Showing posts from October, 2012

Happy Halloween

Trick or Treat

Bible Sharing Meme

I'll have you know that I've never broken a "meme."  Not me.  I've always, always, carried through my part of the deal.  But I've never been the recipient of the completion of a meme.

My first one was when I was first married.  Hubby and I were invited to join in one where we sent the first name on the list a $ 1.00.  We followed directions and sent the money and sent the meme on.  We never received a penny from anyone else.

Another one was when my first child was a toddler.  This one involved sending a book to another child.  I did.  I got nothing.

Then there was a dish cloth one.  I sent a dish cloth to someone.  As usual, I received nothing.

Recently, I received a Bible Sharing Meme.  I sent my favorite Bible verse to the first name on the list.  Then I sent the meme on to ten others.  At least this meme didn't involve any money or effort.  I thought that would be the end of it--and that no one would reciprocate.

Well, I was wrong.  Someone sent the …

MOP Concert

When I first saw one of their priests, I did a double take.  I thought he was a Dominican with a blue cummabun.  Then I learned that he belonged to an Order called the Missionaries of the Poor.

When I first saw the initials, after their name, I thought they were Missionary Dominicans, i.e., Missionaries of the Order of Preachers.

Wrong in both cases.  The Missionaries of the Poor started in 1981.  There are brothers, priests, sisters, and lay associates. They work with the poorest of the poor, for no money.  They exist on donations and put on concerts like the one I went to tonight.

I really didn't want to go.  I went to support my neighbor who goes down to Jamaica, to help the MOP.  Was I surprised!  The concert was excellent!

The music was written by their founder and superior general, Rev. Fr. Richard Ho Lung, MOP.  The music was Caribbean style (think Harry Belafonte).  It was so wonderful and uplifting that he had the audience standing, clapping, singing, and dancing.  Yes,…

Carlos Makes Us Proud

Carlos knocked our socks off, today.  He gave a Talk for the first time.  There were no "ahs" and no "umms."  He was articulate, cool, and projected his voice well.  You would have swore he was a professional speaker.

We were at Boston College's School of Theology and Ministry.  The major speaker was Father Greg Boyle, sj.  He spoke in the morning about Home Boys.  Fr. Greg works with gangs in Los Angeles.  He's written a couple of books.  Tattoos on the Heart is the famous one.

Father G is an entertaining speaker.  He's quite funny.

After lunch, Sister Maureen Clark, CSJ, from the women's prison in Framingham, MA, spoke.  She talked with riveting seriousness.  She spoke of the heart rendering separation of women from their families.  Sister Maureen has started many programs to help the women, one of which was a reading program.  Moms read a story to their children.  This was put on DVD and the DVD and the book were sent to the child.

Both Father …

The Touch of Faith

The Papal Theologian, Fr. Wojciech Giertych, O.P., shares his thoughts on Faith.  He brings to mind the woman who touches the hem of Jesus' garment.  (Mark 5:25-34)  Father explains, "She touched Jesus' coat with her finger, but she touched his heart with her faith.  Jesus knows this, He said, 'because the power came out of me.'  What this means is that every time we make an act of faith, 'the power of God comes out of God and fills us,' Father Giertych explained.  The initial act of faith comes from God, but it still requires a response from us.  The possibility of making the act of faith comes from God because faith is a grace, but the lighting of the sparkplug is up to us.  We make these acts of faith because we've been enabled by God to do this."

The Papal Theologian's words resonate with me.  The spark plug is ignited, and we can idle, or we can go someplace.  It's up to us.

Fr. Giertych is not participating actively in the current …

Shin Splints

I take it as a sign from God.  Only two days into my running regimen, and I've got a shin splint.  Two days!

And I wasn't pushing it; I wasn't even running!  I haven't been doing any exercise, all summer.  It's time to get back into shape.  I started yesterday.  I know I can't jump in and run a mile.  Yesterday, I walked for half an hour.  That's all.


Almost home and I felt pain.  It was in the muscle tissue surrounding my tibia.  I've had it before.  I recognized it for what it is, i.e., medial tibial stress syndrome--shin splint.

I was praying a rosary, while I walked, too.
Lord, you know my strengths and weaknesses. You also know that I desire to be with you now and for all eternity. Come, Jesus, and fill me with your strength and your courage. Lord, I want to persevere in running and finishing the race with you!

While healing, I won't walk uphill.  I might bicycle, but not uphill.  Definitely, I'll keep praying the rosary.…

Loose Cannon

So you think I’m a “loose cannon.” 
Mmmm.  Why would you think that?  Is it because I don't kowtow to you?  Is it because I'm not constantly telling you how wonderful you are?
I'm honest.  I’ll tell you the TRUTH.  When you do something well, I'll praise you.  When you do something that didn’t work well, I’ll tell you.  Just because I’m not passive, and predictably compliant, doesn’t mean I’m a “loose cannon.”
How dull and boring life would be without me.  Life isn’t predictable.  I know I prod the status quo; why is that a negative?  I keep you on your toes. 
I do demand change from circumstances that need it.  Conformity has an insidious, slippery, consequence—obsequiousness. 
You want obedience, buy a dog.  You want predictability, wear a Swiss watch.  You want someone to always agree with you—don’t ask me.
And another thing!
If I’m such a “loose cannon,” then do something about it.  What do you do with real loose cannons?  You secure them. 

Day to Honor Our Blessed Mother

Yesterday, I went down to Thomas Aquinas Priory, in Providence, RI, for a Day to Honor Our Blessed Mother, Queen of the Holy Rosary.  It was sponsored by the Lay Dominican Chapter of Our Lady of Divine Providence and St. Thomas Aquinas.  They always do something to honor Mary in October.  It's a time of Marian reflection.

Yesterday was no exception.  The day began with a welcome from the prior, Very Rev. Edward T. Myers, O.P.  He was very gracious.  I also know him as the religious assistant to the St. Martin de Porres Chapter, in Natick.

Next, Miss Catherine Perrotti, O.P., led us in prayer and singing.  The main speaker was Father Thomas Petri, O.P..  His approach was through Mary, you find her Son.  The title of his talk was, "Mary: Disciple of Her Son."  His spin was different.  We were led to see Jesus as a mother would see a son, as a good Jewish daughter to Yahweh, as someone  graced to share in the Redemption.  I'm still reflecting upon these various images …

Forget Turning Lemons Into Lemonade

If you are human, you have had to encounter a bad day.  Sometimes, through no fault of your own, bad things happen.  Blame God?  You can if you want; He's a big boy.  But I'd really blame Adam and Eve, for sentencing us to this earthly life.  However, that's off topic.

I'm writing about when you're laid off from work, due to budget cuts.  Or even, if you're fired for incompetence--especially then.  The best thing to do is to forget about turning lemons into lemonade. Follow my advice and not even try to turn around a bad occurrence.  Your goal should be to survive it.  Minimize the emotional damage and don't make any decisions, and don't go do anything.  Your decision making ability won't be reliable.  Take a break, forget about it, escape.  Try.

You see this picture of me at a banquet.  Note my color coordinated attire.  My scarf matches my top. Even my finger nail polish matched.  I was really "put together."  I thought I looked nice.


King Philip's Rock

Today's hiking trail took us to King Philip's rock, in Uxbridge, MA.

City person that I am, I learned a lot.  I saw these black bark, skinny poles, and I asked "What's this?"  I was told it was a white pine tree. Pine?  Then I saw these skimpy, flimsy, pine needles on the branches.  Now I know.  The Charlie Brown Christmas trees are called white pine.

I also saw a ring tailed hawk.  The birders in our hiking group were complaining that they didn't see any birds, when we saw a hawk, way up high, circling round and around.  We were told that the hawk was on his way south.  Hawks circle up, again and again.  They even go up to 2000 feet.  That's where they catch the thermal currents of the wind.  Hawks expend very little energy flying south, because they use the wind currents.  Did you know that a group of hawks is called a kettle of hawks.

What a beautiful day.  It was educational, too.  When we stopped for lunch, I took pictures, and John took a nap.  T…

My New Book Club

My new book club has potential.  Its location is the lower level of a church.  I won’t say “basement,” because the noun, “basement,” would belie this “basement.”  It’s too cheery; there’s too much natural light, and atmospheric warmth, for this location to be labeled, “basement.” 
But let’s get back to the book club.
There were eight of us there.  We filled the room.  And every single one of us had something to say.  Everyone added to the discussion.  We laughed together (at men) of course—did I mention that the book was Founding Mothers by Cokie Roberts.   What a book!  This country would not “be,” if it were not for our “Founding Mothers,” (wives of the Founding Fathers.)  Go read the book.
We shared our thoughts.  We accepted opposing opinions.  That’s what makes for a good discussion group.  I’m going to enjoy this book club.  Its name is Books in the Cellar.  I’m kidding.  It really has no name, but since its location is the cellar, basement, lower level of St. Mary’s Church, we re…

The Sermon

Brother Tonto handed the Prior a sermon, saying that it was written by Brother Diotrophes.  The Prior studied it.  "This isn't by Brother Diotrophes, it's too bad!"  "Then will you believe me if I tell you that it is mine?"  asked Brother Tonto.  "No" the Prior replied, "it's too good."

Autumn Colors


The Gospel According to our Leaders

I'm reading American Gospel, God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation, by Jon Meacham.  It's very interesting.  I find it particularly enlightening in regards to the fact that it's really Divine Providence who's in charge.  During World War II, there was a special closeness to God.

The ceremony for the signing of the Atlantic Charter is a good example.  A reading from Joshua was given, "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid...for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest."  Meacham says that Churchill wept.  Three hymns were sung by a mix of American and British sailors: "Onward Christian Soldiers, Eternal Father, Strong to Save and the beginning of Psalm 90."

O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Be Thou our guide while troubles last,
And our eternal home.

The author, continues to conjecture that Americans were wary of this strongly Anglican service.  What if you're not Christian?  Americans …

Halloween Skit

What do you think of my Halloween skit for T.O.P.S.?  I've had a lot of fun composing it.

Halloween Skit
Characters: Narrator           Shopper           Good Angel            Bad Angel            Trick or Treater
Props:                 Toy shopping cart or basket for a few items Candy, Halloween stickers, small cans playdoh, noisemakers, Halloween pencils, Halloween bouncy balls, temporary tattoos, small bottles of bubbles, sugar free gum, raisins, etc. Costume for the Trick or Treater Face Mask
Narrator:  Halloween will be here before you know it and we all know that Halloween, to most children, means candy.  To promote good nutrition and dental health, is the aim of T.O.P.S. members.  So when trick-or-treaters ring your door bell, offer them some fun alternatives, instead of sugary treats. Here is a T.O.P.S. member shopping for Halloween treats. Shopper:        Let’s see.  What should I buy?  What do little kids like? Bad Angel:     Candy, you dolt! Good Angel:  Not candy.  Too much sugar. Shop…

Trappist Beer in the USA

I was talking to my spiritual director; he's the monk in this picture.  And he was very excited about the monks' new project.  They're adding on to the monastery, learning, and growing hops and whatever, in order to brew beer.  This is in Spencer, MA.
Father Aquinas was telling me that when I come for spiritual direction, instead of offering me jelly, he'll give me beer.  
I'll be coming often.  I'll either be a drunk or a mystic.

Why I Blog

A friend once asked me why I blog.  Off the top of my head, I blurted out, "It's my way of preaching."  Ever since then, I've brooded over my answer.  "Was that the best way to say it?"  I've asked myself that question, many times since then.  I'm still not sure.

Bishop Christopher Coyne offers a post dealing with the beginning of the Year of Faith.  In it he emphasizes Pope Benedict XVI's desire for the church to get more involved with the media, in particular, the digital media, which his Holiness calls, "the digital continent."  He quotes:

"Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age."(Matthew 28:19-20)

Bishop Coyne adds his own reasons to Jesus' proposal.  The good bishop says he blogs because it's his way of talking abo…

End of Summer

This is a picture of some of the plants I transplanted today.  It’s also a visual meditation.  This is a time for me to take stock of myself.  What do I need to cut back on—not only material things, but the spiritual demands that sometimes are overwhelming.  (Do I really need to do something for the parish every day?  Can’t a day go by where I don’t have to prayer group, scripture study, right to life group, parish council, Rosary, Sodality, etc.)  This is a good time to do this--the end of summer, before it gets too cold.  Spiritually, I’m beginning to think of Advent. 

I had to step back and look at these plants.  Some are as old as my children.  I split one of them and I’m afraid that it will cause it to croak.  If I double what I do for people, for the church, for family—will I croak?

Now that I’m finished transplanting, I have to decide where to put them.  They were outside, all summer.  Likewise, once I’ve decided what to keep in my life, how can I use what I’ve kept, to my best …

Music by Hildegard von Bingen

Our newest female doctor of the church wrote music.  Listen and enjoy.

How to celebrate My Year

In reading My Catholic Standard, I came across Father William Byrne's five suggestions to celebrate the Year of Faith:

1.  Remember your Baptism
2.  Learn about your Faith
3.  Pray
4.  Serve
5.  Share

These made me think of what I would do and suggest to others.  Surprisingly, I only have ONE recommendation.  Think

Yes, think about your Faith, this year.  I think if you're thinking about your faith, that incorporates Father Byrne's suggestions and anybody else's.  You will be mindfully engaged in everything you do--thinking about Faith.

Eating--start saying Grace
Sleeping--examination of conscience before
Working--start the day by praying
All day--praying for every single person you encouter
Reading--learn about your faith
Watching TV--only watch programs making good use of your time
Worshipping--attend Mass as often as you can (daily)


The Adventures of Rosary Girl

There's Spider Man and Super Man, why not Rosary Girl?

Rosary Girl is my two year old granddaughter.  She enjoys touching and playing with everything on my dresser.  Her favorite object is a fancy box I keep my Rosary in.  She always has to open that and put on the Rosary necklace.  She prefers the rosary of many colors.  She gives me the plain black one.

Right now her praying the Rosary consists of 150 Hail Mary.  Then she dances around me in a liturgical dance consisting of kneeling, running around me, spinning around and sitting, while Grandma prays.

Then she races down the hall, like Superman in his cape, but she's flying around with a Rosary around her neck.  She doesn't have the web weapon that Spider Man has.  Her weapon is more powerful; it's the Rosary.

Today Rosary Girl's Adventures included chasing bubbles outside while grandma blew them in the air.  Then we played hide and seek.  It's odd how she can count ten Hail Mary's, but somehow when we …

Doctor of the Church

Doctor of the Church is a title reserved for certain saints, whose writings and preaching apply to all times.  Needless to say, these saints have to be known for their solid theology.  Here is a list of the current Church Doctors. NAMELIFESPANDESIGNATIONSt. Athanasius296 - 3731568 by Pius VSt. Ephraem the Syrian306 - 373October 5, 1920 by Benedict XVSt. Hilary of Poitiers315 - 367May 13, 1851 by Pius IXSt. Cyril of Jerusalem315 - 386July 28, 1882 by Leo XIIISt. Gregory of Nazianzus325 - 3891568 by Pius VSt. Basil the Great329 - 3791568 by Pius VSt. Ambrose339 - 397September 20, 1295 by Boniface VIIISt. John Chrysostom347 - 4071568 by Pius V