was always hemorrhaging.  In fact, his hemorrhaging kept him from being professed as a Dominican friar.  The friars didn't want to do it.  Hyacinth appealed to the Pope.  The Pope said that if Hyacinth could stay hemorrhage free for a month -- 30 -- days, he would be professed.  And Hyacinth almost made it.  He was perfectly healthy for 29 days.  Then on the 30th day he hemorrhaged.  It was so bad a hemorrhage, that he was close to death.  As he lay dying, the friars finally professed him.

Then he got well.  Ha!  The Holy Spirit wan…

The Spirit is willing...

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Easy meditation today: I was watching my 10 month old granddaughter.  She's an expert crawler.  A good stander.  But the balance between the two haven't connected yet.  In other words, she's not walking.

She wants to.  You can see that she really, really wants to walk into your arms.  She'd love to please you and clap with everybody.  Hooray!

She wants to -- her spirit is willing.

But her physical body just can't.

The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Like everyone else, she'll have to keep trying.

The Apostle of Prisons

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Image via Wikipedia Why have I been so discombobulated, today?  It's because my mind's been on the Apostle of Prisons.  Every since I've learned that Pere Marie Jean Joseph Lataste, OP has been favorably considered for beatification, I can't wipe the smile off my face.  I'm so happy!  All we "Latasties" are celebrating.

My "cloistered brothers," and others who follow the spirituality of Pere Lataste are thrilled.  The Dominican Sisters of Bethany, (Lataste founded them) I'm sure, are planning a party.  And I want to go.

Who is he?  Pere M. Jean-Joseph Lataste, O.P. was a French Dominican Friar who lived in the nineteenth century.  He had a vision for the rehabilitation of prisoners through God's love.  He saw something marvelous happen during the first retreat that he gave at Cadillac prison in 1865.  He saw redemption, not as an abstract concept, but right in front of him.  The Holy Spirit not only touched the women prisoners, but also h…

Glorious NEWS!!!!!

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Sister Ruth sent this email, this morning:

dear Ruth and dear brothers of Norfolk
I don't know if you receive the great news from Rome, yesterday : trial on miracle for the beatification of our father Lataste is finished, cardinals voted yes ! We have to wait the pope's decree and to organize the bigest feast of Bethany's story !
yours sincerely
fr. Jean Marie Gueullette, o.p.
Couvent de la Tourette
B.P. 105
69591 L'Arbresle Cedex
Tél direct : 04 72 19 15 24


Thank you Lord!

The Common Good May Not Be So Good

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Image via Wikipedia It always rubs me the wrong way when a leader claims that his decision was for the "good of the whole."
And I don't know why.   That is, until I read Acts 6: 1-7.
Acts 6: 1-7 is the first reading for this Sunday--the Fifth Sunday of Easter.  In this reading, we don't see the Apostles telling the Hellenists that "for the good of the whole" you have to do what we say; "for the good of the community, you have to behave like we tell you."  They did something different.  They listened.  The Apostles listened to the Hellenists.
"...the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected..."
Not only did they listen, but they heard, and they understood.  The Apostles also didn't say that they determined that this particular solution is best.  They had the Hellenists work out their own problem, their own way.  
Look at the names of the men that were chosen to serve the widows: Stephen, Philip, Pr…

Grace through Suffering

I'm home sick today with a cold.  It's rattling around in my chest, and I thought I'd rest up, drink plenty of fluids and consider it a "P and P Day."  "P & P" stands for "Pray and Play."  Today the "Play" translates into "Read" since I don't feel like Playing.

And the Prayer has become Lectio Divina.  That's because yesterday in Chapter, we  discussed Grace through Suffering.  Specifically, accepting suffering as uniting ourselves with Christ, and by the power of the Holy Spirit suffering is transformed into resurrection.

Huh?

Yeah, you see instead of simply suffering and bitching about it, lumping it, enduring, sucking it up...all bad, accept  it and what you perceive as the "bad," returns as grace.       Think about it.

As a Christian, I can believe it; I can see it.

That was yesterday's Chapter.  Last night, I finished reading Markus Zusak's The Book Thief.  Now, there's a book about…

A Song of Redemption Angels Can't Sing

My brothers pray for their victims
     singing a harpists' new song
a new hymn before the throne,
    before mankind, before God,
before the four living creatures,
     and before the elders.

They sing a hymn not learned
    by all except by those
following the Lamb.  They
   are the ransomed, forgiven,
absolved, and have the Father's
  name written on their foreheads.

h/t The Preacher Poets, 4th Annual OPrize p. 91

Portion Control

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All food is good.  Don't deny yourself.  Why sacrifice what you love?  Eat it.

No, this isn't Eve talking to Adam.  It's what I learned today at a T.O.P.S. Inspiration Workshop.  T.O.P.S. is a health support group.  Some may call it a weight loss support group, but when I was almost wasting away, I used T.O.P.S. to gain weight, because it's about healthy eating.    Unfortunately, now I can't reverse the trend.  I needed to gain weight then and got in the habit of stuffing myself, so now I'm finding it hard to stop.

Besides, after my experience with Cronkhite Canada Syndrome, I recommend that everyone be ten pounds over weight, because if you ever get sick, you'll need the reserves.

Still, that's ten pounds over weight, not twenty+.

What did I learn today?  "There is no bad food, only bad portion control."

Take your plate.  Divide it in half, now on one of the halves, divide that in half.  Half of your plate should be vegetable.  One quarter of…

Our Lady of Fatima

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Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima.  I live near Fatima Shrine in Holliston, MA.  I've been there quite often to pray.  It's a quiet place and pleasant to walk around.  It probably has the world's largest Rosary.  It's made out of boulders attached by the types of chains you see on ocean liners--huge, big things.  On the single beads (boulders)  are plaque of the Hail Mary in different languages.  It's a prayerful place.

The religious order that takes care of the shrine are Xaverian Missionaries.  They're good guys.  I like them all.  They are known for the many activities that the Shrine offers to raise money: Christmas lights, fairs, concerts, and from May 13th -- Oct 13th, their Our Lady of Fatima Processions.  I had never been to their Fatima Procession.  I went tonight.

I was surprised at all the people from my parish that were there.  I saw lots of friends.  The place was mobbed.  I had a hard time finding a parking spot.  We had Mass and then a pr…

I've got that Nagging Feeling

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Since I've been praying like a pirate, I read with interest the Zenit article reflecting on "humanity's innate religious sense."  Pope Benedict urges us to spend more time in prayer, which he said was an expression of man's profound need for meaning.

B16 said if we listen in silence God will reveal Himself.  We will learn to recognize His voice and open ourselves up to a relationship with Jesus.  The Holy Father explained that man is as much a "homo religiosus," as he is "homo sapiens" and "homo faber."

I liked the part when the Pope said that prayer is a mindset, not words.  It's a way of being before God, rather than worship.  That's different.

Interestingly, the Holy Father agrees with me, that it is difficult to pray.  It can be a challenge for anyone, especially during different periods of one's life.  But it is a grace for everyone, to seek.

Pope Benedict mentioned the gesture of kneeling.  He called it a "dyn…

Bethany.

They came wailing to the tomb
    His voice commands
      The stone obeys
And out walks Lazarus

They came wailing to prison
    The Spirit touches
    Hearts wrapped tight
Are unbound and finally freed.

h/t  Justitia, Poetry from the Second Annual OPrize for Poetry

The Pastor's Lament

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If I express myself on a subject, I'm trying to run things.

If I'm silent, I'm dumb or have lost interest.

If I'm often at my office (preparing sermons or studying), why don't I get out and learn what's going on.

If I'm out when they call, why am I not tending to business, or studying for a sermon.

If I'm not at home at night, I'm out having a good time.

If I'm home, I'm neglecting important outside contacts and activities.

If I don't agree with people, I'm bullheaded.

If I do agree, I don't have any ideas of my own.

If I don't do what I'm asked, I'm a poor pastor.

If I do agree, well, that's what I'm paid for.

If I give someone a short answer, I'm "too big for my britches."

If I attempt to explain the pros and cons of an issue, I'm a know it all.

If I'm well dressed, I'm a big shot.

If I'm not, I'm a poor representative of my office.

If I'm on the job a short time, I'…

Sunday's Satirical Story

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h/t to my Lutheran friends

Teen Angst

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Granted, I've been around the block a few times, but I have a good memory.  And I remember being a teen.  And dating.  Back then the pressure was to stay a virgin until you married.  Or at least pretend you were a virgin, because you were considered a whore, damaged goods, less than desirable, if you weren't.  That being said, the pressure to have sex was great, nigh near impossible.  At times it seemed that every date with a new guy was going to be a wrestling match.  It seems that all boys were animals.


The world has turned on its head.  Now, being a virgin implies you're damaged--what's wrong with you?  How come no one wants you?  It's actually a disgrace to be a virgin.


I put a lot of the change of attitudes on "Hollywood."  I don't think Hollywood mimics the culture; I think Hollywood shapes the culture.  Magazines, books, now the net, constantly drive sex into our minds.  And bringing up teens in this culture is difficult to shield them from this …

Flashing Again!

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Flash Mob strikes again!

At MIT.  It was an Open House and about 150 students and faculty opened up and strutted their stuff.

Let Us Pray

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Do you know that today is our country's 60th annual National Day of Prayer?  What a country!  A day set aside for people to pray for our country is wicked awesome.  Imagine, from "sea to shining sea," millions of people will unite in prayer.  This year's theme is, "A Mighty Fortress is Our God," Psalm 91:2.  
I will say to the Lord, my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.Are you looking for help to learn how to pray?  There is a Presidential Prayer Team, you know.  Join them in what and how to pray.  There's never a lack for intentions.  Personally, I pray for divine guidance for  our national leaders.  I pray for all the people in my country to be given the grace of religious piety.  I pray for healing for all those hurting.  All this I ask through Jesus Christ, my Lord. Related articlesNational Day of Prayer 2011 (ronmaxson.wordpress.com)National Day of Prayer is Constitutional (deaconjohnspace.wordpress.com)-The President's 'Natio…

Jesus Would Blog

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In reading all the posts that I can regarding the Vatican Blog Fest, I had to smile at Zenit's summary: Vatican Stresses Importance of Catholic Bloggers.  Near the end of the article a few quotes from the participants were listed.  I like what Francois Jeanne-Beylot said, "If Christ came to preach today, he would not go up a mountain or get into a boat, but he would go to Twitter or open a blog."
Related articlesBloggers and the Vatican (deaconjohnspace.wordpress.com)Vatican blogger meeting says no to copyright, yes to lifting content (go.theregister.com)Vatican gathering of bloggers hailed as a success (catholicnewsagency.com)Why the Church Needs Bloggers (frstephensmuts.wordpress.com)Vatican blogging meeting - Blogging advice from Fr. Roderick Vonhogen (osvdailytake.com)

Catholic Manga Artist

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Let me introduce Denita.  She is an artist who loves manga-style drawing and who is also a practicing Roman Catholic. This means that she likes clean manga and anime and will draw nor publish no other. 


She states, "The main thing I'll start with on this blog is share some of my artwork; many will be Catholic subjects drawn and/or painted in the manga style. I may add a few traditional Catholic prayers and devotions later on as well. I'm a HUGE cat lover, even though I can't keep a cat where I currently live(bummer)."  From her first post.
 Enjoy!
Related articlesManga (amairgin.wordpress.com)

Framing Faith

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My grandparents came from the “old country.”That’s how they referred to Lithuania.They left behind their family, country, friends, village, home, and everything else familiar--but not their faith.In this “new country,” they gravitated to their own kind.This Lithuanian community clustered around their parish church.Their parish priest became their interpreter, confidant, advisor…their Father.The Church building became a safe place of refuge.That Church spire, or cross, or bell, was visible proof that they were “OK.” This was home here in America.They gave a portion of their wages to build their Church.And they were proud of it.Yes, proud of their parish Church.There, their favorite saints were displayed, familiar hymns, stained glass, and of course, the exact same Mass that was celebrated in the “old country,” and everywhere else in the world where Catholicism exists.This was the type of parish, and world, I grew up in.
Looking at, and reading Framing Faith brought back so many memori…

Franciscans and Dominicans

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Brother Tonto, O.P. was doing the yard work around the priory.  Brother Diotrophes, o.s.f., saw Brother Tonto mowing the lawn.  When Brother Tonto finished the lawn, Brother Diotrophes crossed the street and asked Brother Tonto if he could borrow his lawn mower to mow the lawn around the Franciscan friary.

"Of course, Neighbor", said Brother Tonto, and Brother Diotrophes pushed the mower across the street.

Later, Brother Tonto saw that the Franciscan was yanking and pulling on the engine starter rope.  Br. Tonto watched for awhile and went over and asked Br. Diotrophes, "What's wrong?"

Br. Diotrophes cried out, "I can't get this mower started, what's wrong?"

Br. Tonto calmly told the him, "You have to cuss it."

Indignant, the Franciscan friar said, "Now you listen here, I am a Franciscan and if I ever did cuss, and I'm not saying I have, I've put all those words behind me, and I've forgotten what to say."

Brothe…

Catholics Know How to Celebrate

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Image via Wikipedia The royal wedding of Prince William and Kate was beautiful.  But the beatification ceremony of Pope John Paul II was spectacular!  I was flipping from CNN, MSNBC, FOX, and  EWTN, not wanting to miss anything.  The ceremony and pomp were awesome.  Rome and cities all around the world cheered and applauded JPII's beatification--this is the second step to possible sainthood.  Now that JPII is beatified, he may be considered a holy man.  He is now designated as Blessed Pope John Paul II.