Showing posts from July, 2012

Preparing for St. Dominic's Feast Day

Happy Feast of St. Dominic!  August 8th.   Aren’t we blessed to be Catholics?  Not only do we celebrate special holy days, like St. Dominic’s, but every Sunday, when we attend a liturgical celebration of the Eucharist. To help put you into a celebratory mood, let’s see what you’re going to do on August 8th.
Dominic is our inspiration and role model.  Which aspect of Dominic is closest to you, and what prayers appeal to you?
 What picture of Dominic do you like best?a.Holding Lily b.Studying c.Walking d.Receiving Rosary
 When do you pray for Dominic’s intercession?a.Before giving Talks b.Before explaining the church’s position c.When in doubt d.Before Bible Study
 My favorite story about Dominic isa.Converting the inn keeper b.Selling his books c.Meeting St. Francis d.Seeing the Blessed Mother
 Excepting Dominic, who is your favorite Dominic sainta.Pius V b.Thomas Aquinas c.Martin de Pores d.Catherine of Siena
My favorite Dominican prayera.Litany of St. Dominic b.Dominican Litany of Saint…

Do Clothes Make the Woman?

The blog 1964 has an article about why young women are attracted to a religious order.  The author, Nicole Cornell attributes the attraction to be community.  I see what she's saying.  I agree with a codicil.  First, (and which Ms. Cornell probably just takes for granted), is that the young lady has to be in love.  That's madly in love with Jesus.  She has to be so in love that she wants nothing else except to get as close to Jesus as she can.  She wants to spend her life with Him.

Next, she looks around to find like minded people. She can't help but notice nuns in habit.  So she approaches them.  It's that simple.  Why would she approach a religious sister who doesn't wear a habit?  How would she know that that lady was a religious sister?

Even if somehow someone told her that certain people dressed like regular people were religious sisters,   why would she want to become a religious that looked like, and acted like, and worked just like, a Lay Dominican, a Sec…

Seacoast Boulevard

Seacoast Boulevard

My prayer place is at the end,
where steps of stone just fade away
into eternal depths of sea and sun.

Sailboats reverence, bow, and genuflect.
The nun buoys bob and ring, antiphonally.
The wind intones a canticle, a psalm.

And I announce the glory due today.


Penance by  "a cloistered brother"
Why my Lord? Why must I commit these sins, The more I pray for strength, The more the Demon grins, I can hear the demons laughter as I say I'm not afraid, Jesus can you hear me can you hear me when I pray? Worthy I am not of Love Oh Shepherd I hold so dear, How dare I ask for guidance through this valley soaked in tears, self inflicted penance Who are men to say where saved? No more demons laughing now they know I'm not afraid, Angel prayers and secrets no sorrow, guilt or shame The Saints and I know El Shaddai and Jesus are the same, fallen angels tremble Horrified in darkness lost, Satan lost his battle when they put Christ on the cross.

Outdoor Mass

Below is an article I clipped from today's Zenit about a priest in Damascus trying to celebrate Mass in the midst of a battle.  I can't imagine.   I've been to Masses outside.  I'm not a fan.  I know that God is in nature, but in the summer, when I've been to these outdoor Masses, it's too distracting.  I usually can't hear above the traffic noise, or air traffic noise.  It's too hot/cool/windy/damp or buggy.  I get mosquito bites.  I watch the bees hover.  It's an effort to stay focused. So I simply can't imagine trying to celebrate Mass hearing gun fights, grenades exploding, people running and screaming.  I think I'd just cry, "Father, Father, your blessing and absolution, please."
ROME, JULY 25, 2012 ( "God alone knows how difficult it is for me to find words to encourage the people not to give up hope," wrote a priest from Damascus, referring to the state of the city as rebel fighters advance in their eff…

The Blessing of Hermits

“I, Brother Benedict Joseph Connelly 
vow to Almighty God, and into your 
hands, Sean Patrick Cardinal 
O’Malley, O.F.M. Cap., to live 
poverty, chastity and obedience for 
life, according to my personal rule as 
a hermit.  May the grace of the Holy 
Spirit and the intercession of Holy 
Mary, Mother of God, St. Joseph, St. 
Bruno, and all the angels and saints 
be my help all the days of my life.  
With joy I seal this covenant of 
solitude, prayer and penance, in the 
Name of the Father, the Son, and the 
Holy Spirit.” 

This morning at Mass, I noticed a Dominican friar.  But I was mistaken.  There was no capuce.  I examined his habit piece by piece.  It was a Trappist's monks habit, but the scapular was white, not black.  Maybe that's what novices wear?  He also wore a wide white leather belt.  The Trappist's belt is black or brown.  Whatever, I was satisfied with my conclusion that he was a Trappist novice.
    However, going up for Communion, he had those loopy things that Carthusian…

Jonathan Wayne Nobles

     The Story of Jonathan Nobles by Simon Roche OP -- 
·Father Simon Roche, O.P. is the Promoter of Lay Dominicans in Cork, Ireland.  He relates the story of a “cloistered brother.”  This is the story of one of them, Jonathan Wayne Nobles.  On the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, 7th of October 1998, Jonathan was executed by lethal injection at Huntsville prison, Texas. Jon was a Lay Dominican trying to follow Jesus in the spirit of St Dominic. In 1986, high on drugs Jonathan, then 25 years of age, stabbed two young women to death and seriously injured Ron Ross; a horrific crime for which he was sentenced to death. He was convicted almost entirely on the strength of his own confession. He never took the stand during his trial. He sat impassively as the guilty verdict was read out and only flinched slightly when the judge sentenced him to death. When he arrived at the prison he quickly alienated himself from the guards and most of the prisoners. ·   Somehow, in what is among the most in…

Spidey Compared to Jesus

Yeah.   Believe it.


A distant sailboat
learning to scoop the east wind
main sail stiff with salt

dips into the sea and
bounces back
again and again.

Fenway Park

A couple of days I went on one of the tours Fenway Park is offering, to celebrate being 100 years old. These are some of the things that impressed me:

The Yawkey Family is one of my new heroes.

 Tom Yawkey's favorite saying was  "Be patient, take the bad with the good and never look back."  My very best favorite hero, Fr. Lataste would agree.  The frame of reference is of course, different, Yawkey's baseball, and Lataste's prisoners.  But still.When Tom Yawkey turned 30 he inherited his trust fund and immediately bought the Red Sox.Jean Yawkey mixed the green for the green monster and copyrighted the shade.Tom Yawkey spent good money on the Red Sox and never saw them win a World Series.  He did all he could.  I love the man because it was the game he loved.  He treated all fairly.  Even Ted Williams, who wasn't known for his kindness said of Yawkey, when Yawkey died, "I feel so badly, I don't know what to say.  He had a heart as big as a watermelon. …

My Bucket List

National Geographic Traveler, August/Sept edition, had an advertisement for travel.  I read and appreciated Andrew Evans' Ultimate To-Do List.  It inspired me to think of my own. 
My biggest dream is to perfect the Eight Beatitudes Matthew 5: 3-10:
1.  Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Well, didn't I carry the cross in the Los Angeles Catholic Worker's Way of the Cross, on a Good Friday?  More to do. 2.  Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land.  Aren't I best friends with the anawim?  Trying anyway. 3.  Blessed are they who mourn: for they shall be comforted.  Sometimes in prayer, I am brought to tears over man's inhumanity to man.  There is much to mourn over. 4.  Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill.  Aren't I trying to correct injustices?  I'm trying.  I'm trying. 5.  Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.  I pray for mercy for all those…

Prison Blessings

My "cloistered brothers" and I were discussing blessings tonight.  We were impressed how many blessings there are all around us.  But one needs "eyes that see, and ears that hear." Proverbs 20:12.  Even events, that we once perceived as tragedies, and the worst days of our lives, in retrospect were a necessary part of what we needed to get closer to God.  We see that now.
Even prison.  One "cloistered brother" said he doesn't regret a minute of being in prison.  He found God.  He loves God.  He wants to spend the rest of his life learning about God, praying to Him, and serving Him.  And if he weren't in prison, he doesn't know if he'd be able to do that.  The prison is his monastery.  


This morning the homily was about Mary's Annunciation.  Father related the story of talking to children about Mary saying "Yes," to becoming the Mother of God.  The children were asked if they would say "yes."  They responded with a resounding "Yes."

Father then turned to the nuns and asked them if they would say "Yes."  Their response was YES.

Father then turned to us laity in the pews, and we said "Yes" -- sorta.

I admit, I didn't.  I wanted to, but hesitated.  I wanted to know the implications of my "Yes."  After all, the God of the Old Testament is vengeful, and mean.  Sometimes, I wonder about the view of God given by Jesus.


I was thinking of when I'd be the elder son in the Prodigal Son (Matt 21: 28-32, or the poor slob who was suckered into slaving all the day in the field Matt 20: 1-16), or the timid honest one who buried his master talents ( Matt 25: 14-30), etc.

I would want a guarantee that I&…

Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha

Catherine Tekakwitha
By Eliza Allen Starr The sweet-briar rose of summer glades We lay upon another shrine;* The lily of the Mohawk woods, O dusky maiden! shall be thine.
One pendent flower, upon a stem
With leaves enfolded, pearly white; Itself, its eaves, its very stalk Like frost-work set in summer light.
Though swaying to the lightest breeze,
No fibre gives it earthly hold; A miracle of beauty, seen Upspringing from the forest mould.**
And thus, in innocence of soul,
A Mohawk maiden, orphaned, shy, Grew up within a cabin’s shade, Almost apart from human eye.
Left at her birth to warlike kin,
A stranger to all gentle care, Death gave to her an unseen shield- Her Christian mother’s dying prayer.
The April airs, though long delayed,
Are not so welcome to the fir, Nor through the wind-flower’s slender stem So swift a sense of gladness stir, As Heaven’s full message, sent, at length, Through Christian teachers to the maid; Which found her, waiting still, within A Mohawk cabin’s humble shade. Thenceforth the Bread, …
This is the place, where I'm giving a Talk, tomorrow.  It's not the inside of Mary Immaculate of Lourdes; it's one of the parish buildings.  I'm speaking to the St. Dominic Chapter of Lay Dominicans, there.  The topic is the beatification of Blessed John Joseph Lataste, O.P.

It's going to be a lot of give and take.  I'm going to ask them more questions, than they're going to ask me.

What's the process of canonization?
Where are beatifications held?
What do you think of our new Dominican Blessed?

Then I'll ask them to pray for his canonization.

pictures  Of course, you've seen those.

Prophets of Doom

Drought stretches across America IS SOMETHING BEING SAID IN THE HEAT AND STORMS AND EVEN A QUAKE THAT AFFLICTED WASHINGTON? Catholic Schism: Diarmaid MacCulloch, Influential Church Historian, Predicts Major Division In 'Silence In Christian History' What do you think when you read headlines like the above?  Does the "end of the world," come to mind?  The Second Coming is near.
Let me put your mind to rest.  In today's Midday Prayer, Psalm 60 is introduced with these calming words, "You will suffer in the world, but have confidence: I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)  
O God, you have rejected us and broken us. You have been angry; come back to us.

God is not vengeful. God does not take His anger out on His people.  Think about it.  Think.  Do you think that the God who came as a helpless babe, among the poor, would do that?  Think.  Destruction, wrath, war, natural disasters, etc., just isn't the way He operates.

It's not the way He responds…

Badda Bing, Badda Boom


Catholic Writers Conference

M E D I A   R E L E A S E
CONTACT:  Ann Margaret Lewis Phone:  (317) 755-2693 e-mail:
For Immediate Release
Catholic Writers to Hold Conference in Arlington, Texas
Arlington, TX--The fourth annual Catholic Writers’ Conference LIVE will take place August 29-31, 2012, at the Arlington Convention Center in Arlington, TX. Sponsored by the Catholic Writer’s Guild and the Catholic Marketing Network (CMN), and held in conjunction with CMN’s annual retailer trade show, the Catholic Writers Conference LIVE provides Catholic authors with a prime opportunity to meet and share their faith with editors, publishers, fellow writers, and bookstore owners from across the globe.

The conference will offer “pitch sessions,” allowing authors an opportunity to meet personally with publishing professionals and pitch their writing projects. In addition, attendees have the opportunity to sign up for critique with professional editors and writers. Some participating publi…

The Past Does Not Define You

I've heard the Gospel for the Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, three times: Mass, a Communion Service, and again tonight at Mass for my "cloistered brothers."  This means that I've heard three different homilies for Mark 6: 1-6.  Not one homilist has my take on the scripture.

I can see very well how the people of Jesus' hometown saw Him.  Isn't this the bratty kid I beat up in Kindergarten?  Isn't this the kid we called "Snots" because his nose was always running?

Seeing Jesus from that perspective, who would believe that he was the Messiah?

Some people are locked in their own perspectives of certain people.  Some don't believe people can change.  Some can't get over what once was, or what once was done.

Can criminals change?  Can convicts be good people?

No.  I'm not surprised at people's reactions to Jesus, at all.  Nope; not one bit.

"God does not look at what we have been; God sees only what we are."  (Words of…

Dominican Litany of Saints

You thought the Litany was long before.  Blessed Lataste has been added.  He's the friar in the middle of this picture. Sorry it's so poor.  It's a picture of a holy card, one of my "cloistered brothers" drew it.  That's Pere Lataste in the center.  Mother Henri Dominique is last, in the second row, right.  An anonymous "cloistered brother" is in front--the only one not in habit.  He's just wearing the Dominican Laity's scapular for those who are Final Promised.  Oh! There's one other not in habit.  First row right, the last  lady, is in 1860 French prison garb, representing a prisoner from Cadillac prison.  To understand this cast of holy people, please read the Spring edition of eLumenate. As I was saying, the Litany of Dominican saints is not an ejaculatory prayer.   It's very long.   It's not said often.  One reason is because it's so long, but also, it's potent.  It's a powerful prayer.  Over the weekend, the Pr…