Showing posts from March, 2011

Maple Sugaring

A free picture collage by Smilebox

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

Christian Manga

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 a…

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?

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 in…

Cooperation NOT Compromise

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…

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 acc…


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.


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 h…

Romero Day

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

Dominican Friars

Do Dominicans have a special holiday?

Yup, every Friarday.

Pray like 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.

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;

Surrender to the Rhythm

From the Pillars, Poetry from OPrize for Poetry.

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

some words
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

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 …

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 th…

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.

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.
Our help is the name of the Lord,
the maker of heaven and earth.

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.

Catholic Calendar

The address to view each day is

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 wer…

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 patienceI 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 toughGreat, I hav…

Special Intention

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

Ash Wednesday in Two Minutes

Thanks, Therese and Busted Halo.

Lent = Spiritual Path

During the general audience, the Pope explained that Lent is a spiritual path.