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Showing posts from November, 2012

Really Look at that Gift Horse

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The other day I was given a little spiritual direction, that I am still bummed about.  My temperament is such that I'm not bothered by much.  It just rolls off me.  Why?  I dunno.

Maybe I'm just lazy.

Maybe I'm selfish and not worried about anything that doesn't affect me.

Maybe I'm such a people pleaser that I don't want anyone mad at me.

heh.

Hey, maybe I just trust God to handle everything.

I never thought much about why I'm like this, except to consider it a blessing.  I always considered it a gift.  I thought it was a gift from God.

Whenever I read or hear about "forgiveness," I feel my eyes glaze over.  I have no one to forgive.  No one has ever done anything to me that I've taken offense to.  I may think that something someone said was stupid, but I wasn't hurt.  I have ranted and raved, but I can't remember why, of for what reason. Isn't this a grace?

It turns out that I'm fooling myself.  It would be a wonderful grace…

The Perfect Christmas Tree

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All my life, my Christmas tree has been real.  By real I mean, not artificial. Hubby never had a real tree until he married me.  He had always wanted one, but his family thought they were too much of a bother.

However, once hubby saw, felt, and smelled, a real Christmas tree, he never wanted an artificial one.  Until now.  We decided that since all our children have left the nest, we didn't have to bother with pine needles, watering the tree so it doesn't dry out, getting one too tall, too short, too fat--a having to cut off branches, and what to do with the tree after Christmas.  They are a bother!

One year we bought one that wouldn't stand up straight.  We just couldn't get it to be straight and tall.  We ended up tying string to the four corners of the ceiling to its top, to keep it centered straight and tall.  It was ugly!  It looked like a giant spider web--even when draped with garland and lights!
 That tree was a disaster.

Another year, the tree smelled of cat&…

First Snow

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It's been snowing all day.  It's the first snow.  The ground is still warm, so the snow barely carpets the grass.  Still.  It's an opportunity to reflect what's ahead.         


    Winter Wishes
I want my snowman to stay
            like a statue
     standing forever still.
I want my grandchildren to clap
            woolen mittens
     and laugh happy songs.
I want the sun to shine gently
          no scorching rays
        melting children’s fun.

Different Desires

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I desire mercy, not sacrifice.*
I desire flowers, not a new iron.
I desire chocolates, not a vacuum cleaner.
I desire kisses and hugs, not pots and pans.

I desire mercy, not sacrifice.*
I desire you, not your money.
I desire my reflection in your eyes.
I desire your words meant for me.
I desire your arms around me.
I desire our bodies as one.
I desire our souls as one.
I desire our prayer as one.
I desire you.

I desire mercy, not sacrifice.*

*Hosea 6:6

Close Call

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On my way to Mass, this morning, I saw an accident almost happen.  As I was leaving my neighborhood, the car in front entered an intersection.  Another car, on the main street had to come to a screeching halt and almost hit that car.  Cars on the main street have the right of way, so the car in front of me was in the wrong.  I think I remember him coming to a stop, and then proceeding to go through the intersection.  But sometimes stopping and turning your head, right and left, doesn't mean that your looking, right and left.  And maybe he did look, but not see.  I've done that myself.

Back to my story: the car that screeched to a halt, then did a "Ueee" (turned around in a U-turn) and sped off after that other car.  My first thought was road rage.  My cell phone is also a camera.  So if I came across these two cars by the side of the road, and the two drivers were fighting, I could take pictures.  I was planning to take a picture of the license plate of the car that…

Pilate Didn't Get It

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John 19: 34-37  When Pilate asked Jesus, "Art thou the king of the Jews?", He didn't have a lawyer.  If He did, He would have remained silent and let his legal counsel do His talking for Him.  After all, He didn't do a very good job of defending Himself.  In fact, He incriminates Himself.  He admits to being a king.

He actually is King of all mankind.  But I doubt a representative of Caesar would readily accept that.  In fact, Jesus would have been in even worse trouble.  But Jesus is our King, then, now, and forever.  Pilate couldn't grasp that concept.  He was too narrow minded, to influenced by his culture, and too preoccupied with his own concerns.  (Doesn't that sound just like people, today?)

People who don't accept Jesus as Lord are just like Pilate.  You might as well try to explain rock and roll to an alien.  They won't "get it."

Jesus' Hardest Teaching

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Most people assume that John 6:57-58, is Jesus' hardest teaching.  That's not true for me.  There was a time when I didn't believe that the Eucharist was really Jesus' true presence, but when I thought about it, I realized that Jesus wouldn't lie.  And the thought of seeing Jesus in heaven, and telling Him that I thought He was kidding, or being poetical, or worse--just plain lying, made me gulp down any unbelief.  Now I need His Food and Drink daily.  It's my life blood.  But that's a different story.

What I find hard to see, is God in my fellow man.  Genesis 2: 27.  I find that to be the hardest of Jesus' teachings.  I know I'm supposed to see something of God's glory in each person.  But some poor souls don't even offer a glimpse of God's image.  Sometimes they deliberately choose not to.  What do I do in that case?  Pray for them.

Pray for me.


Mama Mia

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Turn your sound up high.  You'll hear Pope Benedict say, "Mama Mia."  LOL

Happiness is a Short Memory

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Last night I was at a family gathering with a lot of people I have never met before, or haven't seen in years.  One of the men there approached me and whispered in my ear, "I want to apologize for my behavior at your prom."  Outside of, "huh?", I didn't know what to say.

He continued to explain that he didn't want to go to a prom.  He wasn't the type.  His parents made him go.  He was young, immature, and stupid.  That was why he behaved like he did.

Okaaayy.

What did he do?  ????????????  

I don't know, but I guess it's a good thing that I don't remember.  Someone once said that happiness is health, and a short memory.

I do remember him, but that's about it.  Maybe I repressed the memory?  Nah....like he said, "he was young, immature, and stupid."

So was I.

Presentation of Mary

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This day is special to me because I went to Presentation of Mary Academy for high school.  Today is the Feast of the Presentation of Mary. For four years of high school the title of this feast day was before my eyes: on my clothes, note books, classrooms, and finally my diploma.   This feast commemorates the time when Mary was presented to the temple and consecrated to God.  So it was only natural that Mary is a close friend of mine.  And of course, it's very natural that I pass this association on to my granddaughter, aka Rosary Girl.  Since she's only two, her Hail Mary's aren't the prayer that we would recognize.  But it's still prayer.  This is Rosary Girl's prayer.


Hail Mary!
Holy Mother!  Listen!
She claps her hands together.

Hail Mary!
You stay.  No cry!  Stop!
Two year old vocabulary.

Hail Mary!
No.  Sorry.  Thank you.
What else, my child?

Hail Mary!
I love you.  I love you most!
Amen.


Happy Thanksgiving

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Follow the Cross

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When you're in the procession, with the priest and ministers, it's best to just "follow the cross."  First of all, it's raised high, so you can see it to follow.  Also, the people in the congregation seem to open up a way for it, so if you're behind the cross, you get to move along, too.  I've also thought that maybe the altar server could lower it like a lance and charge, but of course that's not done.

But the cross being the cross, you know that you'll get behind and lost in the crowd.  You might get jostled.  However, if you keep your eyes focused on that cross, you'll find your way back.
 Take up your cross and follow Me” (Matthew 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23)

Hale for Thanksgiving

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Although we in New England have been celebrating Thanksgiving since 1621, not every in the country did.  In fact, I remember when I was in Virginia, I heard that in 1607 Jamestown celebrated a Thanksgiving.  And in Florida, the Spanish had Masses of Thanksgiving in the sixteenth century!

But the national holiday wasn't proclaimed a holiday until Abraham Lincoln made the proclamation.  And he did so, because of Sarah Josepha Hale.  She had been writing letters to presidents, since Zachary Taylor, suggesting the proclamation.  You know Sara Josepha Hala, she wrote the nursery rhyme, Mary had a Little Lamb.

Eschaton

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Everyone has an opinion of when the Last Days will come.  All religions have an opinion.  Even atheists speculate.  Science even chimes in by believing that the end of the earth will come by the earth's over-heating.  But that won't happen until billions of years from now.  

I find it interesting that the first Christians believed that the end would come in their life-time, with the Second Coming of Jesus.  Now everyone, Christian or not, believes the end is not coming in their life time.

Left Behind

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Noon Hill is part of the Shattuck Reservation, in Medfield, MA.  It's a link in the Bay Circuit Trail that surrounds the west area of Boston.  This is where the cross country hiking group went, today.  It was a good couple of hours walk.

We saw wetlands, trees, vernal pools, ravines, odd boulders and rocky ledges. But what turned out to be the excitement of the day, was that we almost lost John.

We were about half way through our hike, when we encountered a couple with a few cute dogs.  John stopped to take their pictures.  The last time we saw him, he was talking to them.

About 20 minutes later, we noticed that he was missing from the group.  We called.  No answer.  We whistled.  No response.  So Kevin went back to look.

After ten minutes, we realized that wasn't such a smart move.  Both John and Kevin are our drivers.

Fortunately, they came back.  John was missing for half an hour.  He said he took the wrong fork in the trail, realized it, and had to back track.

I thoug…

Where are the good Samaritans?

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Last night I was at a club meeting.  I usually bring a member who is handicapped and can't drive.  It's a little inconvenient, but I do it anyway.  At the meeting, another member arrived who lives much closer to my friend than I do.  I asked her to take my friend home.

She very nicely excused herself from that.  She explained that the last time she brought her home, her car got stuck on the steep slope of her driveway.  She drives a standard and she couldn't back up out of her driveway.  My friend's son had to come out and drive her car out.

I understand.  But my friend said, "You don't have to go in the driveway.  I'll walk down.  My husband will meet me and walk down with me."

She still said "No."  She still wasn't comfortable with that arrangement.

It reminded me of the story of the Good Samaritan.  (Like 10: 29-37)  It has been thought that the reason the two Levites passed the injured man along the side of the road, was because th…

Lost in Space

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Back from space.  I couldn't get on my blog.  The icon to post wasn't anywhere to be found.  I couldn't get to my dashboard.  I just couldn't access anything.  I thought my blogging days on The One True Faith were gone forever.  But this morning I remember that I have another blog, on google--the one I set up for my parish three year faith sharing Renew program.  So I went to St. Mary's Arise and got into its dashboard, and there were the two blogs.

I have no idea where the New Post Icon went on that new template.  But I went back to the plain old simple one.  Old faithful is back.

Lateran Fat

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This post is not the leap that one might think it is, upon reading its title, Lateran  Fat.  Today the Church celebrates the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica.  This building was built by the Emperor Constantine, and since it was the first church ever built in Christendom, it is honored as the mother church. 
The reading this morning is the first Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians 3:9c-11, 16-17. Paul tells us that we humans are God’s building.  We are temples of God.
In the Gospel, John 2:13-22, Jesus refers to Himself as the temple.
In the Preface, the priest prayed:
For in your benevolence you are pleased to dwell in this house of prayer in order to perfect us as the temple of the Holy Spirit, supported by the perpetual help of your grace and resplendent with the glory of a life acceptable to you.
All these readings came to mind when I reflected on the rest of my day.  Today I have T.O.P.S.  My friends in T.O.P.S. are very, very, conscious of their bodies.  Whether or not, they c…

Anniversary of Deceased OPs

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The Church has always connected the feast of All Saints, with that of All Souls, to emphasize the communion of saints.  So does the family of the Order of Preachers.  Accordingly, since yesterday was the Dominican Order's All Saints Day, today, the following day, we Dominicans remember our brothers and sisters who have gone before us with the sign of faith, into the guiding arms of St. Dominic, who lead them to Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord.  Therefore, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's.

To die with Christ is to conquer the apathy of existence, to put aside greed, to abstain from fickleness, to dismiss levity of mind, to reject what is useless and what is done for appearances' sake, and to choose the gospel with sincerity and faithfully cling to it.

To die with Christ is to free oneself from riches and human glory, and to moderate one's life for the kingdom of God.

To die with …

Order of Preachers' All Saints Day

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Today the Dominican Family remembers "those who have gone before us in the family of St. Dominican and who offer us the example of their way of life, their company in the communion of saints, and the help of their intercession. The Litany of Dominican Saints and Blesseds Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us. God, the heavenly Father ... have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the world ... have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit ... have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God ... have mercy on us. Holy Mary ... pray for us.
Holy Mother of God ... pray for us.
Holy Virgin of Virgins ... pray for us.
All you holy angels and archangels ... pray for us.
All you holy Patriarchs and Prophets ... pray for us.
All you holy Apostles and Evangelists ... pray for us.
All you holy martyrs ... pray for us.
All you holy virgins and widows ... pray for us.
All you holy men and women…

Faith Calling

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What do you think?  Poor picture, I know.  It's a picture taken from my Kindle.  I'll describe what it is.  There's a lighthouse with Jesus at the entrance. The lighthouse is actually Brant Light on Nantucket. There's a little bridge to it.  On the bridge are people from my Lay Dominican Chapter.  The very last person, the lady yelling, is me.  I have a big mouth, no?
At first, I didn't understand.  I kept focusing on my big mouth.  "Why am I yelling?"  But my friend told me to look at it this way.  The light is Jesus.  People are going to him, and I'm yelling for others to come, too.
This picture is from the book, Pencil in the Hole, written by one of my "cloistered brothers."

OP Democracy

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I was out of the running.  By that I mean, that I wasn't eligible to be voted in office.  Terms of office are for three years.  And one can only serve two terms.  I've done that, so I wasn't eligible to be voted in again.

One term I was Secretary; this last term I was Formation Director.  Dominicans elect people to the Council.  Then the council gets together and decide who should be in what position: President, Vice President, Secretary, and Formation Director.  Other chapters have more councillors, but this is all my chapter has.

In the Dominican tradition of elections, electors must be present to vote, candidates must be present, also.  There are no prior nominations and no one can refuse eligibility prior to being elected.  That's because we invoke the Holy Spirit before the election and He's choosing.  Voting is by secret ballot.

One last peccadillo that is peculiar to the Dominican Family.  One should not vote for oneself.  I guess it's humility, but t…

Lists

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One literary device used in writing psalms is parallelism.  And there are different varieties of writing in parallelism.  One of these is making a list, e.i., Psalm 94 (95) Come, let us sing joyfully to the Lord;
   let us acclaim the Rock of our salvation.
   Let us greet Him with thanksgiving;
   let us joyfully sing psalms to Him.

See the List?
   sing
   acclaim
   greet
   sing

Off the top of my head,  I'll make a list of blessings to pray for:

         Blessing Psalm

God bless those dear to your heart
                                     and mine.
God bless those in trouble, with His
                                     love divine.
God bless those frightened of life, far
                                      and near.
God bless those whose path isn't certain,
                                  make it clear.
God bless those who see no Truth, they
                                  are blind.
God bless those who feel no love, with
                                  grace di…

St. Mulatto Dog

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November 3 is the Feast Day of St. Martin de Porres.  Martin is a wonderful saint.  He is the Dominican version of St. Francis, except he's not as crazy.  He was very, very humble.  As the illegitimate son of a black/Indian/white union, he was considered a mulatto.  At that time, seventeenth century, race was a criteria for social strata.  Martin was on the bottom.

Stories abound about him.  He had the gift of healing, bilocation, prophecy, and humility.  He is often pictured with rats around his feet and a broom in his hand.  The broom to designate his station in life.  The rats because he communed with them.

My favorite story is when a priest was in a foul mood and became angry at Martin and called him a Mulatto Dog!  That would have been insulting, offensive words to start a fight.  But not to Martin.  He welcomed insults because Jesus was insulted, too.  Insults were opportunities to unite himself to Jesus.    Martin was very kind to the priest and won him over.  It helped tha…

Remember

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On All Souls Day, we not only remember the dead, but we apply our efforts, through prayer, almsgiving, and the Mass, to their release from Purgatory. There are two plenary indulgences attached to All Souls Day, one for visiting a church and another for visiting a cemetery. (The plenary indulgence for visiting a cemetery can also be obtained every day from November 1-8, and, as a partial indulgence, on any day of the year.) While the actions are performed by the living, the merits of the indulgences are applicable only to the souls in Purgatory. Praying for the dead is a Christian obligation. In the modern world, when many have come to doubt the Church's teaching on Purgatory, the need for such prayers has only increased. The Church devotes the month of November to prayer for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, and participation in the Mass of All Souls Day is a good way to begin the month.

My Favorite Magnificat

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I'm still singing the songs from the Missionaries of the Poor Concert.  Here's one of my favorites.  Thanks to Michelle Sherliza, O.P. who put the words on YOU TUBE.  Song music and words by Rev. Fr. Richard Ho Lung, M.O.P.