Showing posts from November, 2011

St. Andrew's Novena

St. Andrew's Novena is a prayer that is recited fifteen times a day, starting on the Feast of St. Andrew November 30, until Christmas. I know a novena is for nine days, but this one is for 25 days. The prayer is very short, so it's not a hardship.

As Catholics, we know we're praying to God, not St. Andrew. It's called St. Andrew's Novena because it starts on the Feast of St. Andrew, that's why.

It's a good way to focus on Christmas,because of the meaning of the prayer:

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.

Fr. Chris and the New Translation

It's a good thing Father Chris is Father Chris because my "cloistered brothers" and friends blew him away with our "And with your spirit."

The Mass began, "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." We responded "Amen." Father Chris looked at us and said "The Lord be with you." Then the walls reverberated with our "And with your spirit."

That's the way it was. Everytime we responded with the new translation we prayed loudly. We didn't mess up at all.

One good thing about the new translation is that it made us pay attention to the words in the Mass. And that's a beautiful thing.

Frere Benoit

Frère Benoît from M duf animation on Vimeo.
Look what happened to Brother Tonto's friend, Frere Benoit!

Help Build an Inclusive Playground

The Kennedy School is an elementary school in my town. The school children need an inclusive playground. An inclusive playground is designed for children of all abilities. Everyone will be able to use it. The Building Committee has hooked up with Pepsi Refresh Challenge. Pepsi awards the one with the most votes. So voting won't cost you a cent!!!! I repeat, they're not asking for money. They're asking for you to take the time to vote. Please find it in your heart to do so. Read below.

Help my kids school - PLEASE. It just takes a second to help

PLEASE!! I need more help!! We are #11 in the Pepsi Challenge and need to be in the TOP 10 to win.

As many of you may already know, my children's school is trying to raise money for a new Inclusive Playground. Our current one is deteriorating quickly despite the efforts of our DPW to keep it maintained. In deciding to rebuild we have designed a new Inclusive one, where all children of all abilities can play together.

The Eucharist

This morning I was blessed with a an encounter with a poem. I say "encounter" because it touched me. I'm still thinking of my conversation, yesterday, on the Eucharist. There's so much I wish I could've said. But how could I, a simple old lady fingering her Rosary ever explain Transubstantiation? This poem says what I wish I could. It's by Monica. That's all I know. She must be a beautiful person to write so poignantly. I found this little gem on the Lay Dominican's site from Raleigh, North Carolina. The site is called Dominican Echoes.

A Single Drop

Just one drop of water
Yet a million believers
Poured into the wine
Tossing and tumbling
Swirling and whirling
Merging and mingling
Dispersed and disseminated
Into this cup

By the mystery of this water
By the mystery of this wine
We ask for what we have been given

Our share in the divinity

Inebriated and intoxicated
Co-mingled and consecrated
Grace filled and grateful
Blessed and beati…

Questions About the Eucharist

Going to Mass was interesting. I have lots of questions, but first is the one about when everyone went quiet. The atmosphere changed, too. I could hear the old man behind me praying in a whisper, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus….” And then everyone said, “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.”

What was that all about?

This is the part I was telling you about that was so important, it has many names: the Sacrifice of the Mass, Holy Sacrifice, Holy Mass, the Lord’s Supper, the Breaking of the Bread, the Eucharistic assembly, the Memorial of the Lord’s Passion, death, and Resurrection, the Holy and Divine Liturgy, the Sacred Mystery, Communion, Holy Communion. We have so many names and terms because it’s so ineffable. It’s what keeps me Catholic. It’s because you don’t get this, that I told you not to come up and receive it.

Look. I’ll quote the Bible for you, this is from John 6: 53-58. Sorry, I can’t quote from memory, we Catholics don’t memorize verses. “T…

What do you do at "Mass"?

While we’re on our way to Mass, let me give you a “heads up” on what to expect. I’m explaining now, because during Mass I can’t. I’ll be focused on prayer, and can’t answer your questions satisfactorily. After Mass, we’ll go to Dunkin Donuts for coffee, and you can ask me anything you want.

Let’s go through the front door up the long, wide steps. I’ve heard that every church has five doors, for the five wounds of Christ, but my parish church has seven. It’s a nice symbolism, though.

Every Mass will have two parts: the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist. The Word is first. Let’s choose a pew. Yes, that’s called a kneeler. We Catholics pray with our bodies. (Let me tell you about St. Dominic’s Nine Ways of Prayer, sometime.) We genuflect before entering the pew. Genuflecting is kneeling on one knee—as if you’re meeting Queen Elizabeth. However, when you genuflect to God, and we are, you kneel on the right knee. And when you meet the Queen, you genuflect…

Stupid Idea

You know what this is? No, whatever you think, it's wrong.

What it is, is...a stupid idea. It's the result of someone not thinking.

You see, we were celebrating my daughter's birthday, and the candles were all covered in cake, and ice cream, and frosting. What's the easiest way to wash them off?

Not the dishwasher!


Glorious just Glorious

Thanks to my sister in community, Mary Snow, I have this wonderful video of the solemn profession of two Dominican nuns. Please pay attention to the shower of roses. Remember these are nuns from Peru, the home of the first saint of the Americas--St. Rose of Lima. She is
pictured with a crown of roses. Roses are the queen of flowers, and as such are befitting for the Madonna (and Dominican nuns).

After the shower of roses, is the ceremony of the wedding ring, because these nuns are espoused to Jesus.

Lastly, look at the expressions on the faces of Sister Yolanda Del Nino Jesus and Sister Victoria de Nuestra a Senora del Rosario. Reminds me of my own wedding. I remember what I felt marrying Dick, a mortal. Imagine marrying the Son of God.

Thank you Jesus for Loving Me

Yes, He loves me! He really does. He thinks I'm # 1. He's God and He truly loves me. Didn't He die for me? What more could He possibly do to prove His love?

I learned this more than ten years ago from Father Aniello Salicone, sx, and it was hammered home, again, last night, at Father Aniello's healing service.

Many people were there for many different reasons. I was feeling so helpless and sad when I saw these people so desperate for relief from their illnesses. Father Aniello explained to them that Jesus always answers prayers, and if you don't get what you want, he gives you something better. Spiritual healing is better than physical. God's ways are not our ways and His time is infinite, not according to our schedule. So we prayed to be touched according to God's Will, and the understanding to know and accept God's Will.

Thank you Jesus for loving me, is Father Aniello's favorite prayer, and has become his trademark. It's so ea…

St. Albert and Alchemy

One of the mottoes of the Order of Preachers is Veritas, or Truth. St. Albert the Great, whose feast we celebrate today, exemplifies that Dominican search for Truth. There is a plethora of subjects, one could focus on, when posting about Albert Magnus, e.i., theology, chemistry, teacher of St. Thomas Aquinas, translator of Aristotle, medicine, botany, geography, astrology, general science, philosophy, and really so-so much more. He was the quintessential searcher for the truth. But what interests me is his work with "alchemy." I had associated the word alchemy with magic. But that's not accurate. Alchemy is embryonic chemistry. By this I mean that it was chemistry before chemistry was organized into a separate science. In the early stage of alchemy, the experiments alchemists conducted were probably medicines. Some of which worked better than others. I can readily see where the term "charlatans" could probably have readily been applied to some alch…

St. Vincent Ferrer

St. Vincent Ferrer was a great preacher. On one occasion, when St. Vincent Ferrer was entering Barcelona, he saw the Angel Guardian of the city. He spoke of this fact, when he gave a sermon to the people. As a consequence, a special devotion sprang up toward the angel, and a monument was erected in his honor. At the hour of St. Vincent's death, a multitude of angels came to accompany his soul to heaven. The angels filled the house in which he lay dying under the appearance of snow white birds of ravishing beauty, and disappeared at the moment that the Saint breathed his last breath.

St. Vincent is frequently depicted with wings like an Angel because he had a special rapport with the angels.

The Hero in Matt. 25: 14-30

Well, well, well. I heard something new today. The parable about the servant burying his talents is the hero. Fr. Frank offered that idea, this morning. That servant didn't invest, or even put the money in the bank. That was what the "world" would do. Cultural, societal pressure tells people to save, invest, make money, and more money. But this little guy, went against the grain. He's a counter-cultural hero. He's not interested in the money. He gave back exactly what he was given.

He was punished for not going along with the common thought. Maybe he "offered up" his punishment (that's nun talk for "suck it up.")

Then again...maybe not. Do you think he knew what he was doing?

Always Praying

Fr. Kevin before Mass said that the first sentence in today's Gospel told us how Jesus wants us to pray. This is Luke 18: 1-8. Jesus told his disciples a prarable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary. Of course, Fr. Kevin is a contempletive monk, so he has the opportunity to pray. But how do we Lay People pray all the time?

There's the famous Jesus Prayer: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God,have mercy on me, a sinner."

There's prayer ejaculations: short prayers.

There's Mass, Rosary, Lectio Divina, Liturgical Dance,fasting, and probably more that I can think of. In fact St. Dominic had nine ways of prayer. Like all Catholics, he knelt, bowed, genuflected, sat, stood--Catholic aerobics.

The first way is bowing. Gentlemen bow to ladies as a sign of respect. Catholics bow to the
altar to reverence it.

The second way is prostrations. This is laying flat out on the ground to make yourself as low
as possible before your God.…

Choi Sung-Bong

Watch this video and you'll hear an amazing story and an amazing voice. It's like one of the judges said in the end, "I just want him to be happy from now on."


Everybody's talking about the changes in the Missal. Personally, I'm sick of hearing about it. That's all I read about in my diocesan newspaper, on other blogs, in Chapter,on iCatholic TV, and nauseum. Yet I hear that people say they haven't heard anything about it.

Are they blind, deaf, and dumb? Don't they read their Catholic periodicals? Don't they watch and listen to Catholic TV and radio? Don't they listen to homilies, read their parish bulletins, and go to parish activities?

Don't they read blogs?

SIGH. Guess not.

I really don't know what the big deal is about. I lived through the big change from Latin to English. I certainly can live through the change from "one in being" to "consubstantial." Consubstantial is more precise. When I say "one in being" I imagine a spousal relationship. That's hardly the image one should have for the relationship between God and Jesus. And that's the …


In preparing to Lector this Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time, I always read all the Readings. I lucked out this time, because I'm reading 1 Thessalonians 5: 1-6. It's easy to read and fun to proclaim.

It's the Gospel (Matthew 25: 14-30) that bugs me. Of course, being a product of my culture and time, I think the poor servant who was so afraid of his Master, that he didn't do anything with the money the Master gave him, was wronged. If he was beaten for giving back the money, what would have happened if he lost it, or spent it?

The only way I can justify the thinking in this Gospel, is to literally think "talents," as talents, not money. Talent is a gift of something, e.i., singing voice, learning languages,playing an instrument, intelligence, etc.. The way I see it is, if God gave you a talent, then you should use it for the greater glory of God. To not use it, is a waste, and is the equivalent of the servant burying his Master's "talent…

Order of Preachers All Souls Day

Today everyone in the Dominican Family celebrates ALL who have gone before us. The Order of Preachers (known as Dominicans from its founder-St. Dominic)is made up of friars, nuns, and the laity. At one time these divisions were known as First Order, Second Order, and Third Order. Since August 8, 2008, however, this terminology of "divisions" has been done away with. Now we are all one Dominican Family. Now we all use the same initials "o.p." after our names, to designate that we belong to the Order of Preachers. That's why it is so important to prefix your name with a designation, to indicate your state in life. "Lesley, o.p.," doesn't tell us whether you are a priest, or a brother, or a sister, or laity. It must be Fr. Lesley, o.p., or Br. Lesley, o.p., or Sr. Lesley, o.p., or Mr. Lesley, o.p., or Ms. Lesley, o.p., or Miss Lesley, o.p., or Mrs. Lesley, o.p. Now we now who, and, what you are!

Our big brother, St. Thomas Aquinas, o.p. wou…

Feast of All Saints of the Order of Preachers

The universal Church celebrated All Saints Day on November 1st. We, in the Dominican Family, celebrate November 7th as our special feast day, in addition to the one on Nov. 1. Today is the Feast of all saints in the Dominican family. Many other Orders, also have their own special day. The Benedictine Order was the first to receive this privilege from the Holy See. The Dominicans were second. In 1674, Pope Clement X wrote:

Rightly, my Lord Cardinal, ought your Order to celebrate the solemnity of all its Saints on one appointed day; for, if we wished to assign to each of its holy sons his own special feast, we should have to form a new calendar, and they alone would suffice to fill it.

And it is for this reason, I'm not listing the Litany of Dominican Saints. You can find it if you click here. Today it would be most appropriate to pray it. Veritas.

Always Be Prepared

Matthew 25: 1-13, today's Gospel for the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, was not the best fit for today being Day Light Savings.

One of the themes of this Gospel is "being prepared". Of course, I'm not thinking in terms of the Second Coming. I'm trying to cope with today; this morning, to be specific. Try forgetting to turn the alarm clock back, last night. So that the most important clock in the house is now an hour late.

Oh, did I mention that I was the Lector at the 7:30 AM Mass?

Rushing around like a maniac, I wrenched my back.

After Mass, one of our crew, got her signals crossed and went to the wrong restaurant. And that was my fault, again, because I misled her. (not on purpose)

So I identify with the ten unprepared virgins, in today's Gospel. I think a little slack should be cut for them. I, they do not intend to be unprepared, or uncaring, or disobedient, or insubordinate, or disrespectful, or any other attribute that describes me, them, i…

The Small Dominican Scapular

My Lay Dominican Chapter, Our Lady of Mercy, has the best spiritual director. Today he gave us, what my "cloistered brothers" call a retreat, but it's only one day. So it's really a Day of Recollection. We also advanced in formation, two brothers, from Novice to Temporary Professed. In so doing, he blessed and put small Dominican scapulars over the two men. (See picture) These small white scapulars are known as Dominican scapulars. We Lay Dominicans can't wear the full Dominican habit, that our brother friars, or sister nuns, wear. So we have this small white scapular in place of the full habit. Although, we Lay Dominicans can be buried in the full habit--but that's a whole different post.

Father told us how he felt when his habit was placed over him. He also pulled out from underneath his habit, that little small scapular. He told us that he likes to wear that small scapular to bed, because he doesn't wear his habit to bed. So the small scap…

Another Day, Another Joke

God was talking to one of his angels. He said, "Boy, I just figured out how to rotate Earth so it creates this really incredible twenty-four-hour period of alternating light and darkness." The angel said, "What are you going to do now?" God said, "Call it a day."

Another Pair of Married Saints

The title isn't correct. Takashi Nagai and Midori Moriyama are married and good, saintly people. But it is only the husband, Takashi Nagai that has started on the path to official sainthood. He has been declared a Servant of God, the first step in canonization. Reading his life will bring you to admiration of this young doctor. He already is a saint, in my eyes. He was born in 1908 into a doctor's family and that meant he had a better than average upbringing and education. He didn't want for anything. He also became a doctor, specializing in radiology. His religion was Shintoist and Confucianist.

Takashi became interested in Christianity when he was in college. He happened to have lodging in with the Moriyama family. The Moriyama family were Kakure Kirishtans in Urakami. They also had a young pretty daughter who was a teacher and lived in a different town. The daughter, Midori Moriyama met Takashi Nagai on one of her visits to her parents. The Moriyamas w…

The Priestly Prayer of Jesus

Last night, in prayer group, a strange phenomena happened. We often do Lectio Divina. Last night we read and meditated on John 17: 1-26. I was reading this Prayer of the hour of Jesus. At first I thought the Priestly Prayer of Jesus was the Lord's Prayer. But these verses were clearly not "Our Father,..." John 17: 1-26 is Jesus praying to God the Father. Some of it was familiar from Mass Readings, but I didn't tie it all together as Jesus' praying in the Garden.

It was my turn to read aloud. I began, John 17: 1... and understood as I read. When I came to about John 17: 11-26, somewhere around verse 15, my voice broke and I cried.

I don't know why.

Stranger, everyone was crying. We all cried and kind of laughed and I continued on, to the end.

When I finished, we all looked at each other, and thought, and said, "Wow, what happened?"

We meditated in silence, with smiles on our faces. Every once in awhile we'd look up at each other, a…

Saints Alive

This is Pere Marie Jean-Joseph Lataste, O.P. I thought I'd use his picture for an All Saints Day
Posting, since he will be beatified in seven months. He is Venerable now. On June 3rd, he'll be declared Blessed. Next he'll be recognized as a Saint for all the Universal Church to honor.

Today is the day to honor All Saints, that's ALL, even those whom we don't know. The famous celebrity saints are the ones that get all the honor, but today's the day we Catholics honor everyone in heaven.

And all we aspiring saints belong to the Communion of Saints. The Communion of Saints are all we living, all those in Purgatory, and all in Heaven. In fact, everyone, except those in Hell, are part of the Communion of Saints.

I love being Catholic.