Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Big Losers and Big Winners


When you're dieting, then losing is winning.  In diet clubs, the biggest losers, are the biggest winners.  Therefore, it seems, that winning is a matter of definition.

I was trying to explain this at cribbage, the other day.  The person I was talking to, couldn't fathom why anyone would play a game, knowing that they'd probably lose.  Well, it so happens, that I take an elderly friend to play cribbage.  If the truth be known, I only go for her.  I'm not that interested.  My friend and I are partners.  I wouldn't change partners.  Friendship is more important to me than winning.

Some of my kids are runners.  They have yet to win a race and probably never will.  They don't run to be first; they run for different reasons, and when that reason is satisfied, then they win:

          They join in the race.
          They give it their best.
          They don't give up.
          They endure and persist.
          They cross the finish line, sooner than last time.

That's how I play cribbage.  My friend and I begin together; we have fun; we end together; we shared a good time.  In my mind, we won.


Monday, April 29, 2013

Good Thing God is All Merciful



The Day of Gifts

BY PAUL CLAUDEL
TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH BY JONATHAN MONROE GELTNERRead the translator's notes
It’s not true that Your saints have won everything: they left me with sins enough.
Someday I’ll lie on my deathbed, Lord, ill-shaven and yellow as a lifelong drunk.
And I’ll make a general examination of myself, looking back over all my days,
And I’ll see that I’m rich after all, ripe and rich with evil in its unnumbered paths and ways.
I haven’t lost one single chance, Lord, to make matter for You to pardon.
Now I hearten myself with vice, having long ago sloughed off virtue’s burden.
Each day has its own kind of crime, plain to see, and I count them like some paranoid miser.

If what you need, Lord, are virgins, if what you need are brave men beneath your standard;
If there are people for whom to be Christian words alone would not suffice,
But who know rather that only in stirring themselves to chase after You is there any life,
Well then there’s Dominic and Francis, Saint Lawrence and Saint Cecilia and plenty more!
But if by chance You should have need of a lazy and imbecilic bore,
If a prideful coward could prove useful to You, or perhaps a soiled ingrate,
Or the sort of man whose hard heart shows up in a hard face—
Well, anyway, You didn't come to save the just but that other type that abounds,
And if, miraculously, You run out of them elsewhere . . . Lord, I’m still around.

And what kind of a man is so crude that he hasn't held a little something back from You,
Hasn't in his free time fashioned something special for You,
Hoping that one day the idea will come to You to ask it of him,
And maybe this little that he’s made himself, kept back until then, though horrid and tortuous, will please Your whim.
It would be something that he’d put his whole heart into, something useless and malformed.
Just like that my little daughter once, on my birthday, teetered forward with encumbered arms
And offered me, her heart at once full of timidity and pride,
A magnificent little duck she had made with her own two hands, a pincushion, made of red wool and gold thread.  

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Do's and Don'ts Fashion When Meeting the Pope

Master of the Order of Preachers
has to wear black cappa
when meeting the Pope.

Just in case you're meeting the Pope, don't wear white.  His Holiness, the Pope should be the only one in the room, in white.  Only new brides, are the exception.  You want to be able to find him.  And security want the pope to be easy to track.
    Even Dominicans, when meeting the Pope, have to cover their traditional white habit.  So they wear their black cape (cappa).
    A Catholic Queen is an exception, also.  She can wear white.  But I doubt the Swiss Guard will mix up a lady with the Pope.  Actually the queen doesn't have to be Catholic, but she has to be married to a Catholic.
    Why don't you just forget about white, and wear black?  Don't forget the mantilla.  Women should cover their heads.  Meeting the Pope is a formal occasion.  Formal attire is required.
     All this because of Pius V.  When Pius V was Pope he wore his Dominican habit.  I guess security thought the color was a good idea, because ever since then, the Pope wears white.
     The accessories are optional, e.i., gold ring, gold pectoral cross, mitre, tiara, mozzetta, camauro, and red shoes.  I guess our current Pope Francis I isn't comfortable with the bling, because he doesn't wear any of the accessories.  

Fr. Barron Commentary of God Reversal


Fr. Barron on God's ways are not our ways.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Personal Jesus Prayer


The Jesus Prayer is well known.  You just repeat it over and over and it becomes a mantra.  
                          O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
 People pray it all the time, and sometimes they use their rosaries to count the prayers.  I usually change the words to:
                                  O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us sinners.
That's my preferred way to pray the Jesus prayer.  Sometimes though, I feel moved to place a person's name in:
                                  O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on Paula, a sinner.
It's a quick way to pray for some one.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Family May Procession


Web surfing tonight, I found a wonderful blog.  It's called Catholic Icing.  The blogger has some very creative ideas for teaching children about the Catholic Faith.  The blog is aimed for people with children and/or home school.  I do neither.  I was looking for things to do with my granddaughter.  She's only two, so she limited as to what she can do.

Since May is less than a week away, I searched the ideas for Mary.  There are many.  And I was inspired.  Since my granddaughter is always playing princess, I thought we'd make a crown for the Queen of Heaven, and my granddaughter could be the princess.  She could have a crown too.  We'll sing and process out to the statue of Mary in the garden.

I can't wait to babysit!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Pretty Women Are Trouble


You will never guess what brought to mind this "oldie but goodie.:

Gen. 12: 10-20

This is the story where Abram was afraid that he might be killed because his wife Sarai was so beautiful.  (In those days, the cops weren't too available.)  He was afraid Pharaoh would have him killed so he could marry Sarai.  So Abram lied, and told everyone that Sarai was his sister.  And Abram profited (at first) from this deception.  Abram received camels, flocks, slaves, etc., so Pharoah could marry Sarai.

The Bible doesn't tell what Sarai thought of the arrangement.  

Anyway, plagues came and Pharaoh found out about the deception and Abram and Sarai got thrown out.  It's a wonder Pharaoh didn't have Abram killed there and then.

Abram could have saved himself a lot of trouble if he had taken Jimmy Soul's advice and "If you wanna be happy never take a pretty woman your wife."

The Catholic Church Wins the Race

There were a lot of turtles and frogs in the lily pond, in the Garden in the Woods.  The turtles, or rather the environment, put me in a meditative mood.

Did you know that turtles have been around since the dinosaurs, millions of years ago?  They seem so placid, like the tale of the tortoise and hare: "slow and steady win the race."  They aren't flashy, but they're valuable.

Kind of like the Catholic Church.  Evangelical or charismatics may seek out flashier churches.  Some want more modern, current, new churches.  But "slow and steady (and true) win the race.

Whatever one wishes the Catholic Church to change into, is irrelevant.  What will win the race is the fact that the Catholic Church has the Eucharist.  From the Last Supper, to today's Mass, it's always the same truth.  That's what will win the race.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Hand of God



We had a new priest celebrate Mass today.  This was his first Mass and I received his blessing, after Mass. ( There is a specific plenary indulgence attached to attending a priest’s first “scheduled” or “public” Mass  and to the first such Mass only.Enchiridion 1999, conc. 27 ).1 

His homily was about the voice of God.  It’s been three days in a row, that I’ve gotten the message, “My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord;/I know them, and they follow me. “ ( John 10: 27-28)   I get it.  I’m listening.  And what I heard today, in both the First Reading , and the Gospel, was the noun, “hands”.

And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord.  (Acts 11:21-22)

My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand.  The Father and I are One.  (John 10:29-30)

To me this means, I’m in God’s hands.  I know this already.  Since it’s emphasized twice today, I’m nervous.  Is something terrible going to happen that I need to consciously remember that I’m in God’s hands?  I won’t say, I hope not.  I pray that I don't forget that I’m in good hands, the best hands-- God’s.

Or is it a reminder of this new priest’s hands?  The hands of a priest are special.  It is with these hands that the priest will consecrate the bread and wine.  The Eucharist is the reason and source of the priest’s mission because it brings Jesus to the people.  It’s a divine mission and the priest’s hands are the instruments that brings this mystery about.

Some people, after receiving the priest’s blessing, sometimes kiss the priest’s palms, for this reason.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Summa Theologica Citations





This is the clearest way Thomas Aquinas’s Summa Theologiæ* is to be cited in academic writing. There seems to be no authoritative answer. This does not mean, however, that there are no wrong ways to do so.  The following seems reasonable and very clear.

Citing the Summa is based on its structure, so let’s begin with that.
The Summa has three main divisions called Parts:
  • Part I (Prima Pars) deals with God
  • Part II (Prima / Secunda Secundæ) deals with Humanity and Morals
  • Part III (Tertia Pars) deals with Christ
Each Part is composed of Questions:
  • Part I has 119 Questions
  • Part II is divided into two parts:
    • The First Part of Part II has 114 Questions
    • The Second Part of Part II has 189 Questions
  • Part III has 99 Questions
Each Question is dealt with in Articles made up of five sections:
  • The issue of the article is given in the form a question.
  • Several plausible responses are listed.
  • A contrary response (reflecting Thomas’s thinking) from some authority is cited (the sed contra – “On the contrary”).
  • Arguments are given for Thomas’s response (the respondeo – “I answer that”).
  • Brief replies are given to objections based on the initial responses (the adversus – “Objections”).
When citing passages from the Summa, do not use page numbers.Standard notation procedure is to list the above elements in a consistent manner . . . However, convention varies widely (see examples from scholarly sources below). So check with your school / professor for preferences, and be consistent.
  • Part number
    • First Part: “I” or “Ia”
    • First Part of Second Part: “I-II”  or “Ia-IIæ”
    • Second Part of the Second Part: “II-II” or “IIa-IIæ”
    • Third Part: “III” or “IIIa”
    • **Supplement: “Suppl.” or “Suppl. IIIae”
  • Question number
  • Article number
    • If it is a Reply to an objection, abbreviate adversus as “ad” followed by its number
Examples:

  • Sum I-II, 2, ii, ad. 1.
  • ST I-II, Q. 3, Art. 2, ad. 1.
  • ST I-II, Q 3, A 2, ad. 1.
  • S.T. I-II, 2, ii, a.1.
  • Ia.22.2
  • Ia.I: 19, 34, 193(53)
  • Ia. 3, 2 ad 3.
  • 2a2ae. 180, 10. 3a 35, 8.
Other Considerations:
  • * The title of Aquinas’s work is Summa Theologiæ (Lt. for “Summary of Theology”), but it is sometimes titled Summa Theologica (e.g.,NewAdvent.com and the popular Benziger Brothers 1947 translation). If you are not referencing a translation with “Theologica” in the title, stick with Summa Theologiæ.
    • Although it is allowable to simply use “ae”, to make the “æ” character in MS Word use character code 00E6 under INSERT, or, to make it in HTML type “æ” where “ae” would have gone (e.g., “Summa Theologiæ”).
  • **Aquinas never finished the Summa, but there is a Supplement compiled from his work on the Sentences attached to part three.
  • Thomas’s “last name” derives from his family’s place of origin in Aquino, Italy – so, Thomas of Aquino. Thus, his name is rendered Thomas D’Aquino in Italian (Thomæ Aquinatis in Latin means “of Thomas Aquinas”). For an English source citation or bibliography entry, his name is typically listed as “Aquinas, Thomas.” (Thanks to Prof. R. Howe for this insight!)
  • Full bibliographic information on the Summa should only be included in its firstand in the bibliography. After that, just use standard notation.Summa Theologica Citations
For more complete information see: https://douglasbeaumont.com/      and   

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“Kaye Park Hinckley is a writer with a sensitive ear and a keenly developed sympathy for her characters. Her debut novel, A Hunger in the Heart, marks the beginning of a promising career in the world of fiction.” —Mark Childress, author of Georgia Bottoms and Crazy in Alabama 


 
It is 1955 Florida, and Kaye Park Hinckley’s debut novel, A Hunger in the Heart, brings it alive with memorable flawed characters who all desire something. Sarah Neal longs for her husband, Putt, a WWII hero with a traumatic brain injury, to be like he was before the war. Because he can’t be, she fills her longing with whiskey. Coleman, their son, needs his father and wants his mother’s love and affection. C.P., the B.O.S.S. of Gator Town, Florida, and Putt’s dad and Coleman’s grandfather, wants everything to be normal, and he yearns for his dead wife’s forgiveness.

Please let your readers know about the Free e-book on Tuesday, April 23rd and Wednesday, April 24th.

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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Why then?

Omega and I were thinking: "Why do you think the Messiah came when He did?"  Why then and not now?  If it were now, the Word could have been spread instantly.  We wouldn't have had to rely on word of mouth histories; we'd have television to watch events the minute they were happening.  We would be able to have exact quotes with certainty.  So, why then?

The scripture references to the end of the world are ambiguous.  They could apply to any and all times.


But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

So why then and not now when His Word could be spread so much quicker?  Jesus came so long ago, and ever since then, His Word has been debated.  And that's the only reason I think of, for the question, "why then?".  Is it because we need over 2000 years of processing His coming?  If He came now, we wouldn't have the time necessary to prepare for the Second Coming?  

IOW, Romans 13:11 
Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.

Yikes!  The end is near.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Kissin Cousins


Last night, the last of the Boston Marathon bombers was caught.  Everyone is relieved that the entire episode is over; we can all breathe a sigh of relief; and we can all pick up our lives where we left off.

For us, it was attending a 50th wedding anniversary.  If the bomber hadn't been caught, Boston would have still been in lock down, and the anniversary party wouldn't have ever happened.

Life goes on.

Hubby and I attended the party for his first cousin.  The wife, Patsy, is hubby's first cousin because they have the same grandparents.  Their fathers were brothers.

The party was especially sweet because of the Boston Marathon bombing.  Everyone cherished this family time, the city of Boston, the ability to celebrate, life, peace, and the grace of God.  It was a reminder of what really is important in life--family.

Especially so, since the last time he saw Patsy, was sixty years ago!

h/t to Face Book

Friday, April 19, 2013

Praise to God


There is a language

in each flower

that opens to the eye,

a voiceless but a magic

power, a prayer

doth in earth's

blossoms lie.

                                         - Anonymous

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Our Lady's Easter Bells


Did you know that daffodils are known as Our Lady's Easter Bells?

Early Christian gardens were so moved by beautiful flowers that they attributed their beauty to Mary.  They honored Mary by associating the flowers with her.  Their sentiments were satisfied through symbolism.

This summer I'm definitely making a Mary garden.

New Life

Would you believe that Ester carried me to the top of Noon Hill?
The Trail Hikers walked Noon Hill in Shattuck Reservation, Medfield MA, this morning.  It was just what we needed.  We started silent.  Of course our thoughts were about the Boston Marathon bombing.  Soon we were talking about it as we walked.  At 370 feet, it was a gentle climb, over woodlands, around Holt pond.  Wherever we saw water, we saw beautiful green shoots of skunk cabbage.  We marveled at birds we haven't seen since the fall.  The trees were budding.

Particularly interesting were the silver leaves on birch trees.  It was explained that these were old leaves that didn't drop off like other trees do.  These birch tree leaves stood out.  They looked like silver trees in the woods.  When new buds come, they push off these leaves.

It was nice to see life beginning again.  If nature can start over, then we human beings can begin again.  These were our thoughts, on this beautiful spring day.

P.S.  Ester is about 5'2".  I'm 5'7".  Never mind the weight! We're just fooling around.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

National Day of Prayer 2013


 
Let Us Pray
Monday’s horrific act of terrorism affected all Americans. In a few moments of diabolical carnage, a day of patriotism and athletic celebration turned into mourning and godly outrage. Our hearts cry out most especially for the families that lost their loved ones and for the many more who were maimed and wounded. They need our prayers as do the many first responders, the hospitals now caring for the injured, and the myriad of state and federal authorities seeking out those responsible. Like the prince of darkness himself, terrorism seeks to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10), but we must seek refuge in the Lord God who helps those who trust in Him (Psalm 115:11).
In two weeks, on Thursday, May 2, 2013, we will be observing the 62nd National Day of Prayer.  Government leaders and people in communities all around the nation will gather to lift our needs and concerns for America before the Lord. Now more than ever, it is imperative that we as God’s people remain on our knees for our nation and fellow citizens. Needless to say, the critical challenges facing the United States and the culture at large call for faithful, persevering intercession – not only on the National Day of Prayer, but throughout the year.
This year’s theme is from Matthew 12:21, “In His name the nations will put their hope.” We encourage you to host or help coordinate a National Day of Prayer (NDP) event in your community or attend a nearby event. There are a number of events scheduled throughout the Commonwealth, including one to be held at the State House in Boston on Thursday, May 2nd  from Noon to 1:00 pm in Gardner Auditorium.
Go to http://nationaldayofprayer.org/events/ to find a venue near you and download an NDP Flyer HERE.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Aquinas and Evil


Reflecting upon yesterday's tragedy, the bombing at the 2013 Boston Marathon, had me looking up Thomas Aquinas inquiry into the problem of good and evil.  I found reflection in Summa Theologica, Part I, Question 49, Article 1.  Aquinas explains evil as the absence of good, depending upon the species.  That's depending where it properly belongs.  It is bolded because good (it) can be perceived differently.   A baby not walking at two would be perceived as bad.  But that same baby finally walking at three, would be good.

Aquinas also thinks that the world is better for having evil within it.  If it never rained, we wouldn't appreciate the sun.  If the bomb going off at the Boston Marathon didn't go off, heroes wouldn't have rushed in.  Stories abound about the bystanders and runners rushing to help.

If I, personally, had been affected by this bomb, of course, Aquinas' argument that the world is better with evil, would be an anathema.  I would just want my loved ones, the world, bomb free.  God wouldn't want harm to come to his creatures.  And Aquinas would agree.  God's goodness is beyond all definition of good, and we can't hold God accountable for man's free choice. It's that damn free will!

Some human, lacking my understanding of  good, chose to terrorize the Boston Marathon.  Aquinas does not reason that we can choose evil.  The terrorist thinks he is doing good.

Regardless, I hope that terrorist is prepared to suffer for his understanding of good, because he broke society's laws, never mind God's fifth commandment.  He may in his personal code of morality, think he is doing good.  But he isn't.  He is a threat to the common good of society, and will be punished by society's law.



Monday, April 15, 2013

Patriots Day in Massachusetts





April 15th is a holiday in the state of Massachusetts.  There's no school, and public buildings are closed.  This holiday is known as Patriot's day because it commemorates the anniversary of the battles of Lexington and Concord, which started the Revolution.  On this day, battle re-enactments are played out in Lexington and Concord. Paul Revere and William Dawes riding to alert the Minutemen that the "British are coming", is also re-enacted.





The Red Sox always play on this date, also.  Their games usually start at 2:00, but since it's a holiday and many don't work or go to school, the game begins around 11:00.  Incidentally, the Sox won today, in the bottom of the ninth.  Exciting!




Another reason the Sox play early is because of another Patriot's Day Tradition--the Boston Marathon.  Runners from all over the world come to run in this marathon.  What makes this race so popular is that it's not just for professional runners.  Anyone can run.  My own daughter would have run this year, were it not for the fact that she just ran a duathlon.  But I know many who do run.  Neighbors, co-workers, everyone knows someone who runs or have run, in the Boston Marathon.  

That is what is so unbelievable about what happened at the Boston Marathon, today.  Somebody I might have known, might have been hurt.  My daughters I know, didn't go to run or watch.  But my son lives in a Boston suburb and does watch the Marathon.  When I first heard about the explosions, I texted him.  No answer.

I prayed.

I waited an hour, and then telephoned.  His girlfriend answered.  She said that he had to work today and he was OK.

With a sigh of relief, I prayed thanksgiving for all my loved ones being safe.  

Some people were not that lucky.  One little girl, standing beside her mother, saw her mother's leg be blown off.  Just the dazed look on the faces of people running away, brings me to prayer.  

Bostonians won't forget this Marathon too soon.

















Sunday, April 14, 2013

Assured Destruction



Shadownet is a community of egos relating to Janus, the major character in Assured Destruction by Michael F. Stewart.  Janus and her mom own the company, Assured Destruction.  The business is to destroy computer hard drives.  Only Janus doesn't – always.  She snoops.

It all falls apart one day at school, when two of her friends’ lives have been exposed on the internet.  Janus realizes that she had inadvertently commented on a friend’s vacation, which led to her house being robbed.  Another catastrophic slip was sending a nude photo of a friend to someone.

Janus tries to right what went wrong, while trying to figure out who’s hacked Shadownet.  Circumstances storm out of control:

  • The business, Assured Destruction demands too much of her time.
  • Her mother is exercising her parental authority very strictly.
  • Her computer teacher’s assumed jealously.
  • Two potential boyfriends.
  • Her mother’s boyfriend.
  • Demanding school work.
  • Realizing that her hacker knows what she’s doing before she herself knows.


The bad guy isn’t who you think it is.  I’m not giving a spoiler.  You have to read it yourself.  The story will draw you in.
From reading the web site, I see where this book is the first, in a proposed series.  And it’s considered Young Adult.  But I’m not a “young adult,” and I enjoyed it.  I know you will too.

You can buy Assured Destruction at:




Friday, April 12, 2013

Fish on Fridays


The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has asked Catholics to pray, fast, and abstain from meat on April 12 “for the justices of the Supreme Court, that they would respect the authentic meaning of marriage by upholding the Defense of Marriage Act.”
The USCCB has asked Catholics to fast and abstain from meat on all Fridays until the conclusion of the Year of Faith.  
Defense of Marriage means to uphold the traditional definition that marriage is for procreation.  The two people involved should be ordered towards procreation.  The operative word here, is "ordered towards."  So eighty year old people can have a marriage because their bodies are ordered towards procreation.  If they wanted to, they could pump their bodies full of the correct hormones and produce children.  I know that's unusual, but it's an example of what is meant by "ordered towards."

New Day

Te Deum,

You are my most Beloved: I praise You;
You are God: I acclaim You;
You are my eternal Father:
Everyone and thing worships You.

I thank You for my  waking up clear headed.
I thank You for being pain free.
I thank You for my friend, Omega.
I thank You for life.

To You all angels sing:
Holy, holy Lord God of power and might:
Everywhere is Your glory,
Heaven and Earth are full of Your wonder.

You, Christ, are the king of glory,
the eternal Son of the Father.

You, Holy Spirit guide the world,
And opened my mind and heart.

I praise You;
I love You;
I dedicate my life to You;
I thank You.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Prayer Request


I need your prayers.  I'm suffering.  I have an infected root canal.  So I'm on Clindamycin, Percocet, and Motrin.  If the pain doesn't kill me, the percocet will.  I'm dizzy, and nauseous.

I'm going to bed.  God send down your healing powers.  Let me wake up fine.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Downton


Everybody was always talking about the program, Downton Abbey.  Eventually, I gave in and joined the crowd.  I started watching Season III.  From watching this season, I became enmeshed in the character's lives, just like everybody else.  But my assessment of the characters was different than everyone else's.

My favorite character is Mrs. Hughes.  I like Thomas, next, although he was considered "flawed", he added interest, to me.  Of course, Mr. Bates in prison touched me, too.  I didn't like Matthew.  His histrionics over giving Downton the money drove me crazy.

A friend lent me Season I and II.  I have now watched the entire story, so far.  And my character assessments have shifted, or altered a bit.  Just goes to show that there's always more to the eye than is obvious.

My new favorite is Mathew.  And I'm shocked at Lord Grantham.  Shocked!  I see the necessity of his fall from grace, to make his character more forgiving.  But still.

The Dowager Countess steals the show.


St. Juan Macias

Today I was meditating on St. Martin de Porres and St. Juan Macias.  Martin is pretty well known, but St. Juan Macias, not so much.  He interested me because he was content to be just a religious brother, instead of a priest.  Of course, St. Martin de Porres was a brother, also.  However, prejudice prevented Martin from becoming a priest, besides his own humble ambitions.  Martin was a mulatto.

That's not the case with Juan Macias.  The legend tells us that he was orphaned, and brought up as a shepherd, in Spain.  As an adult, he struck out on his own to Seville.  Once there, he was immediately picked out as a country bumpkin, and as such, an easy mark.  A stall owner asked him to mind his stall, while, he went on an errand.  Juan agreed.  The stall own was gone for a few hours, and during that time, Juan had sold quite a bit of merchandise.  Then a couple of hooligans came along and started handling the merchandise, throwing it around, and upsetting the entire display.  They even stole the money box, as they shoved Juan around.

When the owner came back, he accused Juan of staging the entire incident, and demanded that Juan pay for the damages.  But Juan had nothing.  His meager personal belongings in his knapsack had been ruined during the ruckus.  The neighboring stalls added their versions and everyone was blaming others, screaming, and more food fights.  Until, the prior of the nearby Dominican priory stepped into their midst.

Immediately, everything quieted.  People dispersed.  The friar asked Juan his version of the story.  The friar asked the stall's owner his version.  The friar determined that if Juan had no money to pay the owner, then beating him would do no good.  He told the owner that he would take care of Juan.

The Dominican friar took Juan to the priory, and fed, and clothed him.  Juan stayed there for quite awhile.  Long enough to determine that he would like to become a Dominican, too.  Eventually, Juan goes to America--Peru, in fact.  It is in Peru, where Juan Macias becomes a Dominican brother and eventually, a saint.  He is patron of poor souls.

BTW, Juan was probably set up by the stall's owner.  When it was determined that someone was carrying a bundle with all their belongings, the stall's owner and sons would rob the person.  Either their "suitcase," was worth something, or the person would pay for damages to the stall.  

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Zombies Play Mercilessly

Today I went to Senior Center to play cribbage.  I thought I'd have an easy time of it.  The old timers limped, stiff-legged, wheel-chaired, hobbled, etc., in.  They looked spacey.  They weren't alert.  In fact, they could barely see.  They could hardly hear, too.  It looked like we were experiencing an invasion of zombies.

Huh!

Don't let the zombies fool you.  True they can't hear; that must help them focus.  They're not responding to jokes, not because they're facial muscles have fossilized, but rather because they're centered in on whom holds what cards.  They're not with it, like a cat isn't zoned in on a mouse!  Ha!  They know where every single card in the deck is.

I got skunked!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Blessed Mother is the First Jesus would Go To

This is a video of a traditional procession of The Blessed Mother being the first to see Jesus, on Easter.  It's a Dominican custom, in the birth place of St. Dominic, Caleruega, Spain.  It's performed on the Memorial of St. Vincent Ferrer, a Dominican friar who spoke of Our Lady being the first to speak to Our Lord.  (Kind of make sense that she would be the first He would go to.)

The procession of men carrying a statue of Our Lord start from a different starting point than the other procession of women carrying a statue of Our Lady.  They meet at the convent of cloistered Dominican nuns.  Together they all process to the village church.

h/t: http://nunsopsummit.org/archives/4204                 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Revelation


Consider this for a "wake-up" call.  As I was proclaiming Revelation 1:9-11a, 12-13, 17-19, this Second Sunday of Easter, I realized what the Apostle John had just realized.  That the "Son of Man," was Jesus morphed into God.

John is in exile and he has a vision.  He describes it.  He sees "one like a son of man" wearing a long robe and a gold sash.  Think about this.  Why would a mere man be clothed like this, and be surrounded by seven gold lamp stands?  Well, he wouldn't: unless He were the Son of God.

When John realized this, he dropped down in fear!  I would have too, but I didn't have Jesus in front of me.  We were at the Liturgy of the Word; and in front of me was a sleepy, bored, congregation.

However, about fifteen minutes later, during the Liturgy of the Eucharist, I identified myself with John, as I realized that that Host, Father was holding up, was as alive for me, as it was for John.

Forever and ever.


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Scary Creatures

There was a big Tom Cat bothering my cat.  When he sees me, however, he runs like a bat out of hell. So do the rabbits that live under the bushes.  In fact, come to think of it, all animals run away from humans.

Do you think God made them that way?  After all, humans are predators.  But that wasn't the way it was in the beginning, was it?  If we were in the Garden of Eden, we'd be in harmony with everything. Sin was a discordant break in that harmony.  Now the animals fear us humans.

Think about that.  The fear that animals have of us humans is a reminder to us that we are not whom we were meant to be.

That sin of pride blinds us to Original Sin.  We forget about it.  We minimize it.

Next time you see a little creature scramble away, try to catch a glimpse of yourself reflected in his eyes.  We are scary creatures.  We are dangerous, especially to ourselves.

Friday, April 5, 2013

More on the Brindle Trail


This post is an addendum to Brindle Trail because I wrote that in a rush this morning.  I was rushing to get to my assigned time for Adoration.  I am afflicted with a crazy blessing.  I see crosses everywhere.  I know it's because the crucified Jesus is ever present in my mind.  And crosses are just a natural phenomenon.  It's a common architectural structure.  ETC!

However, they pop out at me as if they were neon signs.  I'm use to it.

It started about eight years ago.  I was driving home late at night and my car headlights focused on a cross by the side of the road.  It was a cross highlighted by neon.  It seemed to be a neon cross.  But I knew it most probably was a mailbox post.  My eyes were playing tricks on me.

A couple of minutes later, another neon cross popped into view.  It was in the back yard of a house on the corner.  There was a spotlight on their garage that was shining down on a cross.  What the heck was that about?

I was almost home and was approaching an intersection when I noticed the traffic sign.  It was one of those telling motorists that an intersection was ahead.  Those traffic signs abound!  I've seen them zillion of times.  I know they're cross shaped.  How come this one was shining?

I didn't really wonder what the matter was.  I was calm.  I thought that maybe I was becoming a religious fanatic.  But if I were, it felt kind of a nice place to be.

I decided to thank God for reminding me that He is everywhere.  Now every time I see a cross, I say "Thank you Jesus for loving me."

BTW, that night eight years ago was explained naturally.  The first cross was a mail box post.  (It's still there, cross shaped.)  The cross in the back yard was a clothes line post.  (That spot light on the garage has never been left on again.  And I've been looking for it for eight years.)  Lastly, the intersection sign is a frequent reminder to thank Jesus.

Back to the Brindle Trail.  Crosses were in the branches.  Crosses were in the fence posts, bridges, and tree trunks.  Did you ever notice that crosses were at the tops of all pine trees?

Neither did I.


Brindle Trail


Nothing has been posted for a few days because nothing has moved me enough to write.  Until last night, that is.  As I was going through my steps for my daily examen, I was counting my blessings.  I immediately thought of today's hike through the woods, with the Trail Hikers.  We went to Gilbert Woods and hiked the  Brindle Trail.

It was awesome.  Meditatively inspiring, comes to mind.  It truly was a blessing.  The temperature was warmer than it has been in days, although there were patches of snow, here and there.  Buds were showing on tree branches.  The birds are coming back.

We even saw a butterfly!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Dominic Meets Francis, Again!



When I became a Lay Dominican, I heard the story of Dominic and Francis having simultaneous dreams of meeting each other.  The next day, they did just that.  Not only that, but Dominic took off his rope belt, and Francis took off his leather belt, and they exchanged them.  Cute story.

Then I joined Our Lady of Mercy Chapter, and met the founders of the chapter, i.e., a Dominican and a Franciscan--Sister Ruth and Sister Kathleen.  Contemporary story.

Now I read in Catholic Moral Theology, that Dominic and Francis met again!  I'd post the picture but it's copyrighted.  But you can read the story and see the picture here.

You see, Paul Gondreau teaches theology at Providence College.  Providence College is a Dominican college.  Paul named his son, who has cerebral palsy, Dominic.  On Easter Sunday, 2013, as Pope Francis was making his way through the crowd, he stopped when he saw Dominic Gondreau, embraced, and kissed him.

Another Dominic meeting Francis sighting!