Showing posts from June, 2013

Sunday Snippets -- A Catholic Carnival

Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival is a synopsis of what I wrote this week, sent to by Catholic Blogger buddies.

My favorite posts were Bad Wolf versus Good Wolf, and the Narrow Gate.  I also had a friend as a guest blogger do a review of the movie Triumph, which is about Medjugorje.

Which were your favs?

Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul

Father Moy had this picture, of Sts. Peter and Paul, by El Greco, circulating before Mass, this morning.  I thought it very apropos, since it fits my exact idea of Sts. Peter and Paul.  Paul is the more charismatic one, so he would be wearing red, and to me, the one you notice, first.  Peter doesn't seemed too excited to be next to Paul.  I don't imagine that any of the original apostles were very accepting of Paul.  And Paul always has to prove that he's an apostle, just as much as the original apostles.  Even in the picture, Paul is using the Word.

Peter is wearing gold.  Well, as the first pope, he's entitled.  Note Peter is holding the key to heaven.

How much do you want to bet, that although Peter is the first pope, and he's holding the keys, that it was Paul, who has the last word?  Just look at Paul face.  Intense--personified.  Dare you say differently?

Chant to Pere Lataste

Dominican Sisters of Bethany chant a prayer to their founder, Pere Marie Jean-Joseph Lataste, O.P.

Bad Wolf versus Good Wolf

Did you ever hear of the old Indian tale, where grandfather explains to his grandson that there are two wolves that live inside you, a bad one and a good one?  They constantly fight.  "Who wins?" asks the little grandson.

Grandfather responds.  "The one you feed."

My "cloistered brothers" and I discussed the wolf that won.  Some of them said they grew up feeding the angry wolf.  One said that if came home with a tale of unjust treatment, his father would have handed him a baseball bat and told, "Go get him."  That was his environment--angry wolves.  The strongest wolf won.

Most of us, however, had a little bad wolf, and a lot more good wolf.  Sometimes, peers would feed the angry wolf, and sometimes drugs.

But we grow up and matured.  We can see that it is better to be a good wolf, and we try to feed the good wolf.  The question of "how," was the following discussion.  Adult issues: intimidation, unfair treatment, rejection, etc. giv…

The Circus--God's Creation

We took out granddaughter to the circus last night.  What a blessing to enjoy the circus through the eyes of a child.  We went to the Kelly-Miller circus in Mendon, MA.  It was little Lucy’s first experience of a circus.  She didn't know where to look.  Wonder was written on her face.  The fascination was contagious.  No wonder kids want to run away and join the circus. Below is Little Sister Jo’s poem, and that says it all.

The Little Sisters of Jesus are based on the spirituality ofCharles de Foucauld. Here, Little Sister Jo, whose community “is with the circus,” describes their life at the circus in a poem.

Do you realize how the Circus speaks of God? It was mid-season and it seemed we were living in a whirlwind. We were tired and complaining, saying:
 “We’re crazy to work so hard, to keep up such a pace. For what, anyway?”  When out of the whirlwind, God answered and said:

Who is this who speaks so? Stand up and be questioned. Do you realize how the circus speaks of God? Where were yo…

Where is the Narrow Gate?

Enter by the narrow gate.  For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many there are who enter that way.  How narrow the gate and close the way that leads to life!  And few there are who find it. Matt. 7: 13-14 Fr. Damian, who celebrated Mass at the Abbey, this morning, said that he thinks the “narrow gate,” is the present moment.  Thinking of the past, i.e., it’s hurts, broken dreams, and wishes never fulfilled, will not only lead you into depression, it is a real distraction from your present.  And thinking of the future is really silly.  It doesn't exist.  It’s a concept.  It’s a waste of time because it may never be.
Why is it so difficult, to be satisfied with the here and now?  Personally, I blame Satan.  He is always showing us where we failed in the past.  He makes sure the hurt is in the forefront.  He won't let go, and the past is always a monkey on our back.  Satan uses the past to cause anxiety about the future.  Satan gives the worst …

The Triumph

I have a guest blogger, today.  Mr. Geoff FitzGerald, O.P., is the Formation Director of the Boston Pro-Chapter of St. Dominic, and the previous Justice and Peace columnist for eLumen, and most importantly, a good friend.      Geoff has written a review of the film, The Triumph. You can correspond with him at

The Triumph
             My wife, Janice, and I, with Postulant Patrick Murphy, joined a packed house at the Norwood Theater on June 23.  We’d attended the Dominican Forum featuring Fr. John Vidmar, OP, hosted by our Boston pro-chapter; he’d spoken about his new book on The Crusades and the Inquisition.  We enjoyed a vegetarian dinner including gluten-free pizza, then saw the film, The Triumph.  (The people of Norwood took pains to build and maintain the theater; it’s used mostly for live performances now.  Across the street on the Norwood Common a swing band was entertaining folks on lawn chairs on a beautiful warm early summer night.)                 Th…

Preach It!

How many times have you heard, “Preach always, and sometimes use words.”; meaning your life, or actions should do your preaching.  I've always thought what an easy cop-out, lazy excuse that is.  Lots of people live virtuous lives, and they're not religious at all.  Maybe they're the opposite.  Yet, they do good works.
Clearly, to me at least, it is not enough for us to live righteously.  We must assign words to what we are living.  If we don't, no one will know why we are doing what we are doing. 
Don't you cry out in surprise, when you're surprised?  Don't you exclaim awe, when you see an awesome sight?  Don't you express disgust, when you are repulsed?  When you're in love, aren't you bursting to announce it?  When you're in pain, don't you groan and moan; even if you don’t, the expression on your face screams pain.

Through the verbal expressing of ourselves (preaching), we concretize what was assumed.  Our preaching nails it down—loudly…

Catholic Sunday Snippets

I'm only highlighting one post, this week, because of its importance.  That's Prayers Requested for Thomas Beirne.  We're praying for a healing, but we're specifically praying to Pier Georgia Frassati because he needs one more miracle for canonization.  This would be a perfect match (made in heaven).

Crusades to the Inquisition

The Boston Chapter of St. Dominic had a guest speaker, today.  I went because the speaker was my very first spiritual director, Fr. John Vidmar, O.P.  He presented his new book, The Crusades and the Inquisition.  

Of course, I also went to learn.  All I know about the Inquisition is that the Dominicans ran a cruel torture chamber.  Well, Fr. Vidmar tied the Inquisition to the Crusades just as the Nuremberg Trials followed World War II.  Inquisitions follow wars.  Vidmar further explains:

But the Inquisition tried to do both more and less than the violence it sought to replace: more in the sense that it introduced a legal process by which a wide range of heresies would be addressed, and less in that it narrowed its energies to theological issues.  It did not always succeed in these two aims, and it could be used (either by politicians or churchmen) to spread its theological reach too far--such as when Ignatius Loyola and Teresa of Avila were both threatened by ecclesiastical censure--o…

Prayers Requested


Open Letter to Nancy Pelosi

This letter's message is too important not to share.  Please go to Fr. Pavone's web site, Priests' for Life, and fill out the form to tell Nancy Pelosi, to change her heart.
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 
Dear Mrs. Pelosi,
      Last Thursday, June 13, you were asked a question in a press briefing that you declined to answer. The question was, "What is the moral difference between what Dr. Gosnell did to a baby born alive at 23 weeks and aborting her moments before birth?"
       Given the fact that the Gosnell case has been national news for months now, and that Congress, where you serve as House Democratic Leader, was about to have a vote on banning abortion after 20 weeks fetal age, this was a legitimate question.
       Instead of even attempting to answer the question, you resorted to judgmental ad hominem attacks on the reporter who asked it, saying, "You obviously have an agenda. You're not interested in having an ans…

West Hill Dam

The Trail Hikers had their last hike of the season, in Uxbridge, MA, at West Hill Dam Reserve.  It was the best hike, yet!  We had so much fun.

The dam is unusual in that it isn't filled unless there is a flood.  It was built in the 1950s to protect the Blackstone Valley from flooding.  Park Rangers work there and we were fortunate enough to have one keep an eye on us, right from our entrance to the park.  We were just starting up the road when a ranger came out of a building and greeted us and exchanged small talk.  He told us about the flooded trails and what our best course of action would be.  Then we encountered him again near the flooded out picnic tables.  He was in a tractor, so he drove the tractor through the water and we saw that the water  really didn't reach too high up the tractor tires.  He stayed with us, while we waded through.  We waded through two flooded areas of the road.

He was also nice enough to unlock the public toilets for us, since we were an organ…

Calling All Catholic Writers

Several prominent Catholic writers will speak at the fifth annual Catholic Writers’ Conference LIVE taking place August 7-9, 2013, at the Garden State Exhibit Center in Somerset, NJ. Sponsored by the Catholic Writer’s Guild and the Catholic Marketing Network (CMN), and held in conjunction with CMN’s annual retailer trade show, the Catholic Writers Conference LIVE provides Catholic writers with a prime opportunity to meet and share their faith with editors, publishers, fellow writers, and bookstore owners from across the globe. The theme of this year's conference is “The Year of Faith.”

Speakers at this year’s conference include authors Patti Armstrong (STORIES FOR THE HOMESCHOOL HEART), Teresa Tomeo (Ave Maria Radio, WRAPPED UP, EXTREME MAKEOVER), Michelle Buckman (RACHEL’S CONTRITION, MY BEAUTIFUL DISASTER), Randy Hain (THE INTEGRATED CATHOLIC LIFE), Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle (EWTN, CATHOLIC PRAYER BOOK FOR MOTHERS), Ellen Gable Hrkach (STEALING JENNY), Regina Doman (RAPUNZEL L…

Lauda Sion Sequentia--Gregorian

Note the different founders of religious orders surrounding the Divine Presence.

You Have the Right to be Wrong

G.K. Chesterton once said that he didn't want to belong to a church that told him he was right, when he was right. He wanted a church to tell him he was wrong, when he thought he was right.

I always liked that thought.  I think wrestling with the church's teachings are good.  It shows that you are taking the church seriously.  You have to think through the reasons why the church is teaching a dogma.  The church never tells you what to do because all humans have free will.  The church explains its teachings and asks for the respect to consider its teachings.  They need to be studied, maybe researched, and definitely prayed upon.

Like Chesterton, I want to know when I'm wrong.  I'll take it seriously and look into it.  Praying, all the while.

Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival

This week I wrote every day, except for Saturday.  We celebrated Father's Day that day, a day earlier. It was just easier.  When you're adult children have children, they have three fathers to honor, i.e., their own, their spouses', and their husband (he's a father, too).  So we spread Father's Day out--all weekend.  Anyway, no post.

The best ones this week was my first attempt at a ballad about the Boston Marathon.  I also choose the parable called, A Prayer Group Tale.  This story was so much fun, I think I'll  make it a series.  I'll have this simple, self-effacing, prayer group tell tales of spiritual heroism.

What I find strange is that my favorite posts are the ones that get the least hits.  I know all I have to do is post something controversial and I'll get lots of hits.  But I'm not about "getting in your face."  And what I find very, very sad, is that my most popular posts, are about getting jobs.  I pray for job seekers.


Fat Rapunzel

This is a skit, I've made for my  T.O.P.S. chapter.  What do you think?

Rapunzel 4 people: narrator reads the bold parts.  Rapunzel.  Prince.  Mother. Props:  ladder and a large ribbon ### Nowadays, it is very hard for a single mom to raise a daughter all by herself.  This mother thinks that she has solved the problem by locking her daughter, Rapunzel, in the tower of their attic, at the very top of their old Victorian house.         There Rapunzel grows up to be a beautiful teenager.  Although she has everything she could possibly want, Rapunzel doesn’t get enough exercise living in a one room tower.  This doesn’t really bother her all that much, after all, who cares if she’s fat.  She never sees anybody except her mother.  So she wiles away her time by reading and listening to music.  She likes to sing, however, and daydreams that she’s a famous opera star, traveling around the world singing in opera houses.         One day, a handsome prince hears the beautiful voice and follows the…

Stinkin Like Low Tide

You have to follow my thinking process, here.  I was reading Sunday's Gospel Luke 7: 36-50.  This reading tells the story of the woman washing Jesus' feet, drying them with her hair, and perfuming them.  This washing of the feet reminded me of a few weeks ago.  Hubby and I were at the beach.  I went for a walk.  It was low tide, and I haven't walked and explored the beach, since last year.

You know how it is.  I poked in ebb pools, lifted periwinkles, watched sea anemones, slushed, splashed, and smushed, in the low tide mud.

I had a ball!

I had picked up so many interesting shells and rocks that my pants were hanging off my hips.

When I arrived back to the car, hubby was none too pleased.  I smelled like low tide.  "Wash your feet off."  He said.

So, I walked back down to the water and let a few waves wash my feet off.  But going back to the car, they got all dirty again.

Hubby was not amused.  He told me to sit down with my feet out of the car, and he'd wa…

A Ballad

Ballad of the Boston Marathon
                      (bombing 2013)

“I’m thinking of going to the Marathon,
leaving early in the morn,
and watch the runners cross the finish line
at the Boston Marathon.”
“No! You know what a mess traffic is,
today will be more than crazy,
parking will be impossible and expensive,
and the crowds whipped to a frenzy.”
“We’re taking the ‘T’ to Back Bay Station.
The finish line is there.
And my friends will guide and protect me,
we’ll be good and take care.”

The mother finally smiled in acquiescence,
to think her child safe
and happy with sensible companions.
All too soon that smile was erased.

Lessons from OZ

You wouldn't believe it.  Everyone was talking about it, afterwards.  Fr. George linked religious lessons from the Wizard of Oz, to Christianity.  The subject was how we're really dead until our baptism.  With baptism, we start the promise of a new life.

It's like we're on the farm and facing bankruptcy.  Then Dorothy meets three companions who help her along the way:
          The lion, in search of courage.  Yet it is he who braves the dangers ahead.
          The scarecrow, in search of a brain.  But he's the one who plans.
          The tin man, in search of a heart.  Note his love and compassion for his companions.
Do they remind you of how God doesn't choose the qualified?  He qualifies the chosen.

The climax is when they baptize the evil witch.  They threw water on her!  Bam!  Evil is washed away.

And they continue on the yellow brick road.

As St. Catherine of Siena would say, "All the way to heaven, is heaven."

h/t  Picture from Wikipedia Com…

A Prayer Group Tale

Everything about the Prayer Group irritated the pastor, Father Diotrophes.  They were overly pious.  Because of their kindheartedness, he couldn’t be angry with them.  But he was.  Their leader wore a pectoral cross, bigger than the pope’s.  He was a little deaf, so when he was told something, he just gave you that subservient, obedient smile, nod, and move on.  You never knew if he understood what you said, or he understood, and decided to ignore you, or he forgot.

The others in the group, which was only about two or maybe three, were inconsequential.  It really was a lame little group.  They have the entire church to meet in and they met in the sacristy.  They’re in the way.  Father Diotrophes told the leader to move, but they still met in the sacristy.  And their junk was everywhere.  In the vestry drawers were bottles of holy water, prayer books, holy cards, a relic, rosaries, chaplets, etc.  Milk crates filled with their Bibles, Catechisms, music, Magnificats, etc. , were stacked …