Showing posts from September, 2012

Spiritual but not Religious

When someone tells me that there spiritual, but not religious, they're telling me that they don't know what they're talking about.  I think they're trying to tell me that they don't go to church, but they do think about God.
My question is, if they think about God, why do they think God makes us.  What's our purpose and what does God want from us?  More likely, they think "Nothing," to all my questions.   They probably don't think God wants anything from us because....why?
See, I don't think the "I'm spiritual but not religious," people,  have thought that much about it.  They might used the expression, "Oh my God," but that's not spiritual, and certainly not religious.  
They might even think that exercise is spiritual, i.e., Yoga, Tai Chi.  Maybe being a vegetarian is spiritual.  Any thing New Age is spiritual.  But not organized religion.  
Since these people haven't thought very deeply about theology they d…

Solidarity and Subsidiarity

Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, B16's Secretary for Relations with States, was at the UN.  He was there to address the General Assembly.  His speech explained the true sources of law and justice.

He asked the UN to be effective, jus,t and equitable by adhering to solidarity and subsidiarity.  This means that decisions must be based on the dignity of the human beings.  The Archbishop warned about the dangers of materialism, consumerism, modernism.  Read his speech for yourself.

How does the UN, or a nation, or an individual, balance justice with duty?  It's an ideal, but always something to strive towards.

Human Strength is the Greatest Weakness of ALL

Almost a week ago, I wrote about "when the weak are strong."  At that time, I was thinking of individual occurrences.  When people fail or are in desperate situations and realize that they can't rely on themselves, and have to appeal to God.
Well, I've just come across a situation regarding how a single individual is weak and needs the strength of a collective group.  The lesson I learned involved a member of my chapter trying to go it alone.  He tried to work things out himself and got involved in a mess.  Broken and scared, he confessed in Chapter.  It was in his weakness, that the Chapter pulled him up by supporting him.  We grouped together and brainstormed solutions.  We'll solve this together.  We prayed together.
When you are weak, then you are strong.  
No human can do it all, alone.

When the Weak are Strong

Today is the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time.  The Gospel is Mark 9: 30-37. It's about important people.

Early this morning, before Church, I was reading Fr. Ron Rolheiser.  In explaining the Gospel, Fr. Rolheiser tells the story of four important people in the room: a corporate magnate, an Olympic athlete, a rock star, and a baby.

Of course he elaborates on how powerful these important people are.  Yet, they all yield to the baby and cater to its very whims.

I liked the story and almost told the story to Fr. Frank before Mass.  But I didn't.

Then, in Father's homily, he told the story.  !!!!!


The difference is: when Father read Fr. Rolheiser, he meditated and thought of a homily.  When I read Fr. Rolheiser, I was reminded of a joke.  Same idea--the power of powerlessness.

If aliens from another planet came to earth, they would think that cats are our gods.  Think about it.  The aliens would see us catering to every need and whim of our cats.  We groom them.  We feed t…

Satire on Confession

This morning on my way to Mass, Fr. Mitch Pacwa was on the radio.  He made me laugh out loud.  He was talking about confession.  Some people say that they don’t need to go to confession because they haven’t killed anybody.
   Father said “That’s very good, if you compare yourself to Al Capone!”  You have to compare yourself to Jesus.”
Now wait a minute, before you say “Oh.”  Think about it.
Have you worked on Sunday?  Fourth Commandment
                Mark 3:1-6
Have you caused your parents grievous anxiety?  Fifth Commandment
                Luke 2: 39-52
Have you given scandal?  Have you associated with bad companions?
                Disciples picked grain Mark 2: 23-28  
                Jesus associated with sinners  Matt: 11:19
So how do you compare to Jesus?
How do you define satire?

Lay Lead Phenomena

Today is the Feast of St. Andrew Kim Tae-gon and his companions.  He and his friends were martyred in Korea.  Andrew Kim Tae-gon was Korea's first martyred Roman Catholic priest.

What is remarkable about Catholicism in Korea, is that it was an entirely lay lead phenomena.  There was a Jesuit, Father Gregorious de Cespedes who worked in Korea in 1593, to minister to the Japanese living in Korea.  But he was not permitted to preach to the Koreans.

 Yi Gwang-Jeong, a Korean diplomat traveled from China bring books written by Father Matteo Ricci, the Jesuit missionary to China.  Here is where the seed was sown and germinated.  Over time these ideas circulated.

It was from these books, not through Catholic missionaries per se, that Christianity came to Korea.  Christianity was discussed and passed down through the years THROUGH LAY PEOPLE.  No priests and sisters taught it.  Strong Catholics grew up and formed communities by themselves.  Not until 1836 did French missionaries come.


The Writing on the Wall

Remember when you went into public bathrooms and read the graffiti on the walls.  It use to be something like Sally loves John.  One time I even read a theological discussion.  Someone had written one of those supplications to St. Jude.  Underneath, someone else countered with, "You only pray to God!"

Well times move on.  Today I read, Rebecca loves Elena forever!    


This is a caboose.  The closest I've ever been to a caboose was when my brother use to shoot the little chimneys on the tops of the caboose with a "BB" gun; for which he was busted, kicked in the ass by the cops and strapped by my father.
All that changed today.  Hubby and I were offered the opportunity of a life time.  You see we wanted to take the train from Weirs Beach, NH to Meredith, NH.  But we were the only people on the train!  Weirs is a summer resort and just about closes down on Labor Day.  Well, we come from Cape Cod, and after Labor Day is the best time to go to the Cape because that's when all the tourists are gone.  We thought the same would be true in New Hampshire.  Well, not quite.  Everything in Weirs is almost closed for the season.  The train only runs two days.  
So we found ourselves riding alone.  Actually there was a bus load of senior citizens, but they were separated from us, in a different car.  They were on one of those senior citizen tr…

Praying for the Dead

While hiking this afternoon, we came upon this interesting cemetery.  Hubby and I walked around and read these old tombstones.  At first I was puzzled by the war some of these veteran graves marked.  The Ray War was noted on a few tombstones.  They were the oldest in the cemetery.  Then one of the grave markings was clearer than the others.  It didn't say Ray War.  It said Rev. War.

Yes, we prayed for them all.
Into your hands, Lord, I commend their spirits.
Into your hands, Lord, I commend their spirits.

You have redeemed us, Lord God of truth.
I commend their spirits.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
Into your hands, Lord, I commend their spirits.

Your word has been fulfilled.


Well, I won the fight.  As Formation Director, I wanted to gift YOUCAT (Catholic catechism for teens) to all our Aspirants.  I'm talking about the guys wanting to enter into the Postulancy stage of Our Lady of Mercy Chapter of Lay Dominicans.

The President of our chapter read some negative comments, regarding the book.  My argument included the fact that the catechism was compiled by our brother, Christoph Cardinal Schönborn
Also, even though the guys who would be reading YOUCAT aren't teens, they're more teen, than adult.  Well, they are.  I'm speaking educationally, mentally, emotionally.  Anyway, I enjoy and learn from it, so can't they.

Anyway, the objections are about the English translation.  And I've read that those objections are being addressed in future editions.

My favorite thing about YOUCAT is the pictures.  In fact, I often look at the margins first, before I read what I needed referenced.

Inspiration Workshop

My T.O.P.S. chapter hosted an Inspiration Workshop.  Take Off Pounds Sensibly is an international organization dedicated to health, nutrition, and support.  It's not a diet club because we don't sell food, or gimmicks, or recommend specific diets.  We preach healthy habits.  Most people have to change their lifestyles to be what they want to be. Although the title is Take Off Pounds Sensibly, I used it to gain weight, because its about healthy habits.  Now I stay for the support to stay within a healthy weight range.

Today's Inspiration Workshop was a lot of fun.  The theme was back to school.  We had plenty of apples for the teacher and everyone else.  Those are "affirmations" on the stems.

Here was our schedule for the day.  I liked the cooking glass because I learned a new apple muffin recipe that was easy and nutritious.  The singing and exercise was fun, too.

Dianne Therieau was our guest speaker.  She's from my chapter.  We're quite proud of her.  S…

No Pain, No Gain

Today is the Triumph of the Cross.  Catholics exalt Christ's dying on the cross.  Meditating on this day, made me think of the times I was in pain (physically, mentally, emotionally).  In fact, I probably even prayed to be relieved of that pain, "Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from me; yet not as I will, but as thou willest."

In retrospect, the suffering molded me into being who I am.  I should know by now, to just trust God.  If He brought me to it, He'll bring me through it.

It also struck me how an object of shame, the cross, has become a symbol of triumph.  Just imagine, something that was designed to humiliate, torture, kill, shame, managed to bring about our redemption.  An example of God turning bad into good.

If it weren't for the passion and crucifixion, we wouldn't have had the Resurrection.

Modify your Exercise

Just about every exercise can be modified.  Fortunately, I’ve never been close to 300 pounds, where I couldn’t get up off the floor, once I got down, or didn’t want to be seen at a gym with all those mirrors, and 18 year olds with hard bodies.  However, I did once have an illness that left me too weak to even get down on the floor, and had a voice that was barely above a whiskey/cigarette clogged voice box.  Hence, I have some experience that I think might help people.
You have to exercise to be healthy, PERIOD. 
You know it.
Make up your mind to just do it.
1.You can do it privately.  No one has to know.  Experiment.  So you feel foolish, who knows?  Push yourself.
2.Walk.  Make numerous trips down to the basement and upstairs.  Write down how many times you do it, and do more the next day. 3.Go to the supermarket and if you take the motorized cart, don’t.  Use your walker.  If that’s too much, use your walker for part of the time. 4.Take chair exercises and other exercises for seniors…

What's the Trinity?

Last night, a book club member asked me a question that shocked me.  Not surprised, but shocked me.  I was showing the book club, my pictures from Besancon, France.  When a picture of this sculpture of the Trinity, by Joseph Pyrz, came up, she asked me in a voice only I could hear, "What's the trinity?"

I couldn't answer appropriately.  In fact, how could I explain it. But I was addressing the group and couldn't take the time that was needed.  All she wanted was a quick response.  And she tried to answer it herself, since I was busy lifting my jaw up off the floor.

"Is it Jesus and Mary and ....and...and..."

Finally, I said, "No, no, it's the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit."  And I continued on with my explanation of the pictures I was distributing.

I should have explained that these three persons are separate but unified, co-equal, co-eternal, and consubstantial, IOW, one being.  One God in three persons.  Each of the three is God yet sep…

Guess Who

Hey Everybody!  Who do you say that I am?

Jesus asked this question inMatthew 16:13-19  

It seems that everybody has a different opinion.

Is it possible that even today, people think Jesus to be different things?  Jesus is somebody different to each of us?  I wouldn't be surprised.  Just think of your own life.  Who did you think Jesus was when you were a child?  I certainly think of Jesus differently, as an adult.  

The thinking process matures, as does our faith, just like Peter's.  I'm not sure Peter understood what he was guessing when he gave the correct response, "the Messiah."  He listened to the other guesses, "Elijah," "John the Baptist," "Jeremiah." And then Peter, being Peter, impulsively guessed, "the Messiah."

That's it.  Peter was blessed.  He gave the correct answer.  He was the one chosen to give the correct answer, the one Jesus commended for responding to the grace, the one upon whom God would build his chu…

New Mass Translations

It's been a year now since the Church implemented the new English translation of the Roman Missal.  How do you like it?

Here's your chance to express your opinion.  It's a survey from the publication US Catholic.  There's a survey for us parishioners, and a different one for priests.  Go to it here.

Unless the Lord Builds the House...

Psalm 127 says that unless the Lord builds the house, it's in vain.  Well, you know how the Lord's time is not our time, well, look at this house.  It's made of paper.  And it was built in 1922.  That's a lot of "in vain."  I'm thinking of human time.  
Hubby and I were in Rockport, MA looking at the sights.  Not only was motif # 1, on our list, so was the Paper House.  The man, Sven Stenman built it as a hobby.  The outside walls are made of 215 thicknesses of paper, about half an inch thick.  Then many coats of varnish were applied.  There's a normal roof which has protected it all these years.
Mr. Stenman also built this grandfather clock.  It was made from newspapers from the then 48 states.  Once word got around that he was building a house entirely made of paper, people sent him plenty. 
 There's a desk made from the Christian Science Monitor; a cot containing some papers saved since World War I; a piano covered with paper rolls; a radio cab…

Death Bed Promises

Last night, my "cloistered brothers" celebrated the life of Pere Marie Jean-Joseph Lataste, O.P. Sept. 5th is Pere's Feast Day.   He was just beatified June 3, 2012, as the Apostle of Prisons.  So this was our first celebration for him.   We had a Communion Service, we sang, we did Evening Prayer, we read some of his sermons.  The conclusion, choked me up.  Steve read from the Dominican Sisters of Bethany Chronicle of March 10, 1869.  It tells of Pere Lataste's last moments.

Our poor Mother spoke to him of heaven, of those whom he had loved and who were waiting for him.  "They are coming to meet you," she said.  He replied, "I believe it."  "And I shall come to meet you when you die...I shall take you into God's presence...I shall come to meet all my daughters..."

At 3 o'clock, the community gathered around his bed, but he could no longer see clearly.  Our poor Mother said to him, "Father, your children are here.  We are goin…

Corrections to the Readings for Sept. 5

SEPTEMBER 5                        FEAST OF BLESSED JEAN JOSEPH LATASTE Invitatory Lord open my lips… Antiphon: In order to see God we must forget ourselves. Invitatory Psalm                                            Morning Prayer Hymn Psalms and Canticle from Sunday, Week 1 Antiphon 1: O Lord, what is man that you treat him with so much respect? Psalm 63:2-9 Antiphon 2: The soul which returns freely to God renders Him the most beautiful homage possible, that of a free soul which chooses to kneel before God.  Canticle: Daniel 3:57-88, 56 Antiphon3: It is true, the greatest sinners have in them what makes the                                  greatest saints: who knows if they won’t be so one day! Psalm 149 Reading: Hebrew, 13:1-3 Responsory                                                                                                                            O my joy and my hope, the Lord is my song, it is from Him that my pardon comes. -O my …                                                 …

New Office Readings for Sept. 5

Since Bl. M. Jean-Joseph Lataste was just beatified June 3, 2012, no one has these readings in their breviary.  His feast day is tomorrow, Sept. 5.  Here are the new readings:

SEPTEMBER 5 FEAST OF BLESSED JEAN JOSEPH LATASTE Morning Prayer Invitatory Antiphon: In order to see God we must forget ourselves. Hymn: Antiphon: O Lord, what is man that you treat him with so much respect? Psalm 63 Antiphon: The soul which returns freely to God renders Him the most beautiful homage possible, that of a free soul which chooses to kneel before God. 
Canticle: 1 Peter 2:21b-24
Antiphon: It is true, the greatest sinners have in them what makes the                                  greatest saints: who knows if they won’t be so one day! Psalm 149 Reading: Hebrew, 13:1-3 Response: O my joy and my hope the Lord is my song, it is from him     that my pardon comes , in him I hope, I fear nothing, in him I hope , I fear nothing. Verse recited by all together, “Whoever you are, come to Jesus!    He has goodness for a…

First Feast Day for the Apostle of Prisons

September 5, has been designated as the day to celebrate the Memorial of Pere Marie Jean-Joseph Lataste, O.P.  He is the Apostle of Prisons, beatified June 3, 2012.  It is from him that I learned that the past doesn't define a person.  I learned more than that:

He, himself was the first one to be converted.

Lataste preached the Gospel for the salvation of souls, even in the face of doubts and difficulties regarding the possibilities of success in his work.

The greatest sinners can become the greatest saints.

I have seen marvels.

Grace transforms us.

You whom humanity despises, you are God's beloved.

Lataste sought to transform the spiritual lives of the imprisoned and to enlighten the social conscience of his contemporaries.

God is the Being of the present.

My dear sisters...

Mother and Child Saints

In reading Catholic Exchange, the leading article, How Many Saint Pairs are there?, immediately brought Bl. Jane of Aza to mind.  The Catholic Church honors two of her children: Bl. Mannes and St. Dominic.

Bl. Jane is known as the mother of St. Dominic.  She is the one who had the dream of the dog with the torch in his mouth that was the harbinger of St. Dominic.  The dream told her that she would give birth to someone who would bring the light to the world.

She had other children, also.  Mannes, Dominic's brother, we also honor as Blessed.

Blessed Mannes, an older brother of Saint Dominic, was born at Caleruega, Spain, about 1170. He was among his younger brother's first followers and later assisted in establishing the priory of Saint-Jacques at Paris in 1217. In 1219 he was entrusted with the care of the Dominican nuns at Madrid. According to an early source he was "a contemplative and holy man, meek and humble, joyful and kind, and a zealous preacher." He died a…