Thursday, March 31, 2011

Maple Sugaring


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Pictures from Maple Sugaring in New Hampshire--Parker's.

Christian Manga

Jonathan Lin and his Manga Comic for WYD 2011
What is manga?

Manga is a popular, and fast spreading Japanese comic book art form.  You've probably seen it around.  It is identified by characters with large emotional eyes.  Styles can differ but the major characters are slender, expressive, and detailed.  Some good people, like Jonathan Lin, the founder of the company Manga Hero want to use manga to explain and attract people to Catholicism.

Jonathan uses manga to tell the lives of the saints and biblical characters.  And this summer Manga Hero will come out with a manga for World Youth Day.  It will be called "Habeus Papem," and features Pope Benedict XVI.  It will tell some of his life, and explain to the world who and what he is.

Because of manga, the Japanese know and respect Catholics.  Only a very small percentage of Catholics in Japan are Catholic, but they love the manga priests who are portrayed as good heroes fighting evil.  Sometimes the characters are nuns or angels, but they are portrayed respectfully and heroically.  They are usually depicted as using their faith to confront evil spirits.

Most people like the characters and stories.  The kids do, that's for sure, but adults like manga, too.  The content of the comic varies depending on the intended age.  Some are for adult audiences only.  Let us pray that this new art form, "Manga Comics," draws people to want to learn more about God and His people.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Concept of Sin

Sin is a conscious decision.  This is the definition my cloistered brothers deduced, in our study group.  We are reading Josef Pieper's The Concept of Sin.

Sin is a failure to act normal.  It is deviant.  It is just not the way human beings should act.  Pieper says the same thing Aquinas says.  " Every sin is contrary to nature."  That the root of sin is pride (superbia) and desire (cupiditas).  We thought money was the root of all evil, but wouldn't the acquisition of money be a source of pride?

Sin is an interesting subject.  Here is a question left unanswered; if sin is contrary to human nature, then how come sin is such a natural desire?  Or is it?




Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Canticle of Simeon



Remembering my brother.   Funny, I feel more sorrow now, than then.

The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living.   Cicero

The Handshake

Archbishop Timothy Dolan relates a story on his blog that tells of a conversion of heart, and incidentally makes some good points.  While at the airport a man came over to him and asked him if he were a Catholic priest.  When Bishop Dolan answered in the affirmative and reached out to introduce himself, the man did not shake his hand.  The man, through clenched teeth, snarled, "I can't look at a priest now and not think sexual abuser."

Interestingly, Bishop Dolan thought of slugging the guy.  But actually, he was coping with that type of emotion, tempered with helping the man.  He ended up saying that he felt sorry that he felt that way, but he understood the feelings.  They continued talking and comparing priest sexual abusers with those in other professions.

Near the end, the man asks a very good question, "How come we only hear this about priests?"

Yeah, I want to know, too.

The level headed Archbishop responded with, “For one, we priests deserve the more intense scrutiny, because people trust us more as we dare claim to represent God, so, when on of us do it – even if only a tiny minority of us ever have — it is more disgusting.”
“Two, I’m afraid there are many out there who have no love for the Church, and are itching to ruin us.  This is the issue they love to endlessly scourge us with.”
“And, three, I hate to say it,” as I wrapped it up, “there’s a lot of money to be made in suing the Catholic Church, while it’s hardly worth suing any of the other groups I mentioned before.”


Bravo!  Thank you Archbishop Timothy Dolan!  Cut these reasons out and paste them in the front of your catechism.  Memorize them, next time you are called upon to defend our priests. 


The encounter ended happily.  The man put out his hand for the Archbishop to shake.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Cooperation NOT Compromise

The cross of the Russian Orthodox Church, U+2626.Image via Wikipedia
I get a kick out of some of the comments left on articles.  In an article from Russia beyond the headlines, is a headline story about Metropolitan Hilarion seeing areas where the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church need to cooperate.  He's not saying Uniatism, at all!  He's saying that the two churches need to cooperate and work together as allies.  Comprising is not in the picture.  Collaboration and Cooperation is the aim.

Together the two churches would be better able to combat the worldly challenges that both face:
erosion of the family, moral decay, liberal theology, terrorism, prejudice, and pressures from within our own religious frameworks.

Isn't this just common sense?

Well, some of the commentators find fault.  Some don't want cooperation.  But what interests me are the ones that are afraid that the Latin Church will seduce the Eastern Orthodox.

How come no one's afraid that the Eastern Orthodox will seduce the Romans?
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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Missals at Mass

Today's Zenit, has an article written by Father Paul Gunter, on Using Missals.  I'm very interested in the current church opinion on missal usage.  Being a Lector, I know that we frown upon people reading the Readings, as we proclaim them.  I mean, the people should be listening to the Word.  What the Lector proclaims should be clear and loud and leave no need to want to read along.  In fact, it's rather insulting to the Lector.

That being said, I'm one of those pew sitters who follow along in my Magnificat.  I pray with the priest AND I read what the Lector proclaims.  That's because I'm a visual person--not auditory.  If I listen to a lecture I'll probably fall asleep.  I need the book to see what is said.  I guess I need both, because if I'm truthful, I will admit that seeing reinforces listening.

This is where I'm coming from.  This is why I've copied and pasted the article here. It's proof that reading along during Mass is perfectly acceptable.


The Use of Missals and Missalettes During Mass
Printed Aides Could Make a Comeback With New Liturgy Translation
ROME, MARCH 25, 2011 (Zenit.org).- The use of missals by the laity, at least on mainland Europe, extends for considerably more than two centuries, providing access to the riches of the liturgy for lay people increasingly interested in the liturgical action unfolding before them.
In countries where religious persecution was a reality, such as in Great Britain during penal times, the possession of such a book would have provided opponents of the Catholic faith with adequate evidence of adherence to "popery." It was not, in the British context, unknown in recusancy, for the texts of certain Masses as well as the ordinary of the Mass to be printed within a broader devotional manual aimed at a catechesis of the faithful.
In Italy, the influence of the Synod of Pistoia in 1786, three years prior to the French Revolution, had its effects on the Italian liturgical movement (1672-1750) begun by L.A. Muratori, which stressed the need for increased access to the texts as intrinsic to any process of liturgical reform. Between 1788 and 1792 there appeared translations into Italian of the Mass both in the Ambrosian and Roman rites with explanations given about principal feasts, which were contained within a guide to prayer for pious faithful.
Similar happenings were found in France and Germany that mushroomed when inspired by the liturgical initiatives of Dom Prosper Guéranger during the 19th century. The use of missals fostered a manifestly liturgical association with the liturgy which incorporated the literate into the intricacies of the liturgy celebrated in Latin and schooled them in liturgical prayer.  
Missals often included the texts of vespers for Sundays, which became a feature of many parishes especially in France, the Netherlands and Germany. During the 20th century, missals increasingly contained with catechetical material about the liturgical year, commentaries on sacred Scripture and about eucological texts. Responding to the Liturgical Movement heralded by Pope St Pius X, the Cabrol Missal and the Missal of St André were in the forefront.
Symbol of unity, identity
In our present day, at celebrations of the extraordinary form, missals are a considered pre-requisite, not only as a means of participating in texts which are often intentionally silent, but, more crucially, as a means of following the texts of Scripture as well as those of particular rites attached to certain days which would not be familiar. They contain an abridged version of the rubrics when compared to those contained in the altar missal. They also provide a collection of texts and illustrations of sacred art found conducive to prayer and meditation and which help to detract from inevitable distractions. Since missals could be as artistically beautiful as expensive, the faithful make sacrifices to possess one. Correspondingly, they have developed with time into a symbol of Catholic identity and pride.
In the context of the ordinary form, the purpose of a missal for participating at Mass is less clear. Though many people choose to possess one, maybe culturally inspired by the previous example, and who bring it diligently to Mass each week, the hermeneutic of participation has changed. This change has affected people to the extent that many have simply stopped using them. However, a missal remains a huge support to those who are deaf or hard of hearing and in situations where the proclamation of texts is, in practice, barely audible.
Speaking at cross-purposes about what is meant by a missal in the ordinary form is a risk. For laypeople, it is the book they use if they desire to follow the texts at Mass. In an updated style, a missal contains all that is needed in one volume, together with whatever liturgical and scriptural commentaries the edition decides to include. For the clergy, the missal is to be distinguished from the lectionary since the missal does not contain the scriptural readings proclaimed at Mass.
The majority of Catholics have grasped, if only from what they have witnessed in recent generations, that the Liturgical Movement of the 20th century strove to reform the liturgy. Few have necessarily appreciated that, when "Sacrosanctum Concilium" called for the reform of the liturgy, it did so by calling for its reform in partnership with its promotion ("Sacrosanctum Concilium," No. 1). Far from being diminished in importance, the liturgical life of the Church was to grow in prominence.
In order for it to do so, it was necessary that the liturgy communicate effectively what it celebrates so that the minds and hearts of those who celebrate it would be able to articulate themselves what was being promoted. That hermeneutic underpinned the direction of "Sacrosanctum Concilium": "Pastors of souls must therefore realize that when the liturgy is celebrated, something more is required than the mere observation of the laws governing valid and licit celebration; it is their duty also to ensure that the faithful take part fully aware of what they are doing, actively engaged in the rite and enriched by its fruits" (No. 11).
Set aside
Steadily, since Vatican II, missals have been depended on less in the promotion of liturgical life within the celebration as people have learned their responses and to make them together "as befits a community" ("Sacrosanctum Concilium," No. 21). The readings are read aloud with the assistance of a sound system and from an ambo that faces the assembly. Many of those who once followed texts in missals became lectors, thus discovering a new and sincere piety as they found themselves exercising a genuine liturgical function.
Clergy, encouraged by "Sacrosanctum Concilium," based their preaching on the readings of the day, with the result that sermons gave way to homilies rooted in liturgical preaching. Consequently, as they grew familiar with the rites, people needed, less and less, to read accompanying material to give them structural indications. They would, in greater numbers, subsequently, set aside their missals.
Also, for the first name in centuries, they would begin to use the word "homily" as "homilists" spoke throughout the liturgical year, now moved by "Sacrosanctum Concilium" Nos. 51 and 52, whose opening phrases are "The treasures of the Bible" and "By means of the homily." Clergy were further reinforced by the centrality of a liturgical communication of Scripture by "Dei Verbum": "Clergy must hold fast to sacred Scriptures through diligent sacred reading and careful study […] so that none of them will become 'an empty preacher of the Word of God outwardly who is not a listener to it inwardly'" (No. 25).
Ironically, the use of missals and of missalettes are about to make a comeback as parishes grapple with the new translations of the third edition of the Roman Missal. It remains to be seen if the renewed publication of missals for the ordinary form in the light of forthcoming new translations will augur a new interest in their communal use in the liturgy in the long term. What is certain is that these publications need to be imbued with the spirit of the liturgy and encourage conformity to what the Church is asking of us in this renewed opportunity for an authentic catechesis on the Mass gleaned from insights of the new translations.  
In order that the faithful should be led anew to a genuinely "fully conscious and active participation in liturgical celebrations" ("Sacrosanctum Concilium," 14), those entrusted with the implementation of the new missal will need a refresher on "how to observe the liturgical laws’ ("Sacrosanctum Concilium," 17). Then, missals and other supplementary material will bring forth the beacon of unity that is a celebrated liturgy, faithfully reformed and promoted, so that it is "taught under its theological, historical, spiritual, pastoral and juridical aspects" ("Sacrosanctum Concilium," No. 16).
* * *
Benedictine Father Paul Gunter is a professor of the Pontifical Institute of Liturgy Rome and Consulter to the Office of the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Mary

Like most Catholics, I have a special devotion to Mary.  I pray the Rosary; my favorite prayer is Hail Holy Queen; I actually like the Roman version of Salve Regina; I remember fondly childhood May processions; I like May Crownings, and I celebrate Mary's feast days.  I have enough statues of Mary in my bedroom to make my husband complain that we sleep in a shrine.

She is someone whom we can relate to: mother, wife, parent, spouse, friend, widow.  She was poor, and knew exile.  She had her entire life turned upside down at least twice.  She watched her only child be tortured, and suffer and die.  Also, for me, she feminizes my Roman Catholic religion, which has a very male-heavy hierarchy.  Thank God for Mary.

Mary is not God, of course.  Catholics do not worship her.  But closeness to her brings God closer to us.  My prayer life proves this to me.  Prayers to Mary enrich my spiritual life as she directs me to God.  She leads the way to Him.  

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Annunciation

Fra Angelico's the Annunciation 
Tonight is the Vigil of the Solemnity of the Annunciation.  I've decided to unite myself with Mary to carry Jesus inside my heart.  For nine months He will gestate.  Then December 25th, we will celebrate His coming.


Here is a Nine Month Novena in Honor of the Virgin of the Incarnation.  It is to be prayed each day from the Solemnity of the Annunciation to the Solemnity of the Nativity: March 25--December 25.  This novena is offered for three intentions.


Salve Regina (Hail Holy Queen)


O Virgin of the Incarnation, a thousand, a thousand times we praise thee, a thousand times we greet thee, for the joy thou did know when the Son of God became flesh in thy womb.  Because thou are most powerful, O Virgin Mother of God, grant what we beseech thee for the love of God: (here name the three intentions).


The Memorare


Hail Mary


May the heart of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament, be praised, adored and loved with grateful affection at every moment in all the tabernacles of the world and in the hearts of all, even until the end of time.  Amen.
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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Romero Day



The fight against human rights and human dignity has a constant defender in the Church.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Monday, March 21, 2011

Pray like a Pirate

A stereotypical caricature of a pirate.Image via Wikipedia


Tonight my two favorite seminarians from Methuen, MA came to Mass.  Chris Wallace and David Napoli gave a Lenten reflection following the Mass.  Chris taught us how to pray like a pirate (ARRR)!

A - acknowledge     Who is God and you are His child

R - relate                 God wants a relationship with you
R - receive               God's grace
R - respond             answer in love

Cute, huh?  Sometimes that eye patch hinders my seeing this.  And sometimes that hook on my hand hurts people.  And sometimes my peg leg makes me curse.  But, Arrr   God is my treasure.

Prayer develops a relationship between God and myself, which He desires very much.  
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Sunday, March 20, 2011

News from the Order of Preachers in Japan


  OPFAM
Dominican Family Matters
A Newsletter for the Dominican Family in Australia, New Zealand, Solomons and Papua New Guinea

Woe to us if we do not preach the Gospel!
Motto for the years leading up to 800th celebration in 2016;  

15th March 2011

“We hear them speaking in our own tongues of the marvelous acts of God” (Acts 2:11):
Preaching and Culture / Community Preaching

For Suffering

May you be blessed in the holy names of those
Who, without you knowing it,
Help to carry and lighten your pain.

May you know serenity
When you are called
To enter the house of suffering.

May a window of light always surprise you.

May you be granted the wisdom
To avoid false resistance;
When suffering knocks on the door of your life,
May you glimpse its eventual gifts.

May you be able to receive the fruits of suffering.

May memory bless and protect you
With the hard-earned light of past travail;
To remind you that you have survived before
And though the darkness is now deep,
You will soon see approaching light.

May the grace of time heal your wounds.

May you know that though the storm may rage,
Not a hair of your head will be harmed.
John O’Donoghue


Our Dominican Family in Japan

Dominican Nuns

Dear Fr Brian (Fr Brian Pierce – Promotor General for the Nuns of the Order)
Thank you very much for your prayer and heartfelt sympathy.
At last we could get through to our sisters in Morioka a while ago. The lifelines of electricity and water were restored there. Thanks to God, our sisters in Morioka are all safe in very difficult situation.  The buildings of their monastery collapsed here and there. It was not so much damage, but there is no telling when the repair will be done. The aftershock is still continuing there (also in Seto).
We cannot get through to our sisters in Bandai. The whole north-east district of Japan was terribly damaged. Our brothers in Tokyo are all safe, but we have not heard about our brothers in north-east district. According to the news, the number of the dead will surpass 10.000. We do beg for the mercy of God.
Thanking for the solidarity with the Dominican family,
Sr. Marie Thomas NOTOHARA, OP 
(President of the Association of Dominican Monasteries in Japan)

Dominican Sisters of Apostolic Life

Sr Cecille Espenilla, DSI coordinator for Asia Pacific, sends news about our sisters in Japan: The Asia-Pacific region is again at the centre of unimaginable catastrophe.  We all have seen in our TV sets how the earthquake and tsunami struck Japan.  Japan is terribly devastated.  We have three Dominican congregations who are in Japan.  All of them have informed me that they are safe and no one was hurt nor any property destroyed.  Sr. Rita Burdzy, Maryknoll, told me that while she was emailing to me, the convent was shaking from a strong aftershock.  Sr. Charina, of the Missionary Sisters of St. Dominic, who writes for her Provincial in English is saying that their neighboring prefectures have already been evacuated and they might come next.  Sr. Ikeda of St. Dominic of Roman Congregation said that they are all well.  They are requesting for our prayers.

Dominican Fathers

Thank you for your concern. I am fine as well as the Christian community, as far as I can know: the communication are still difficult. We are without electricity and water, and food is already limited. The biggest fear: the nuclear usine nearby is risking to contaminate the local population: 200000 have to be evacuated. Thank you for your prayer and your fraternal attention.
Raymond Latour OP

Dominican Friars in Japan

 Sei Dominiko Shudokai (Hombu) Kinuyama 5-1646-6Matsuyama-shi Ehime-Ken

18-13, NAMPEIDAI SHIBUYA-KU 150-0036 TÔKYÔ

Sei Yosefu Shudoin Kinuyama 5-1621-1 MATSUYAMA-SHI, Ehime-Ken 791-8025

18-13, NAMPEIDAI SHIBUYA-KU 150-0036 TÔKYÔ

Sei Dominiko Shudoin Satsuki-ga-oka 13-71 Nishinomiya-shi HYOGO-KEN 662-0875

461, KAJII-CHÔ, HIROKÔJI KAWARA-MACHI, KAMIGYÔ-KÛ 602-0841 KYÔTO

Sei Josefu Shudoin Ota-ku Sanno 1-33-11 143-0023 TOKYO

2-23-27, HYAKUNIN-CHÔ SHINJUKU-KU 169-0073 TÔKYÔ

Dominican Nuns

Sarashina Genbashimichi 5086Yamagun Bandai, Fukushima 969-3302

Maruyama 1671-2 NishinoshoKonan, Kagawa 761-1406

Ueda-Matsu-yashiki 2-32 Morioka, Iwate 020-0102

92, Higa-shinagane Seto, Aichi 489-0871

Ministries owned by Dominicans

4-8-21 Maidashi Higashi-Ku 812-0054 FUKUOKA

4-2 Matsuki-Chô 906-8018 FUKUSHIMA-SHI, Fukushima-Ken

1-15 Hashimoto-Chô Minami-Sôma-Shi
975-0006 HARAMACHI-SHI, Fukushima-Ken

13-1 Hanabatake-Chô Onamaha 971-8162 IWAKI-SHI, Fukushima-Ken

3-1 Dône-Machi Taira 970-8026 IWAKI-SHI, Fukushima-Ken

13-1 Toramaru-Machi 963-8014 KÔRIYAMA-SHI, Fukushima-Ken

Katorikku Kyôkai San Bancho 4-5-5 MATSUYAMA-SHI, Ehime-Ken 790-0003

Dominican House Aza Himegahara 169O Aza Nagashi, Nakajima-Cho ONZEN-GUN, Ehime-Ken
2-5-25 Tôri-Chô Aoba-ku 981-0915 SENDAI-SHI, Miyagi-Ken

The Catholic diocese of Sendai was the first victim of Japan’s tsunami following the earthquake. Covering a land area of 27864 square miles, the diocesan territory includes the cities of Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima. Initial reports suggest that Miyagi and Fukushima were the first to fall victim to the 33ft tsunami caused by the megaquake. In Sendai, where a major oil terminal exploded when its cooling system failed, Catholics form 0.15% of the total population of 7,207,624. In Tokyo Catholics are 0.51% of a total population of 18,552,995 people. In both cities, the predominant religions are Shinto and Buddhism.
There are approximately 509,000 Catholics in Japan, of whom 10,944 are in the diocese of Sendai and a further 95,877 in the archdiocese of Tokyo, which also felt the force of the earthquake even though it is situated more than 250 miles from its epicentre.
Although relatively small, the Japanese Church is vibrant, perhaps nurtured by the seed of its many thousands of martyrs during the 500 years of its history of Christianity.  As a result of a period of persecution which lasted from 1614 until 1858, Japan apparently has the world’s greatest number of Catholic martyrs.  In the 17th century alone, it is estimated that there were between 200,000 and 300,000 martyrs.  The most famous were the 55 who were executed in Nagasaki on 10 September 1632.  After 1632, so many died for their faith, often accompanied by excruciating and virtually unimaginable torture, that it became impossible to collect all their data.
In spite of the importance of the Japanese economy to the world at large, the country’s wealth does not always filter down to the Catholic Church. Japan is proof that a country does not to be poor and part of the developing world to be grouped amongst those that need support from Missio-worldwide. Yet, through Missio-Japan, Japanese Catholics contribute approximately £600,000 annually to help the Church in places where people are in greater need.
Missio is not an emergency aid organisation: its purpose is to be present ‘for the long haul’ in the Church wherever it is young or poor. It is impossible within a few hours of the initial earthquake to know what the needs are and where they should be directed. ‘At the moment, all we can do is to pray’, declared Mgr John Dale, the National Director of Missio-England and Wales. ‘When we know more, we can do more.’
On 22 February, the earthquake that hit Christchurch in New Zealand initiated a campaign of prayer amongst the 150 countries in which Missio is represented. Fr Paul Shannahan SMA, the National Director of Missio-New Zealand remarked at the time that ‘The biggest ‘damage’ is to people. Many were traumatised in the 7.1 quake last September but this one is worse in that it was in the middle of a working and school day. It hit with such vigour. It shook whole building violently. Hundreds have sustained injuries but shock and fear is scaring them even more.
Thousands are trying to get home and many more are leaving the city to stay elsewhere.’
The effects on Japan and the Pacific will be considerably greater. We offer our prayers and the promise of future support.  Sr Janet Hearns for Missio

Words are inadequate to express our compassion for the people of Japan.  We can only pray that all, especially our Dominican Brothers and Sisters, will have the courage to go on, knowing that they are being prayed for and supported by their family throughout the world.


Solomon Islands

Our Solomonese Dominican Family heeded the tsunami warnings, and joined the rest of their villagers in the hills. There was some high water at Loga, Nila and Wagina, but no damaging waves, thank God.
Fr Henry Paroi was able to say that “no problem has been reported.  But this says something wonderful about mobile phones, otherwise we would have never found out what was going on until it was perhaps the next day.”

The whole experience must be very tough for those who have gone through a devastating tsunami before, we offer our prayers for courage for these people too.

Dominican Calendar
There are usually no Dominican Feasts celebrated during Lenten days.


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Surrender to the Rhythm

From the Pillars, Poetry from OPrize for Poetry.

Surrender to the Rhythm by Ruthann Williams, O.P.

some words
defy
my potter's wheel
they simply will not shape into the proper form
for poetry
insist on prose
demand long lines
and punctuation
and all the strange accouterments
of paragraphs
so rather than a graceful urn to hold these stems
of sacred moments
i have to yield
(are you laughing, God?) and settle
for a not so neat arrangement of bulky pots

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Serving God

During Lent I'm trying to go to daily Mass.  My parish has added a 5:15 PM Mass, which makes it convenient for me to go after work.  Not too many people go, however.  And not too many service ministers.  I've volunteered to Lector on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Today, Father Frank asked me to also be an altar server, too.  So I was doing double duty.

I've noticed that since there are no altar servers at these 5:15 PM Masses, the priest has to everything himself, especially awkward is "washing away his iniquities."  It occurred to me that out of all the ministries the laity do, that being an altar server, in a way, is the most important.  Being a Lector, I know I'm blaspheming.  I realize very well that the Lector is proclaiming the Word of God.  Don't I push myself to process in like a "ring card girl?"  (Only for Jesus, would I push myself to do something where I feel foolish.)

I think I've performed every duty a lay person can do.  I've sung in the choir.  I've been an usher.  I've passed the collection basket.  I've been an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist.  I've been a catechist.  I'm a Lector.  Now I can say, I've been an altar server.  And that was cool.  I was so close to the Consecration.  I could see Father Frank's concentration  as he ever so slowly stretched his arms out to hold out the Eucharist. It was almost surreal in slow motion.

Time stood still. ................................. and I was right there.

I feel so blessed.

And I didn't screw up either.  I had no trouble giving the priest everything he needed.  It's kind of common sense.  But while Father was distributing Communion, it did occur to me to get ahead of the game and clear off the altar.  I was trying to remember when that was done.  I never noticed it before.  But anyway, Father was finished and back to the altar and soon handing me stuff to put back on the table.  And then it was over.

Do you realize how close I was to the mystery of the Eucharist?


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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Crayon Theology Graduates



Michael is two years old.

h/t The Sacred Page

Anti-Abortion doesn't necessarily mean Prolife



In reading the newsletter from the Lay Dominicans in the Western Province, Truth be Told, I read an article that jump started my brain into thinking.  Mar-April, Issue 15, Truth be Told, their Promoter of Peace, Justice, and the Care of Creation, Mr. John Keenan, OP, wrote “Are you Prolife or Are You Anti-Abortion,” p. 11.  It rang very true to me.  I see too many so called Pro-Life people who can’t see out of the womb. 
Mr. Keenan’s theme was a social justice concern to help the babies born in poverty, the services that special needs children require, and a general call for the quality of life after birth.  Here! Here!  I agree.  But Mr. Keenan didn’t mention my pet apostolate: capital punishment, and the preservation of human dignity to those in prison. 

Oh, that…….

Yeah.   If John Keenan was saddened by the lack of concern for the poor and hungry, he’d be devastated by the sentiments of the public toward prisoners.  According to some people, prisoners live in luxury hotels and nothing can convince them otherwise.  Capital punishment should be enforced to save the tax payers money; after all, an “eye for an eye.”  Actually, these sentiments are so ignorant of facts, and so blatantly an exhibition of bigotry, that they’re not even worthy to be considered.

Can’t people see how arbitrary the death penalty is performed?  Capital punishment is too selective and capricious to be just.  Compare the number of blacks to the number of whites, who are subjected to the death penalty.  Just look at the legal representation the poor receive.  If you have the money to pay a good lawyer, you're treated much better.  Capital punishment certainly isn’t a deterrent. 

If you’re prolife, you’re for all the issues that make life livable.  Choose life!

I’m going to end quoting the Keenan’s words:
… the taking of innocent life is universally wrong and violates fundamental justice.  It violate the natural law to which all human law is subject with no exception.  The Faithful that are prolife should be consistent in their own lives.  They should protect not only the innocent but stand up for the poor, the disenfranchised, and those who cannot speak for themselves. In other words, Christians must practice the Gospel.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Psalm 34

Because of everything:  the world: Japan, Middle East, the Church, illness, poverty, situation at work, situations in Chapter, situations in life....I feel a great need to pray Psalm 34.  O Lord, hear my prayer.

Glorify the Lord with me,
   let us together extol His name.
I sought the Lord, and He answered me
   and delivered me from all my fears.

Look to Him that you may be radiant with joy,
   and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the Lord heard,
   and from all their distress He saved him.

The Lord has eyes for the just,
   and ears for their cry.
The Lord confronts the evildoers,
   to destroy remembrance of them from the earth.

When the just cry out, the Lord hears them,
   and from all their distress He rescues them.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
   and those who are crushed in spirit He saves.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Prayer for the People of Japan

Our Father, Who sees everything,
You are all just and merciful.
Your Kingdom is not here, of
that we are reminded everywhere.
Help us to do Your Will.
Give us the means to help our
sisters & brothers who are
devastated by earthquake,tsunami,
and potential nuclear disaster.
They are suffering and in despair.
Have mercy on us  all, Lord.
We pray and adore You, through
the intercession of Our Lady
of Akita, Alphonsus Navarrete,
Alexius Sanbashi, and all the holy
martyrs of Japan, pray for us.
                            Amen
Our help is the name of the Lord,
the maker of heaven and earth.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Bake Sale Time

St. Mary's Women's Club is having it's bake sale this week end.  Since there's no call for my specialty--boiled water, I thought I would bake brownies.

Mind you, I'm not making these from scratch, they're mixes from a box.  Brownies are difficult for me because I never can tell when they're done.  The recipe will even say that.  You can't tell if the brownies are done, like you can cake.  You guess.

But I'm smarter than that.  I'm making two batches, and keeping one in longer than the other.

Same brand, same stuff, same pan, but not the same time.  I figure I have a 50/50 chance of one of the batches coming out perfectly.

The first batch was too soft in the center.  The other batch was too hard around the edges.  You think this is a bad thing.  On the contrary, I took the edge brownies from the first batch, and the center brownies from the second batch, and made one decent batch of brownies.

I told you I was smart.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Catholic Calendar





The address to view each day is www.xt3.com 

A Lector's Dream

Lent is a Lector's dream.  The voice modulation proclaiming the messages is so variable that Lectors can be as dramatic as they feel comfortable.  This week, the First Sunday of Lent, Year A, is a good example.  I'm reading the first Reading.  It's the story of the first temptation in the Garden of Eden.

I've decided that my approach would be to tell the story as if to people who have never heard the story.  Imagine their surprise to learn that God has made a living being.
...blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and so man became a living being.    Wowza, huh?

I've also decided to portray Eve as naive.  And the serpent is sly, sneaky, and scheming.  My voice proclaiming the serpent will emphasize this interpretation (of a slippery, slimy, scumbag.)

It is important, though, to let the people know that the climax is that then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized that they were naked...


Think what this statement means.  "...their eyes were opened..."  Everything has changed.  This was the moment of no turning back.   This was the end.

I'll have them weeping in the aisles.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Changing Tone

How do I change my tone?  That's my Lenten sacrifice, or rather, what I'm working on.  All my friends are teasing me now because they know I'm trying to watch my tone.  Now I can't say anything without them announcing "You've got that tone."  "There's that tone, again."  "Tone."  "Tone!"  "Tone!!!"

It's the office joke.  Well, at least it keeps me aware.  But how does one change their tone.  I googled it.  I found pages of how to change the tone on my cell phone and blackberry.  I did come across the idea that tone is the same as attitude.  So then I googled how to change my attitude.  I came across the site, A Daring Adventure by blogger Tim Brownson, a Life Coach.  

I didn't know whether I was reading irony, on not.


  • This guy has been put here to teach me patience
  • I am so happy to be alive when so many people are dead and some of them have been dead for decade’s even centuries. That’s really tough
  • Great, I have chance to read one of these highly informative and caring tabloid newspapers

But when I stopped laughing, I did pick up some tips.  I've got to stop and think and not express my first thoughts.  I can't help the thoughts, but I can keep my mouth shut.  (Sometimes.)  (Maybe.)  (I'll try.)

It's like changing Maxine's tone.


Special Intention


         Please pray for a special intention of mine.  It's important.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011