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Showing posts from October, 2013

All are Alive Before God

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Looking over the Readings for Sunday, the Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time, I am reminded of my post from yesterday, on the Communion of Saints.  My point, yesterday, was the spiritual bond that exists among those living presently, those in Purgatory, and those in heaven.  This Sunday's Readings, 2 Mc 7:1-2, 9-14 and the Gospel of Luke 20: 27-38, mention this.

In Maccabees, seven sons were tortured to death.  They went willingly, rather than disdain Yahweh.  The fourth son said, while dying,

One cannot but choose to die at the hands of mortals and to cherish the hope God gives of being raised again by him...

In Luke's Gospel, the Sadducees, who don't believe in the resurrection, tried to trick Jesus by asking him a question about the widow of brothers.  Whose wife is she?  Jesus told them that our understanding of civil states of union won't matter in heaven.  It is so different.  In fact, Jesus says,

...He is God not of the dead, but of the living; for to Him, all…

Communion of Saints

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Montferrand Cemetery Catholicism is the best religion to die in.  I was reading someone's blog explaining All Hallow's Eve, All
Saints Day, and All Souls Day. One of the comments happened to say, "When you're dead, you're dead.  No use praying for them.  It does no good."

Thank God I'm Catholic and believe in the Communion of Saints.  Pope Francis' continued his catechesis, during his General Audience.

Pope Francis told the crowd that within the communion of saints exists a great family where each one helps and sustains the other.
A final aspect of the communion of saints, he continued, is the spiritual bond that exists between those who continue their pilgrimage on earth and those who have passed the threshold of death into eternity. “All who are baptized down here on earth, the souls of Purgatory and all the blessed already in Paradise form one big Family,” the Holy Father said. “This communion between heaven and earth is realized especially thro…

The Greatest is Love

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Yesterday, I posted the poem, The Faith is First.  And because it is first, I considered it the greatest virtue.  You wouldn't have hope or love, if you didn't have Faith.  Sydney Carter poeticized that in his poem.

While that is true, it's not the whole story.  I have moved beyond that idea.  At the end of life, all that we will have, see, and feel, is Love.  Think about it.  You will see Jesus.  You will be looking at Him, Love, Himself.  You won't need faith because you see Him.  You don't have to hope to see Him; He's in front of you.  All that remains is the love we see in God.  He is Love, Himself.  Love is the greatest virtue.

Faith is Basic

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Sydney Carter was a poet and lyricist from the 1960's.  He was English and religious.  He was a firm pacifist and refused to carry a weapon during war--he drove an ambulance.  In this poem, he talks about faith, in general.  Everyone has to believe in something.

The Faith Came First                      

The faith came first.
In the beginning was
the way that I believe
and after that
came all that I believe in.

Hitler, Christ,
Apollo, Aphrodite
and Karl Marx
fruit, thorn or
flower on
a single tree.
Faith is the sap of it.

By faith I test
the gospel of St. Matthew,
Michelangelo,
Bach or the Beatles
but
the faith came first, I see
no other rock
but this to
build upon.

Symbol of Vocation

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To the honor of almighty God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and of Blessed Mary the Virgin and Saint Dominic, I, (____________name, ______________religious name,)  in the presence of the Master of the Order of Friars Preachers, promise that I will live according to the Rule of the Laity of Saint Dominic for life.

These are the words to the promise that Lay Dominicans say when finalizing their vocation. In addition
to words, Lay Dominicans also receive a large scapular.  However, the scapular is not for everyday use.  It's ceremonial.  We, Lay Dominicans, in my chapter, Our Lady of Mercy, also receive a Dominican cross.  This is what we wear every day.  This is a symbol of our Dominican vocation.

This cross is something only a Dominican can wear.  You will see Dominican sisters wear it.  Our chapter's spiritual assistant, a Dominican friar, wears it when he wear's his clerical blacks.  Why?  He wears the Dominican cross when dressed as a priest to indicate that …

Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival

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Time for a roundup of my weekly posts and a link up to RAnn's This That And the Other Thing.  Some fellow Catholic bloggers do this on Sundays and answer a weekly question.  The question this week asks about my favorite saint.  Easy question!  It's the Apostle of Prisons, Blessed Marie Jean-Joseph Lataste, O.P..  I went to his beatification last year!  It was literally the experience of a life-time.  Since my personal apostolate is prison ministry, Pere Lataste is my personal hero.

This week's snippets:

Sunday -- I updated St. Dominic's Nine Ways of Prayer

Monday -- I witnessed a conditional baptism.

Tuesday -- No Post

Wednesday -- A day of blessings!

Thursday -- I wrote about my perspective on Esau.

Friday -- We had a K.O.P.S. celebration!

Saturday --  I ranted on poor cantors because I can't sing.

Click on RAnn's site and read some others' posts.  http://rannthisthat.blogspot.com/2013/10/sunday-snippets-catholic-carnival_26.html


Essentializing

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Never mind about "women can't be priests."  I don't think women should be cantors.  Women cantors are sopranos.  Most people can't sing that high.

Notice.  Next time you're at Mass, if the cantor is a man more people sing, than when the cantor is a woman.

I rest my case.

K.O.P.S.

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T.O.P.S. stands for Take Off Pounds Sensibly.  When a person joins T.O.P.S., they quickly learn that K.O.P.S. is what every T.O.P.S. member strives for.  K.O.P.S. stands for Keep Off Pounds Sensibly.  A K.O.P.S. has attained their weight goal.  Now he/she has to maintain that weight.  Not three pounds over or seven pounds under, are allowed.  If that happens, the K.O.P.S. has two weeks to get back on track.

To achieve K.O.P.S., one must learn the discipline of weekly weight-ins, count calories, plan ahead, eat mindfully, exercise, face their personal weaknesses and strengths, and change their lifestyle, habits, and attitudes.  And it ain't easy.

There will be setbacks.  K.O.P.S. have to learn to cope with that.

Above is my group's (T.O.P.S. Franklin, 463), new K.O.P.S.   Congratulations ladies!

Esau

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We're studying Genesis 29-36, in Bible Study.  I can't stop wondering about Esau.  I wonder how he feels and thinks.  What goes through his mind?

In the beginning, he comes across as such a thoughtless, self-absorbed brute.  After his mother betrayed him, I felt differently.  I know it was Jacob that tricked Esau, but his mother was complicit.  Imagine, your own mother!  How could she!  How could she chose one child over another!  I know God told her that Jacob would be favored over Esau, but she didn't wait for God.  What a silly female!

After not receiving the blessing for the first born, Esau did say he would kill Jacob, but that was natural.  I'm considering the culture and time.  Besides, he obviously changes his mind, because twenty years later he greets his brother with genuine love.

What happened to Esau?  That's what I want to know.  What occurred?

Was it Esau's nature?  Did he only live for the moment?  Remember he sold his birthright for some soup…

Gratitude for Beer

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Great Day!  Today hubby and I went to Boston to tour Sam Adams Brewery.  We thought it was wonderful. Our tour guide explained the chemistry of the brewing process.  I still have a yellow stain on the palms of my hands, from crushing the hops.  It was very educational.  The beer sampling, of course, is always good.

Afterwards, we walked around Arnold Arboretum until we got hungry.  We definitely have to come back in the spring.  The colors were past peak, but still pretty enough.  I even saw a California redwood there.

When we got hungry, we went to Doyle's.  Doyles was the first bar to sell Samuel Adams Beer.  It is still the first to sell any new beer, that the Sam Adams Brewery produces.  The place is a museum of Irish and old Boston politics.  Hubby thought he died and woke up in heaven.

If today weren't blessing enough, tonight in Dominican Study Group, my "cloistered brothers" talked about  gratitude.  Everyone shared what they were most grateful for.  The list…

Conditional Baptism

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Before Mass tonight, Msgr. Peter Conley performed a Conditional Baptism.  Cardinal O'Malley is coming soon to confirm the confirmandi and they're getting ready.  One confirmandi wasn't sure that he was ever baptised.  Jose doesn't remember any talk or pictures about it, and his family is estranged from him, so he can't ask them.

In Jose's case, when there is reasonable doubt that a baptism has ever occurred, the sacrament is administered conditionally.  Baptism can only be done once; that's why it's important for the priest to say "if you are not baptised..."

Since this was done in front of my "cloistered brothers," their answers were quite loud.

Msgr. Conley: Do you reject Satan?


Cloistered Brothers: I do.

Msgr. Conley: And all his works?

Cloistered Brothers: I do.

Msgr. Conley: Do you reject sin, so as to live in the freedom of God's children?

Cloistered Brothers: I do.

Msgr. Conley: Do you reject the glamor of evil, and refuse to b…

Dominic's New Ways of Prayer

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Everyone in the Dominican family learns of Dominic's Nine Ways of Prayer: bowing, prostration, self-discipline, genuflecting, oremus position, arms out like a cross, arms straight out, lectio divina, and walking in meditation.  Some of these, like the discipline are out dated.  You would be considered a fanatical sadist if you whipped yourself.  But there are other ways to discipline yourself, through fasting for example.

At Mass this morning I picked out a few ways of praying.  People blessing themselves.  You will see people bless themselves going by a church.  This is to reverence the living Eucharist in the Tabernacle.  People bless themselves before swimming, or going up to bat.  They may be sending up a prayer for protection, a blessing, or thanksgiving.

People still genuflect like Dominic.  We also kneel.  But there are some people who are elderly, too big, or just cannot kneel for a long time, and they rest back on the seat.  It's not quite kneeling; it's not quit…

Sunday Snippets - A Catholic Carnival

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Please join me and other Catholic bloggers at RAnn’s Place for Sunday Snippets, where we share posts from the previous week and answer a weekly question.  This week's question is suggestions for praying the Rosary.  I'm a good person to answer this, because of my love/hate relationship with the Rosary.  I pray the Rosary every day.  Rather, I finger the beads every day.  Also, I could say that I attempt to pray the Rosary and finish wondering if I did it or not.  But I persist in doing it.

I contend that the intention is worth more than the actual prayer.  Let me explain.  If a loved one has diarrhea, you have to clean it up.  You do it because you love the person, not because you love cleaning up "sickness."  My argument is that this love is exponentially worth more than mumbling "I love you."  Hence, forcing yourself to prove your love by pushing yourself to do something difficult for that person, is worth more than saying "I love you."  

This is …

Praying for Persecuted Christians

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It's early Saturday morning and the Feast Day is as cold as the sky.  I'm on the Cape and the ocean is a white/blue.  So is the sky.  In fact, there's no horizon line.  From the shore to the white sun in the sky, is all white/blue.  I shivered as I looked at it, praying morning prayers.

Today is the feast of Sts. Isaac Jogues, John De Brebeuf, and companions, and the thought of their martyrdom, has also made me shiver.  Even Fr. Francis Moy, s.j. has the same reaction.  As a fellow Jesuit as these martyrs, who were fearfully tortured, (and went back for more), Fr. Moy says his heart drops.  I wonder at their courage and faith.  I find myself praying "Oh Lord, don't ever let that happen to me."  Then, I sheepishly gulp, "according to Your Will, O Lord."

Good grief!  I'd need an avalanche of grace to be a martyr.  I don't mind the dying; that will happen, anyway.  It's the torture that worries me.  God help and forgive me.

Today's me…

Pope Francis Reminds Me of St. Dominic

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When the Order of Preachers was a gleam in St. Dominic's eye, too many of the clergy were lording it over the people.  They lived a lavish, if not immoral lifestyle.  Hence Dominic made his Order, mendicant.  The Order took a vow of poverty.  St. Dominic was so moved by the hungry beggars, that he sold his books to get food for them.

In reading an interview of a former professor of Pope Francis, Father Juan Carlos Scannone, to Mauro Castagnaro, I read a description of St. Dominic Pope Francis.

Jorge Mario has three great qualities: he is a man of spirituality, and when he was my provincial I had the impression that he ruled based on spiritual discernment, at least with respect to me. He is austere, so that in Buenos Aires he traveled by subway or bus -- and often visited the poor neighborhoods, defending priests who worked there. He is determined, and therefore he will implement the necessary changes in the Church, but without causing a rupture.


Father Scannone continues to state …

Rocky Narrows

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You wouldn't believe how blessed the Trial Hikers were today.  The sky was clear; the temperature was in the 70's; and the woods called us by name.  The foliage was just past its peak, but still beautiful.

From King Philip's Bluff we could see the Charles River meander through the valley.  Someone was flying a model airplane that swooped and played with the turkey vultures, in the sky.  We walked along the river banks through marshes, woods, and wetlands.  I forgot to take pictures of us.  I was so busy taking in the scenery.

God can be such a show off.

Pix from Rocky Narrows, Sherborn, MA




Please Help

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For twenty years Father Gordon MacRae has been imprisoned for a crime he never committed.  His accuser has retracted and admitted he lied to several people.  The trial was a gross miscarriage of justice.  

Prize-winning Wall Street Journal columnist, Dorothy Rabinowitz. was interviewed in a compelling video on this case which I urge readers not to miss. One phrase in her WSJ article provides a conscience-stirring summation: “Those aware of the facts of this case find it hard to imagine that any court today would ignore the perversion of justice it represents.’ Three months after the above article was published, a superior court judge in New Hampshire dismissed this appeal without hearing any testimony on its merits or evidence. More recently, an expensive but necessary appeal to the New Hampshire Supreme Court met, in late September, with yet another refusal by state courts to hear this case. A perversion of justice is an apt description.  To correct this gross miscarriage of justice …

Blessed Tribulations

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My friend, Linda, was telling me about her experience in Haiti.  Her daughter is working in a sort of Partners in Discipleship, and she went to visit her.  Linda brought down some greeting cards her friends had made, with some money inside each one.  But when she was in Miami, an airline employee said the baggage compartments were full and she had to put her bag in the luggage compartment.

When she picked up the bag in Haiti, all the cards and money were gone.

She felt terrible.  She felt like a poor steward.  The rest of the trip was hard, also.  Haiti was apocalyptic hot.  Everyone sweated all day, even native Haitians.  The dirt from the ground just stuck to your skin.

Linda had the kids make t-shirts, or toys.  She was trying to have them create useful items.  She rode around in a small car for four, but they always carried at least six in it.  She worked hard.

Now that she's home, she still hasn't adjusted.  They have so little, and we have so much.  Linda likens our sel…

Cardinal O'Malley Celebrates Pro-Life Sunday

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Sunday Snippets - A Catholic Carnival

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RAnn is hosting Sunday Snippets - A Catholic Carnival, again. This is where Catholic bloggers can highlight their blog.  Before getting into that, I have a question to answer.
Have you read a book lately that you'd like to recommend  to us? Which one and why?  
I just finished reading Light by Torgny Lindgren.  I'm going to write a review of it, and I will post it.  It's fiction and reminds me of Flannery O'Connor.  It takes place in a medieval village.  The story is dark and I guess you could say it was full of dark humor.  It's just so horrifically ridiculous that you have to laugh.  You name the sin; it has it.  You read it because you want to see what happens.  I'd say the theme is how tenuous, and fragile, our consciences are.  How easy morality can turn backwards and get all mixed up.  I've never read anything like it before.  Torgny Lindgren is a genius.

As for me, I'm not a genius.  I'm just an average Catholic blogger who this week posted:

Marian Day

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October 13 is a special day.  On this day Our Blessed Mother Mary appeared to three little children in Fatima, Portugal.  This year, Pope Francis is going to consecrate the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, on October 13.  

A notable aspect of this event will be the participation of 10 Marian Shrines around the world during the recitation of the Rosary. They include the Marian Shrines of Aparecida, Brazil; Lujan, Argentina; Lourdes, France; Czestochowa, Poland; Banneux, Belgium; Nazareth, Israel; Nairobi, Kenya; Akita, Japan; Vailankanny, India; and Washington, D.C.

It is actually a two day event.  On the thirteenth, itself, the pope will consecrate the world to Mary.  Pope Pius XII was the first to consecrate.  He consecrated Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  I remember as a child praying for the conversion of Russia.  And look.  It worked.  Let us now pray for the conversion of the world.

The one thing that irks me is the statue of Fatima, itself.  The media calls it the…

Trick or Treat

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I remember Trick or Treating one Halloween night with my little brother, Joey.  My friends and I were enjoying ourselves telling stories to scare Joey.  At first he laughed, but after a while, the laughter turned to nervous chuckling.  That only encouraged us to tease him more.
“Look out Joey.  A bat was trying to get in your hair.” 
“You better keep up with us Joey, because if the boogey man jumps out to grab us, we’re running fast.”
The fun continued until we got to old Mr. Compton’s house.  “Joey, this house is haunted.  Be careful.”
We rang the doorbell. 
We heard creepy music.
 The door  s-l-o-w-l-y  creaked open. 
Old Mr. Compton stood before us and we shouted, “Trick or Treat!  Trick or Treat!” …and we opened our pillow case trick or treat bags.
Old Mr. Compton laughed, and laughed, and laughed,-- slapping his thighs and laughing, -- throwing his head back and laughing, so much that his false teeth fell out of his mouth right into Joey’s trick or treat pillow case.
Silence…

Backyard Shrines

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Ha!  I'm laughing because I just read Dr. Taylor Marshall's post on how he made a back yard shrine.  It's very nice and reminds me of the wayside shrines in Switzerland.  I wish I could.  I'd make one for my meditation garden.  Unfortunately, my family thinks they're very tacky and are horrified to think that I'd put Mary in a bathtub on our front lawn.

But the reason for my mirth, is that I was reminded of the time of how I tricked hubby into getting rid of an unsightly eye sore of a rotting tree trunk.  Hubby cut down a rotten tree in the front of our house.  The stump remained--for too long.  It was very unsightly and a source of irritation, everytime my eyes saw it.

One day I announced at the dinner table, "Don't you think that tree stump in the front yard, is the perfect spot for a statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe?"  I still smugly smile at the look on the family's face.

The next weekend the stump was burnt down to the ground.  And new…

Evangelizing with Names

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Michelle was shocked this morning, to read how duplicitous, Jacob and his mother were, in Genesis 27.  She had named her son, Jacob, without knowing the Old Testament story.  However, she felt better after reading Genesis 29-36.

Bible Study is reading about Jacob in Genesis.  Michelle brought up the subject of names.  We moms discussed names, a bit.  They all decided they were going home to "google" their children's name.

Not me!  I KNOW how important names are.  With a name like Faith, you better believe that I put a lot of thought into naming my children.

Then this morning, I was reading Todd Aglialoro's Catholic Answers regarding naming your baby. He lists five rules to giving names: (1) Mary and Joseph are now the unusual names.  (2) Not too difficult names like obscure Old Testament figures.  (3) Middle names are important, too.  (4)  Use your head, think about the name for awhile.  (5) Take the name from the Bible.

I like # 1.  When you name your babies, Mar…

The Best Losers

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The Office of Readings for today is from the first letter of the apostle Paul to Timothy 4: 1-5.

The Spirit distinctly says that in later times some will turn away from the faith and will heed deceitful spirits and things taught by demons through plausible liars--men with seared consciences who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by believers who know the truth.  Everything God created is good; nothing is to be rejected when it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by God's word and by prayer.

What good does it do you to diet, or fast for God, when you're doing it for the wrong reasons.  One must be working towards physical and spiritual health.  All that God created is for good.

Why Only One Leper Said Thanks

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This Sunday, the Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time, has in its Gospel, the story of Jesus healing the ten lepers, but only one bothered to come back to Him, and express his gratitude.  In what I've read, and the discussions we shared in my Bible Sharing Group, no one mentioned an obvious thought.
The one who came back to say "thanks," was a Samaritan.  Everyone comments on how remarkable that this foreigner, is the one who came back.  That's the focus; the non-Jew is the only one who came back.  
But that's the very reason, the Samaritan did come back; he was a Samaritan.  There was no way a Samaritan is going to present himself to a Jewish priest!  A Samaritan would not have been allowed to enter the temple to thank God.
The Samaritan had no choice; he had no where else to go to express his gratitude.

Feast of Holy Lady of the Rosary

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Sunday Snippets-A Catholic Carnival

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Back from a busy week, and month!  Last week I never got to post a Sunday Snippets-A Catholic Carnival because I was out of town, out of state, sans computer.  This week was catchup.  Consequently, I'm not proud of anything I wrote.  I'm not highlighting my daily statuses, except for Wednesday and Thursday.

Wednesday -- I wrote about Faith being an invincible weapon.  The Hill of Crosses in Lithuania and the memorial cross in Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center, left an impression on me.

Thursday --  The Master came to call.  The Master General of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans) visited Our Lady of Mercy Chapter.

The question of the week is have I ever tried the Liturgy of the Hours.  The LOH is sometimes called Divine Office, Office, the Breviary, and the book that priests are obligated to pray.  Being a Lay Dominican, I am obligated to pray at least Morning and Evening prayers.  Since I pray twice a day, at least, it has become part of my daily routine.  Now it only ta…

Residents Encounter Christ

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I just came from a R.E.C. at Cedar Junction, and can't get this song out of my head.

                            All God's Children Got a Place in the Choir by Damian McGinty

                                                     "A Place In The Choir"

All God's creatures got a place in the choir
Some sing low and some sing higher,
Some sing out loud on a telephone wire,
Some just clap their hands, or paws, or anything they've got now

All God's creatures got a place in the choir
Some sing low and some sing higher,
Some sing out loud on a telephone wire,
Some just clap their hands, or paws, or anything they've got now

Listen to the top where the little bird sings
On the melodies and the high notes ringing,
And the hoot owl cries over everything
And the blackbird disagrees.

Singing in the night time, singing in the day,
When little duck quacks, and he's on his way.
And the otter hasn't got much to say
And the porcupine talks to himself

All God's creatures got…

The Same But Different

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Honestly, I don't see any difference in what they both are saying.
 They have different personalities.  I see and hear the same message.  What's the big "hoop-la" about?


Words from the Master

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Fr. Bruno Cadore came to my chapter, last night.  He walked in just as we were finishing Evening Prayer.  We had nothing planned.  He opened himself up for questions.  Fr. Bruno reiterated the words of St. Dominic.

The Lord Jesus has mercifully called us in the Holy Spirit, and now has kindly united us in his name.  May he manifest in us his glorious presence, and, as he did for blessed Dominic, our Father, so may he grant us true and efficacious love, so that we may be able to attain our salvation and that of others as his true disciples.

Faith is an Invincible Weapon

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Because my mother was a first generation Lithuanian, living in the USA, she tried very hard to be American.  She never taught us children Lithuanian.  In fact, she never taught us anything Lithuanian.  I don't know whether it was a conscious decision, or it just happened.  The result is that I am completely clueless about my Lithuanian heritage.  So when I hear or see anything Lithuanian, I pay attention.

This past weekend at Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center, in Ohio, I came across this cross.
There was an explanation that said that this cross was inspired by the Hill of Crosses in Siauliai, Lithuania.  This morning, I googled "Hill of Crosses."  I am very impressed.
The Soviets couldn't get rid of it.  You can't kill Faith.