Showing posts from July, 2011

What is a Novena?

A novena is a series of prayers, said for nine consecutive days, for the purposes of requesting special blessings.  Since I'm a Lay Dominican, and the Feast of Saint Dominic is August 8, nine days away, I'll begin a novena, today.

First Day
The Faith of Saint Dominic
"Without faith it is impossible to please God." (Heb. xi 6)

With his mother's milk, St. Dominic imbibed that greatest of virtues, divine faith.  Blessed Jane of Aza was a woman of remarkable piety, and her son was a faithful imitator of his holy mother.

Fortified by his strong faith, St. Dominic undertook all those works which resulted in such wonderful blessings to the Church, and in such great glory to God by the salvation of so many souls.  Nothing dismayed him.  His confidence was unbounded.  In His name he accomplished all.  And though he sighed for martyrdom that he might seal his faith by shedding his blood, God did not will this sacrifice.  In the thousands of his children, however, who offered …

Seal of Confession

There's an uproar in Ireland over clerical sex abuse.  (I'm from Boston--been there,done that.) As a result, the government wants to pass a law to force priest to break the seal of confession.

Think about this.

Isn't this the dumbest idea, ever?  Let's say it becomes law.  Then who would be stupid enough to confess that they did commit a crime knowing that the priest is going to turn you in.

Think about it.

Missing the Point

"What do you think?" is the question I ask, when people say they read my Letter to the Editor.  "I thought it was good."  they respond.

???????  What are they thinking?  They miss the point.  I wrote a letter to my Archdiocesan newspaper, ThePilot, commending Stephen Kent's opinion article, "A Catholic newspaper is a necessity."  I commented that I agree with Stephen Kent, that most Catholics don't know the Catholic perspective on current events.  Catholics don't keep up with the Catholic explanations on pertinent issues.  All they hear is the secular, often anti-Catholic sound bites, that Catholics are anti-women and anti-gays, etc.

You can't expect catechesis in a homily.  That's not what they're for.  People have to keep cognizant the same way they do with sports, or politics, i.e., listen and read.  Stephen Kent was saying that that's the value of a Catholic newspaper.  It's a way for Catholics to get their news based …

The Dude

He talk tough
that ain't nuff

No Dude cool
inside.  Fool!
just talkin
need walkin
make a name
climb to fame

Cellmate's bad
he ain't had
no mama
no papa
no lovin
why bummin.

+ Poetry from the 4th Annual OPrize for Poetry, The Preacher Poets, p. 104.


The car's fuel gauge was almost on empty.  I was on my way to work, but I just had to stop and fill up.  While filling the tank, I was also calling work on my iPhone, to tell them that I'd be a little late, because I had to stop and get gas.

Well, I didn't know I was popular.  Co-workers on their way to work all beeped their horn and waved.  I was on  the major route through town, so friends and neighbors also beeped "hello."

I was thinking that maybe I should run for mayor; it seemed that people just had to beep at me.

However once I got into work and listened to the voice messages on my phone, and read all the e-mails, I realized that everyone wasn't beeping "hello."  They were trying to tell me that you don't pump gas and use your phone at the same time.  It is hazardous to use a phone near the pumps.  There's a potential for static electricity to spark off and ignite the fuel.

Who knew?  I guess I won't be running for mayor, any tim…

Chihuly @ MFA

Went to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, today.  It's amazing what the glass artist Chihuly can do.  I loved the ceiling the best. It's a bare room with the glass colors and shapes in the ceiling.  That's the only light in the room.  Look how it's reflected EVERY WHERE.
It just looks like it's traveling down the walls.  The glass objects are placed on the glass ceiling with light above them.  This is the only light in this empty, little, room.  Beautiful, just beautiful!


This is a hash tag for a new Twitter group, I just discovered.  I lurked tonight and the hour flew by.  They discussed using social media in church, what needs to be in place, and QR which is the Quick Response codes or bar codes products have.  I enjoyed it thoroughly.

I gather that this chat takes place every Tuesday night at 9:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time).  Any interested person can participate (or not, like me) and it's for all denominations that like to discuss topics of mutual interest.

The hash tag #chsocm is easy to remember if you associate it with Church Social Media.

I kept thinking of my parish.  It's not that I don't think we couldn't have the latest social media; I just don't think it's needed.  People like the bulletin.  That's where the vast majority are getting their parish news.  I don't see anyone (unless it's the teen Mass) checking their iPhone for updates, during the homily.  And we're doing alright.  We have one of the…

Come Eat

It's lunch time and I'm reviewing the Readings for this Sunday, the Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time.  They all have to do with food.  Food is important and I'm getting hungry.  Maybe that's why these Readings appeal to me.

The First Reading, Reading I: Isaiah 55:1-3 is about an eschatological banquet.  This is the one I'm proclaiming.  Pray that I do it justice and that the people are open.  I fully understand what eating without satisfaction is.  Trying to eat food that is low on carbs, calories, and yet is nutritious, often does not satisfy.  But none of this food will satisfy anyone spiritually, anyway.  Nowadays people are so conscious of what they eat.  They read the nutrition labels on the packages.  They watch their portions.  They count points, exchanges, calories, carbohydrates, and what not....    All for naught, if they're not eating the best for spiritual health.

The Eucharist  is the bread and wine transubstantiated into the body and blood of Je…

Vacation Advice

The Holy Father offers vacation advice.   It wasn't what I expected.  It was simple and a little paragraph and easy to do.  I was expecting advice like don't go too far away from a church building because you should celebrate Mass everyday.  Bring religious DVD's, books.  In fact,  spend your vacation at a religious retreat place.

But it was none of that!  It was go enjoy the culture of where you are vacationing.  Uplift your body and soul by renewing and resting.  Enjoy family time.  Thank God and meditate on His goodness.  Well, it was so brief that here's its entirety.

VATICAN CITY, JULY 24, 2011 ( Benedict XVI is offering some tips on how to live one's summer holiday, says a Vatican spokesman. On the most recent edition of Vatican Television's "Octava Dies," Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi spoke of the "brief but important suggestions" that the Pope has made over the past few weeks about vacation. "First of all, [the Pope]…

Saintly Spouses

There's hope for married churchgoers, who go it alone.  I'm talking about a husband or wife, who pray by themselves.  Their spouses don't go to church, aren't very religious, or are even atheists.  This was exactly the case of Elisabeth and Felix Leseur.

Elisabeth Leseur learned soon after she married Felix, that he was an atheist.  Why didn't he tell her before?  Knowing how much her religion meant to her, she probably would have broken off the relationship.  Felix probably was so sure of himself, that he figured he'd convince her of the foolishness of religion soon enough.  But the opposite happened.  Because Elisabeth had to defend the faith, she studied apologetics and stood her ground.  She had a personal library that rivaled her husbands'.  Only her library was filled with theology, whereas his was secular and atheistic.  She held her own.

By the serenity and strength that I mean to acquire I will prove that the Christian life is great and

The Treasure

A few days ago I posted about today's Readings at Mass.  I focused on the buried treasure and how it didn't rightfully belong to the person who coveted it and eventually bought the land.  I know that wasn't the point, right from the beginning.  But listening to Father John this morning, made me  realize how really off the mark I was.

Father John told us a story of how precious a pearl is.  It is so dear that as far back as man can remember, mankind has appreciated and valued the pearl.  It has been called the third eye of Buddha, the divine word to Muslims, and a treasure to Christians.

And consider how it is made.  It is all because of an irritant.  Something enters the life of an oyster that doesn't belong there.  The oyster will try to expel it.  If it can't, it will encapsulate it in layers of nacre, and as the oyster grows in size, so do the layers.

Apply this to human life.  When the "bad" enters our lives, we need to oust the irritant.  If we can…


This is crazy.  But it worked for all 13 of us ladies.  It was "weigh-in" today.  We noticed that when looking down at the scale, we weigh .2 more, than when we looked straight ahead.

Crazy.  Try it.

And what difference does it make?  Well if you weigh 104 pounds, and the scale says 104. 6, you are recorded as weighing 105.   But if you look straight ahead, the scale read 104.4.  Then you are recorded as 104.

See?  And that's another reason to stand straight, and tall and look straight ahead.


Today, July 21, is a Memorial of Saint Lawrence of Brindisi.  In this morning's Readings is a sermon by him.  Besides saying that "...without faith it is impossible to please God."  St. Lawrence gives some profound thoughts about preaching as an apostolic duty.

And faith is not conceived unless the word of God is preached.  Faith comes through hearing, and what is heard is the word of Christ.  The preaching of the word of God, then, is necessary for the spiritual life, just as the planting of seed is necessary for bodily life.

Preaching, therefore, is a duty that is apostolic, angelic, Christian, divine.  ...  It is the source of faith, hope, charity, all virtues, all the gifts of the Holy Spirit, all the beatitudes of the Gospel, all good works, all the rewards of life, all the glory of paradise: Welcome the word that has taken root in you, with its power to save you.

All this wisdom from the seventeenth century holds true today.  St. Lawrence was the minister general of…

Fair is Foul, and Foul is Fair

Appearances aren't what they seem, as this line from Shakespeare's Macbeth, Act One closes with.  I'm referring to my dinner today.  I had a perfectly wonderful day.  For dinner, I ordered fish with zucchini.  It arrived beautifully presented, as the picture shows.  However, it had no taste.

What a disappointment!

This Sunday's Readings

My parish has two Lectors at each Mass.  That's not my preference but that's the way it is.  It's a gimmick to show the people that we're diverse, i.e., one old/one young, one male/one female, etc.    Or in my grumpy morning temperament: one casual dresser/one formal, one no one can hear/one drama queen, one who doesn't know what he's doing/one show off, etc.

I digress.  What I wanted to post was my thoughts on the Readings from the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time.  My part is the Second Reading, Romans 8:28-30.  At first glance, I noticed that it's the shortest of all the Readings.  So, you think it would be the easiest, but it looks sing/song.  I'll have to be careful.  My second reading of it struck me.  There is a lot more to it than meets the eye.

"All things work for the good of those who love God." How many times has this sentence given me courage and comfort?   Whatever comes my way, the thought of God's love has sustained me.  N…


Image via Wikipedia Summa Theologia, I-II, 40, 4 and II-II, 17, 1 and II-II, 17 2 were our topics in Chapter, today.  My "cloistered brothers," with the help of Fr.Nic and Dr. Holly Coolman, from Providence College, discussed Hope and Despair.  These subjects are treated a little differently by Thomas Aquinas, than the current definitions of hope and despair.

Despair is not really just the opposite of Hope.  It's more of seeing something as not a good thing.  It's more despair, even depression, and sin.
Hope, according to AQ is wanting to attain something.  This something has to be attainable.  I can't hope to be young; that's impossible.  Hope is also wanting something good.  In this way, Hope is a virtue.
It was in discussing Article 2. "Whether eternal happiness is the proper object of hope?", that I had my epiphany.    You see I never understood 1 Corinthians 13: 13.  Faith, Hope, and Love, and the greatest of these is Love.  This isn't true, i…

Archbishop Dolan is our David

I'm comparing the Archbishop of New York, Timothy Dolan to David--the David who fought Goliath.  David won; not so, the Church's David.  However, sometimes when you lose, you win.  The Church still has its teachings secure.  The Church didn't lose; society did.

The Church has always fought for families.  It certainly is not anti-gay; it's pro-family.  Dolan points out that the Church fought against: no-fault divorce, contraceptives, co-habitation, and now the re-defining of marriage.  All of these initiatives have weakened our traditional families and given rise to our current promiscuous culture.  The Church is actually prophetic because what it feared would happen...did.  Please read Archbishop Dolan's entire post.

Some AfterthoughtsJuly 7th, 2011
Almost two weeks ago — hauntingly, on the Feast of the Birth of John the Baptist, whom King Herod would behead because the saint dared to defend the God-given truth about marriage — our state sadly attempted a re-definiti…

Idolatry of Celibacy

I was going to put in a picture of a chastity belt from Zamanta's public domain file, but, ugh! they're all ugly.  I would think all you'd need is something to remind you to change your focus, e.i., an elastic around your wrist, or something.  Good grief, just google "chastity belts," and you'll see why I'm so repulsed.  What contraptions!

Anyway, why am I looking for pics of chastity belts?  Because I want to tell you about the idolatry of celibacy.   Idolatry is excessive devotion to something.  Well, recently, my "cloistered brothers" and I were discussing people who are so proud of their celibacy that they're beating their chests about it.  "Look at me.  I've given up wife and family to live a life that is pure.  I've given up children.  I'm strong.  I've done all this for God."

Not only are some of the "cloistered brothers," guilty, but so are some priests.  Idolatry isn't only worship of golden i…

Wonderful Woman

A friend sent me one of those male-bashing e-mails.  I did like the closing remarks.  I cleaned it up a bit.

"Whatever you give a woman, she will make greater. If you give her sperm,
she'll give you a baby. If you give her a house, she'll give you a home. If
you give her groceries, she'll give you a meal. If you give her a smile,
she'll give you her heart.

She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her. So, be careful what you give her."  

Ten Reasons for Going to Confession

Image via Wikipedia I just love the Confession App on my iphone  I use it nightly, as an examination of conscience.
And just being Catholic, I go to Confession, often.  So I read with interest, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' post on the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  And also, Father's Z's 20 Tips for Making a Good Confession.   I'm kind of feeling left out.  That's why I made up my own list.  From the Book of Faith, TenReasons for Going to Confession.

1.  Going to Confession proves that you are trying to be a better person.
2.  Examination of Conscience forces one to be realistic about their shortcomings.
3.  Confession is confidential.  Priests have gone to jail rather than disclose information revealed in Confession.
4.  It's private; One on one.
5.  The priest offers another perspective that you may never have considered.
6.  It unburdens you.  You get that monkey off your back.
7.  The priest gives advice.  Who needs a shrink?
8.  After A…

Confession and Spiritual Direction

It's beneficial to begin spiritual direction with confession, but during regular confession times, it takes up too much time.  So if you want to do both, make an appointment with the priest.

What does it all mean?

See what you make of this: happiness, sadness, gospel.

This morning upon leaving my home, I stopped dead in my tracks.  There before me the sun's rays were fingering through the trees branches and falling on the sparkling dew wet grass.  It was breath-taking.  I tried to take a picture of it on my iPhone, but the sun's rays didn't come across.

Approaching my car I was quite dismayed to see a small pile of something on my car's roof.  A dirty bird?  Sap from the tree?  It was kind of too big to be bird poop, or sap.  It was a gray pile of matter about the size of my fist.

I went in the back yard and picked up my granddaughter's pail and shovel.  I carefully scraped up the disgusting mass of whatever it was.

It was a poor little bird.  It looked kind of embryonic.  Some predator bird must have picked it out of its nest, and it was too heavy for it, so it dropped it on the roof of my car. ( I'm creating a story for the entire incident.)

Anyway, I started to sa…

The Eucharist

Holy Communion
by Sister Mary Fisher, O.P.

It lies nestled in my hand,
      This white Host,
For precious seconds as we measure time.
   During that infinitesimal moment,
       Gazing at It, I firmly believe
          Christ, whole and entire---
     Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity---
          Rests on my palm, and
      I am Mary, Virgin-Mother,
          Caressing her Newborn;
        A sinner, clutching His robe;
            Martha, preparing a meal,
        Magdalene, bathing His dusty feet,
    Veronica, wiping His dear, weary face.
       I am myself, weak, needy, yearning
           For union with Him.
           "Come, Beloved, come!"
      And kissing the Host, I receive Him.

from Justitia, Poetry from the Second Annual OPrizefor Poetry, p. 61.

Living to the Very End

Image via Wikipedia Back in the day when I worked in Human Services, I took a course on Death and Dying.  My friend Eileen and I worked on a project together.  We went to a home where a young man was dying of Aids.  We spent some time with him and were impressed with the amount of papalliative care he was given.  He was determined to live his life to the very end.

Today's article "Fighting to Live Versus Dying to Die," in Zenit, reminded me of that time.  The article gives us the USCCB's approved policy on Physician Assisted Suicide, and Euthanasia.  The Bishops' statement is called "To Live Each Day with Dignity: A Statement of Assisted Suicide."  This statement debunks the illusion that killing one's self is expressing freedom of choice.  That's a sad misconception.  Helping someone to die is not compassion; it's a delusion.  The Bishops propose a better way.  They make ten salient points:

1.     Those requesting to die are very vulnerable.…

Using the Media

St. Dominic would have been in the Forefront

Confession for Priest

You know how I was complaining about the Examination of Conscience for married people on my iPhone app.  It's blah.

So I use the Examination of Conscience for priests.  That's the best one on my app.  Well B16 has come out with a better Examination of Conscience for Priests.  It's above whatever I could use.  So it's definitely focused on only priests and spiritual directors.

Take a look at the Table of Contents.

1. Contemporary importance, moment of grace   .    .    .    .    .     8
An urgent invitation [7-8]   .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .     8
Christ’s Mission operative in the Church [9-11]     .    .    .    .     8
Opening ourselves to love and reconciliation [12-13] .    .    .     9
The witness and commitment of pastors [14-18] .    .    .    .     10
The example of the Curé of Ars [19-20]  .    .    .    .    .    .    .     12
The ministry of mercy [21-23]      .    …

Fun Comedy of Errors

It all started when I over slept on Friday, July 1st.  I usually  wake up before the radio alarm at 5:30 AM.  Friday, my bed seemed extra cozy and comfortable when I awoke.  I thought I'd just snuggle down under the covers and wait for the radio to go off, and maybe I'd listen to the news and weather.

It seemed that it was awfully bright, however.  Mmmmmmm.  Usually it's dark at 5:00 AM.  So I rolled over and looked at the radio clock.

7:30 AM !!

Yikes!  I shot out of bed, threw on my clothes, and flew to work.  (I didn't even brush my teeth!)  And from then on, all weekend, it seemed like I was racing from one thing to another.

Work was crazy!  Everybody I needed was on vacation.  Fiscal Year 2011 closed yesterday--June 30th.  Do you know how many unpaid invoices are still coming in?  Do you know how many 2011 Purchase Orders don't have enough money to pay those unknown bills?  Do you also realize that that week was a split payroll--two Fiscal Years on one pay c…

Habemus Papem

Image via Wikipedia I've written about Christian Manga and Jonathan Lin before.  His Manga,Habemus Papem is going to be given out at World Youth Day in Madrid, Aug. 16-21.

It's a great way to grab the youth's attention.  Manga is a combo of comic book and instruction.  The kids love it.  Some of the stories are about Pope Benedict XVI, St. Paul, Judith from the Old Testament. Related articlesA New Comic Book Hero: Pope Benedict XVI (