Saturday, November 30, 2013

Condemning Then and Now

Waiting Too!
Yesterday's and today's Reading were both from the second letter of the apostle Peter.  I think he could have just as well be writing to us, today.  Are not these passages applicable to today?

...Recall the teaching delivered long ago by the holy prophets, as well as the new command of the Lord and Savior preached to you by the apostles.

...men pour abuse on things of which they are ignorant...Thinking daytime revelry a delight, they are stain and defilement as they share your feasts in a spirit of seduction.  Constantly on the lookout for
a woman, theirs is a never ending search for sin.  They lure the weaker types.  Their hearts are trained in greed.

What we await are new heavens and a new earth where, according to his promise, the justice of God will reside.
    So, beloved while waiting for this, make every effort to be found without stain or defilement, and at peace in his sight.  Consider that our Lord's patience is directed toward salvation.  Paul, our beloved brother, wrote you this in the spirit of wisdom that is his, dealing with these matters as he does in all his letters.  There are certain passages in them hard to understand.  The ignorant and the unstable distort them (just as they do the rest of Scripture) to their own ruin.

Peter could be preaching today.  Is there reason to place these Readings in the days before Advent?  Advent is the coming of Christ.  We wait.  Peter thought he was waiting!  Take heart, He came once, He said He would come again.  He promised; He will do it.  Amen.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Abolish the Death Penalty


Cities for Life Day is a worldwide festivity that supports the abolition of the death penalty. It is celebrated on November 30 of each year.   This initiative is promoted by all who have Bethanien spirituality, The Dominican Sisters of Bethany, all the Lataste Fraternities, the Community of Sant'Egidio and supported by the main international human rights organizations, gathered in the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty (Amnesty International).  
              Please send this video to your mayor and urge all to sign up and abolish the death penalty.
Blessed Jean-Joseph Lataste, Apostle of prisons, pray for us.  

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanks Sarah Josepha Hale

This is a repost from November 2012, because Sarah Josepha Hale deserves recognition.  Keep reading.

Although we in New England have been celebrating Thanksgiving since 1621, not every in the country did.  In fact, I remember when I was in Virginia, I heard that in 1607 Jamestown celebrated a Thanksgiving.  And in Florida, the Spanish had Masses of Thanksgiving in the sixteenth century!

But the national holiday wasn't proclaimed a holiday until Abraham Lincoln made the proclamation.  And he did so, because of Sarah Josepha Hale.  She had been writing letters to presidents, since Zachary Taylor, suggesting the proclamation.  You know Sara Josepha Hala, she wrote the nursery rhyme, Mary had a Little Lamb.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Praying the News


Have you ever prayed the news?  Try doing this, especially if you're wondering "how" to pray.  Take the newspaper.  I'm using the The Boston Globe.  The headline is Smoking ban nears in Boston Parks.  Pretty soon people won't be able to smoke cigarettes in Boston's city parks.  (The ducklings will be happy.)

Would you rather a headline about violence, hate, and mayhem?.

This feature article will do.  Pray for all who have died from cancer attributed to cigarettes.  Pray for those who suffer from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke.  Pray for those trying to kick the habit.

Ah, not such a frivolous headline, is it?  See how you are brought to prayer, for victims, for perpetrators, for all.

Next, Team set in bid for casino.  Some cities in Massachusetts want to bring casinos into their towns.  Pray for those who need the jobs; pray for those worried about the effects of casinos on their current lifestyles; pray for those with gambling addictions.

The middle of the front page is a large ad, For holiday, retailers make dueling open-and-shut cases.  This article is about stores being opened on Thanksgiving Day itself.  Besides the large picture of BJ Wholesale, is a bar chart depicting a poll on "How Americans View Thanksgiving Shopping."  The poll proves that most Americans disapprove of stores being opened on Thanksgiving.  Thinking of myself as a student, I would have jumped at the chance to earn "time in a half", or maybe even "double time", for working on a holiday.  I am praying for those kids.  Definitely, prayers would be in order for parents who need to work on this family holiday.  And prayers for those shopping because of one reason or another.

Looks like the T plans a $ 1 cut in fare for The Ride.  The T is the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority.  The fare is going to be cut from $ 4 to $ 3.  Is this the answer to prayers?

Unfortunately, there's a tragic headline, Girl 7, Mowed Down Near School.  A child and her mother were standing on the sidewalk, outside of the school, when a woman lost control of her car and hit them.  The child is dead and the mother is in the hospital.  The driver was arrested.  Please pray for ALL involved.  Everyone's life is affected.

Ending with something I find very interesting, Historic psalm book brings $ 14m for Old South Church.  This book is a first edition of the 1640 Bay Psalm Book and was auctioned by the Old South Church at Sotheby's New York for nearly $ 14.2 million.  The psalter is a translation of the Book of Psalms by prominent Puritan ministers from the 16th century.  The book was purchased by David Rubenstein, a businessman and philanthropist who will loan it to libraries.  And with this article, I am brought to pray Psalm 104.

Give thanks to the Lord, invoke his name; make known among the nations his deeds.  Sing to him, sing his praise, proclaim all his wondrous deeds.  Glory in his holy name; rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord!  Look to the Lord in his strength; seek to serve him constantly.  Recall the wondrous deeds that he has wrought, his portents, and the judgments he has uttered, you descendants of Abraham, his servants, sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!




Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Auntie Mae

My friend Priscilla loves animals.  She has more than a couple of dogs and cats.  She can't afford vacations because it would costs too much money to board her pets.  And who would be crazy enough to offer to take care of all the critters.

It also costs quite a bit to feed and take care of veterinary needs.  So she makes cat and dog toys on the side.  My cat likes her cat naps.  These are a soft mats that I place inside her carrier, or surfaces I don't won't cat fur all over.

As an attraction to catch people's attention, she uses this three-four foot high doll.  Her name is Auntie Mae, and is Priscilla's alter-ego.  Auntie Mae goes to flea markets and tries to sell her wares.

If you love animals, why don't you contact Priscilla and ask about her toys and cat naps, and find out what else, she sells.   dogsila@yahoo.com

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Proof Texting


Last Tuesday, Bert played a trick on us, in Bible Sharing.  He threw a quote in our commentary from a Protestant source in speaking of today's Gospel, Luke 23:35-43, Jesus said, "Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise" that this was proof of salvation by grace alone, and that there is no purgatory.  Catholics believe that you need both grace and good works, and that there is purgatory.

Bert said he did that just to see if we noticed.  We did and I thought of it, today, when I heard the Gospel.  I asked my pastor about it.

We in the Bible sharing group dismissed it because hanging beside Jesus was a special case.  Jesus being God can do what he wants.  But Father Brian added to my understanding.

He called picking scripture out as proof texting.  You prove your argument by selective scripture texts, without considering the rest of the Bible.   It would be nice and simple to say we are saved by grace alone.  But is it enough to say "I believe?"  Matthew 7:21, Matthew 15:18, but I'm not going to proof text, myself.  Take the Bible as a whole.  I don't see anywhere that Jesus asks, "Do you accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior?

All Christians accepted both grace and good works until Martin Luther.  Then in order to prove his theology, Luther dropped seven books.  Guess why.

You got it.  These books didn't support his theology.  Once again, I thank God I'm Catholic and have the Church, Tradition, and Magisterium to rely on--2013 years and the gates of hell still haven't prevailed against it.  

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival


Back to Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival, thanks to RAnn's This That n the Other Thing.  We blogger's do this every week.  We also answer one question, which is "What am I thankful for?"  So many blessings, thank God, so many.  But I'll single out people.  All the people that surround me, family and friends--even virtual ones, are all a blessing.  Deo Gratias.

Monday -- I blogged about a walk and a joke.

Tuesday -- Why Christ is my king.

Wednesday -- I did a book review on Monk Dawson.

Thursday -- Something happened Wednesday night that really pissed me off.  But Thursday morning I went hiking and my mood turned around.

Friday -- Wither the weather.

It would be fun to look and see what's going on at RAnn's.


Friday, November 22, 2013

Discussions


 I'm still fixated on yesterday's mood.  Not the bad stuff, but how the feeling turned around.  It was not an immediate revolution, because I remember being tempted to snap back at a fellow hiker's cheerful ejaculation, "What perfect weather!"

As my feet pounded the rocky climb I argued with myself, "Why am I upset over such an innocent remark?"  My internal reasoning process decided that it was because my friend assumed that everyone in the world would assert her pronouncement of what the perfect weather should be.  It was a closed ended exclamation.

Closed ended discussions begin with a statement, exclamation or a question --usually delivered with a strongly affirmative tone, such as, “Who will you vote for in this election?”  Open ended statements and questions -- usually delivered without a judgmental tone, such as, “What do you think of the candidates in the upcoming election?”  

Hence, this brief essay on the perfect weather.


When someone comments, “I love this weather.  It’s so perfect; the temperature is in the 60’s; the sun is out; there’s a crisp, refreshing wind,” I feel an argument rising into my mouth.
Yes, I disagree.  My idea of perfect weather is hazy, hot, and humid.  I love the heat, sun, and the imposed laziness, such weather requires.  But when I examine my emotions, (after choking back a brutal retort,  “Perfect weather for bacteria!”), it’s not the words, per se, but the close ended statement, that I object to. 

It’s an innocuous subject, the weather.  Why do people have to pontificate their preferences so positively!

I suppose, a better question would be, why do I react with such vehemence to other people’s preferences?  I suppose the answer would be because of their reaction to my own preference.

Am I driving you as crazy as I’m driving myself?

Maybe I’m just grouchy because I’m feeling "under the weather"?

 Lest, you think I’m just a "fair weather friend," I think I’ll just have to accept that people are people, and the weather affects everybody.  And what’s perfect for one is not perfect for another.  The sun shines and the rain comes down, regardless of our preferences.

Whatever!

This ridiculous self dialogue broke that black cloud over my head.  I started to see the sun, the happy faces of my fellow hikers, and I could appreciate my surroundings.  Better, I was thankful for my life, and all that God has put in it.  

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Foul Mood Fix

Birchwald


You know how miserable I was this morning.  I got over it.  How?


Trail Hikers 
I went hiking with my hiking group.  We went to Birchwald, Sheldonville, MA.  There were eight of us, today.  The day was briskly cold but the sun was shining.  There was a thin veneer of ice on the cranberry bogs.  People wore their winter gear.  It was an invigorating walk, not because it was a difficult hike, but because of the cold air.  At no time, did I work up a sweat.
Ice on the cranberry bog

There was an open well that looked bottomless, but I dropped a rock in it and I think I heard it land.  If I fell into it, I would have not fit.  I would be wedged against the walls.  But animals could easily fall in.

There were lots of milk weed everywhere.  In fact, I came home covered in it.
Well

We met a lady walking her dog, and stopped to chat with her.  She is a geocacher.  She has been all over the world geocaching.

Somewhere in the brisk air, beautiful vistas, looking down bottomless wells, learning about geocaching, and most probably trying to pick off the milk weed fluff, my spirits were lifted.  I could have sung my way home.

Milk Weed
Thanks be to God.

Also, I was too busy to wallow in self pity.  I had a RCIA class to facilitate, in a couple of hours.  In fact, I was so rushed, I had no time to shower.  The poor catechumenate.

Now I find myself, calm and happy.  What a difference a day makes!


Foul Mood

Jesse Tree Ornaments
Don't talk to me right now, I'm liable to bite your head off.  Last night, my planned surprise was derailed.  I'll tell you all about it--whether you want to know or not!--and you can choose to not read it.  I thought a good night's sleep would lift me out of this grump, but I couldn't pray my rosary.  Ugh!  It was terrible.  Then this morning's reading on the Memorial of the Presentation of Mary set me off. This day should have sweet memories for me, since the Presentation of Mary is the name of my high school.  But the sermon by St. Augustine (Sermo 25, 7-8: PL 46, 937-938) re-enforced my vile temper. Ugh!  No Rosary, no Lectio Divina!  Lord help me.

You can tell St. Augustine is male.  He actually has the unmitigated gall to state:
Jesse Tree


Mary heard God's word and kept it, and so she is blessed.  She kept God's truth in her mind, a nobler thing than carrying his body in her womb.  The truth and the body were both Christ: he was kept in Mary's mind insofar as he is truth, he was carried in her womb insofar as he is truth, he was carried in her womb insofar as he is man; but what is kept in the mind is of a higher order than what is carried in the womb.

You can tell a man wrote this.  Besides, being a co-creator in creation, (like all mothers) with God, she alone, incarnately, can definitively state, THIS IS MY BODY; THIS IS MY BLOOD.  St. Augustine, in all his testosterone opinion, places this fact lower on the scale than acknowledging God's existence, which she had to have done in the first place.   Grrr-rrrr-rrrr!

What has propelled me into this uncharacteristically mean state of mind is the following.  Last night was prayer group.  I planned a surprise for them.  I arrived an hour early and went into the back room, where we end our meeting.  I changed the table cloth to Christmas red.  I put the Christmas tree we use for our Jesse tree on the table.  I hung the Jesse tree ornaments on the tree branches.  On the whiteboard I put the scripture readings for the first week of Advent, according to the Jesse Tree.  I had brought presents for the group.  The presents were pictures that I've taken of the group at various times.  I had the pictures placed in separate envelopes with the members' names on the envelopes, and I put them under our tree.  I also brought in a new CD for the group to share.    I also put Father De Adder's present under the tree.  (He's in a nursing home and is the priest we spiritually adopted.)  The room looked so Christmasy!  I was going to take a picture and try to have it put on the parish website.

When the room looked the best it could, I closed the door, and joined the prayer group praying the Rosary.  I didn't say a word.

After prayers, Adoration, and singing, we left the nave of the church and went to our prayer room.  I opened the door.

Voila!

Their surprise disintegrated immediately.  Our leader told us that we can't use this room for two weeks. The room will be used for stashing the caring tree presents. The room will be locked.  And sure enough, there was a shiny new combination lock on the door.

This is an example of what the parish thinks of the prayer group.  Out of all the places in the church and the rectory, they have to take ours.  Our room is the smallest.  We work hard to make it the prettiest, most prayer conducive we can.  We change the tablecloth, often.  We write inspirational messages and special events on the board.  We leave CD's and pamphlets for others to use.

It's very disheartening to be given physical proof that we're regarded with such little thought.

Why didn't they store the presents in the rectory?  That's secure.  There's room.  There wouldn't have been any interruption to the parish activity.  There would not have been the expense of buying new locks.

But, oh no, they choose that little lame prayer group's space.  They're not important.

And the prayer group's leader, in all humility, offers it up.  

And right now, I can't make myself do the same.  Lord help me.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Sin to Redemption

 
 This clip is an advertising video for the film Monk Dawson.  I am hesitant about using the trailer to represent my thoughts, in this posting.  I've just finished reading Piers Paul Read's book, Monk Dawson and I found it riveting.  It's a fictional biography of Edward Dawson, from boyhood to manhood.  I could also say it is a faith journey from childhood to adulthood.  But this last statement is my concern about the film, Monk Dawson. You know how the media is.  Would the film producers find the story of a priest's sins more saleable than a priest's redemption?  Hence, I don't know how closely the film is to the book.

The book is about the maturation of faith.  Dawson goes through all the modern cultural angst, we see and live in.  His desire was to serve mankind.  He thought the church was the answer.  But alas, the church is made up of human beings.  He thought human love was the answer.  But his love dumped him for another.  He thought marriage and family was the answer, but these proved false.

He thought a career in journalism would serve mankind.  But he couldn't write what he wanted.  His editors and readers only wanted him to trash the church.  A priest "bad mouthing" the church was the hook.  No wonder he wallowed in self pity.  In order to make a living, he had to welch on the mother who educated, fed, and housed him.  He wouldn't be the man he was, if it were not for the church.  But he had lost his faith, so what did he care?

So he thought.

And this is what I found missing in the novel.  All through the novel Dawson pontificates on the reasons why there couldn't possibly be a God.  So why does he turn around?

Why?


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Christ the King

Because I am lectoring this Sunday of Christ the King, I was reading to prepare.  The Second Reading: Col 1:12-20 gives a list of all that Christ is.  It's a summary of all that the Father has done.  In reading the list of things, the one fact that strikes me especially is:

He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

This is why Jesus is my king.  He loves us so much.  He waits for us in the Tabernacle.  He waits for us to come to Him.  He is waiting for us to show our love.  He doesn't expect us to be crucified; He just wants us to chose to freely come to Him.

I hope Sunday I can proclaim His Word in a manner giving Him the honor and glory He deserves.

Worthy is the lamb to receive honor, glory and praise.  (Rev 5:12) 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Bad Joke


Father Chris just told another bad joke.

The parish had a bell that wouldn't ring.  Many people tried with no luck.  Finally, the pastor offered to pay someone to ring it.  Again, many tried with no luck.  However, one of the men while walking toward the bell tripped over the rope and went face first, into the bell.

It rang.

Everyone was thrilled, especially the pastor.  So every morning, the man (since he was paid) would charge head first into the bell.  He didn't seem to mind, until the day he fell in love.  He knew the pastor would never release him from service, so he eloped with his bride.

The pastor was enraged. "Find that bell ringer." He commanded.

"What's his name?", the people asked.

"Oh, I don't know."  The pastor replied.

"But his face rings a bell."

groan

Failed Again.

Walking this morning on this glorious Fall day, I kept thinking of Charles Peguy's The Portal of the Mystery of Hope.  He is full of  Bethanien spirituality.  There are many examples I could post about, but I chose:

A penitent is someone who isn't very proud of himself.
Who isn't very proud of what he's done.

Because what he did, we must admit it, is a sin.
A penitent is someone who is ashamed of himself and of his sin.
Of what he did.
Who would like very much to hide himself.
Who above all wishes that he hadn't done it.
      Ever.
Hide himself, shield himself from the face of God.

Doesn't that describe exactly how you feel when you've disappointed, betrayed, sinned?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunday Snippets and a Catholic Carnival Around My House

According to my hubby, our house is a religious shrine.  He's threatened to toss everything out, if I bring in one more religious artifact.

So I've learned discretionary tactics.  What do you think?


Up the Sidewalk to my front door.
First thing you see.
Irish monk--there's two.
Beside my rocking chair.

Kitchen Garden Window.

Outside on the porch.

On the kitchen Stove

Dining Room


My favorite bookcase.

Above our bed.

On my bureau.

St. Dominic

Computer Room--Cursillo Poster

Computer Room -- Cursillo Poster

Computer Room

Computer Room -- Cursillo Poster


























 Does my home look like a Catholic Carnival?  Good.  I like it like that; besides, I live here, too.  This week I'm connecting to RAnn's Sunday Snippets, to tell everyone about what I posted, this past week.

Monday -- This was the Feast of St. Martin of Tours.  I wrote about his death.

Tuesday -- My take on the New Evangelization.

Wednesday -- I posted a You Tube video of the first talk, at Magnificat Day in Philadelphia.

Thursday -- An appeal for blogger, Tom Peters.

Friday --  It was the Feast of St. Albert the Great.

Saturday --  I wrote a funny short story.

It was a good week.  Why don't you head over to RAnn's This n' That n' The Other Thing and see what my friends posted?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Caccophony



Twang, crash, squeal,…boom, boom, boom, boom

At first, I thought a cat was in pain.  Next I thought someone was testing the sound level in a microphone. 

Lord have mercy on that poor cat!  Is she in heat?  Is she in labor?

Boom, boom, boom…a steady pulse of drums told the story.
Electric guitars squealed and squealed.

“What’s going on?”  I asked.

“Oh Grandma, it’s Metallica’s Ride the Lightning.”

“Is Metallica a cat?”

“No, it’s a heavy metal band.”


“Well, perhaps they should switch to light plastic.”  Grandma quipped.  

Friday, November 15, 2013

Patron Saint of Faith and Reason

You can tell pictures of St. Albert the Great because he is the Dominican with a bishop's mitre.  This is really ironic because he was embarrassed to wear it.  He never felt himself worthy of ecclesial leadership.  In fact, after two years of being named bishop of Ratisbon, in 1260, he resigned, because he considered himself unworthy.

And this was from a man called Albert Magnus--even while he was living!

He began his career teaching at the University of Parish.  This was where he met Thomas Aquinas, who was one of his students.  It is Albert who is credited to highlighting Aquinas' intelligence, when he heard the "cool kids," ridiculing him as a "dumb ox."  Albert predicted that one day Thomas Aquinas would outshine them all.

Albert, himself, was no slouch.  He helped introduce Aristotelian physics as interpreted by Jewish and Arabian philosophers into Western thought.  Together with St. Bonaventure he defended the right of the Mendicant Orders to teach in the universities.  He taught in various universities and served his religious order, whenever called upon.

He is known to have preached that human reason and faith are necessarily complementary with each other.  His personal life was holy and exemplified pastoral charity.  He was declared a saint; then a doctor of the church, and Pope Pius XII named him patron of those involved in the natural sciences.  His feast day is November 15.

Lord, 

   You made Saint Albert great through his quest for Your wisdom.  
    Grant us Your grace, fill us with Your bountiful blessings,

    and give us a passion for prayer and study.     Amen.

h/t  Supplement to the Liturgy of the Hours for the Order of Preachers.  November 15.  Saint Albert the Great.  Friar, Bishop and Doctor of the Church.  Feast.  pp. 407-419

Thursday, November 14, 2013

I Stand With Thomas Peters


Nearly four months ago, Thomas Peters, blogger American Papist,  was left in critical condition after a swimming accident. Since then, Thomas has made amazing strides in his recovery, but he still has a long way to go. Thomas moved out of rehab two weeks ago and is finally home with his wife, Natalie. Read Thomas’ powerful reflection on his journey thus far and on what is to come: “Reflections on my time away.”
Thomas has always been a vocal advocate for life, marriage, and the faith. Throughout this whole journey, Thomas and Natalie have remained steadfast, and have been a shining example of marriage, love, and the faith. We are watching miracles happen every day, in Thomas and Natalie’s lives, but also in the lives of the people who have been touched by their story.
Help share their story and join us on November 14th for#IStandwithThomasPeters day!
On #IStandwithThomasPeters day, we also hope to raise funds to help Thomas and Natalie during this new transition and Thomas’ continued recovery. The medical bills are piling up and the transition home has been costly
The goal ? $25,000!
Breakdown of all of the costs/needs:
  • Health Insurance via Cobra
  • Manual Wheelchair co-payment
  • Renting a motorized wheelchair – transitional
  • Hospital bed
  • Motorized lift
  • Prescriptions and medical supplies
  • Home health aide 3x a week
  • Handicapped accessible apartment
  • Expenses and miscellaneous bills
Please blog, write articles, and most importantly, join us on social media on November 14th  for #IStandwithThomasPeters day.
Draft tweets, graphics, and more information can be found here ?http://bit.ly/17NzvFc

Prayer


Thomas and Natalie and their families are completely overwhelmed by the gracious spiritual response to Thomas' accident, and fully confident that the blessings and improvements are thanks to the mercy of God, and the grace of your prayers.

Please continue to pray! This is the most important and helpful thing you can do!

Here are particular intentions:
For Thomas' recovery generally, and specifically for continued growth in strength, mobility, and endurance.
For Natalie's endurance and ability to faithfully minister to Thomas' needs.
For Thomas and Natalie's families.
For all those suffering from similar injuries.
In thanksgiving for everyone who has already helped Thomas on his road through prayer, corporal help, and medical attention.
Thomas and Natalie and their families have particular devotions to certain saints. Please consider joining us in some of these novenas and devotions:

Thomas and Natalie have a particular devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Please consider praying the Memorare or Salve Regina for them today:

Remember O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored they help, or sought they intercession, was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence I fly unto thee, of Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

Thomas and Natalie also have a particular devotion toSt. Judeand have prayed several novenas to St. Jude since the accident:

Most holy Apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus,  the Church honors and invokes you universally, as the patron of difficult  cases, of things almost despaired of, Pray for me, I am so helpless and alone. Intercede with God for me that He bring visible and speedy help where help is  almost despaired of. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive  the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and  sufferings, particularly - (make your request here) - and that I may praise  God with you and all the saints forever. I promise, O Blessed St. Jude, to be  ever mindful of this great favor granted me by God and to always honor you as  my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you. Amen


Natalie's family has a particular devotion to theServant of God Luisa Piccarreta 

"The Lord makes known to Luisa that He wants to give her an extraordinary gift: THE GIFT OF THE DIVINE WILL. This particular grace which God gives to the creature from Himself, constitutes a special and free gift…Into the most complete silence and in the greatest hiddenness of this Soul, God wanted to send the message of the Divine Will, in which the Holy Spirit wants to renew the face of the earth: the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in Heaven."  - Father Bernardino Giuseppe Bucci


Felix Capello, S.J. is a particular patron of Thomas' father, Dr. Ed Peters:
Please consider invoking the intercession of Fr. Felix Cappello SJ (1879-1962), one-time Confessor of Rome and the greatest sacramental lawyer of the 20th century, for Thomas’ speedy and complete recovery. I draw on Cappello’s canonical works in almost everything I write—no joke, I am finishing a scholarly article right nowthat he provided the crucial insight for—but I never thought I’d suggest drawing on his intercession for one of my very own. 
In addition:
Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati (links to PDF)
St. Camillus - patron of Doctors and Nurses
St. Thomas More - Thomas' patron saint
Bld. Louis and Zellie Martin, the parents of St. Therese of Liseux

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Faith is Confession

EWTN has made available Fr. Peter John Cameron, O.P.’s keynote talk from the November 9 Magnificat Day, on the subject “Faith as Confession.”   Please see their website here.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The New Evangelization

My pastor is fond of saying, that if you wait long enough in the church, what was, will be again.  He means
that movements will come back.  Actually, he was talking about the new paint job, which the old townies say was the color in the '70's, and the baptismal font that was moved to the sacristy, but is now back in the nave.

That's what I see about this New Evangelization, that everyone seems to be discussing.  The church wants to inject dynamism into parishes.  It's a movement of renewal.  The new mission seems to be to go out and touch people.  Somehow our encounter with others should touch them with the Holy Spirit.  The lax church goers should be kick started into a personal encounter with Christ. To encounter all because we all are created in God's image.  No one is excluded from hope and love of God.  The Church is sent to reawaken hope.  The breath of the Holy Spirit is needed to rekindle hearts.  The Church's doors should open wide (insurance liability be damned) so people may find sanctuary and peace.  Let us go to the fringes of humanity and invite people in.  Everyone needs to encounter Christ.

Sound familiar?

How do you define Charismatic Catholics?  When did the charismatic movement in the Catholic Church start--60's, 70's, 80's?  For Catholics, the most notable event was in 1967, at a retreat for Duquesne University students.  Before that, the Pentecostals spoke of it.  It was and is, very ecumenical.  Every was invited.  It was a movement of dynamic renewal.  It was...(read second paragraph of this post).

I think the obvious emotionalism scared some people away from the charismatic movement.  Let's see what happens this time.


Monday, November 11, 2013

Satan's Last Chance

Today is the feast of St. Martin of Tours.  I was reading a letter by Sulpicius Severus on how St. Martin of Tours died (Epist. 3,6, 9-10. 11. 14-17. 21: SC 133, 336-344)

Now you would think that at the hour of death, you would hear heavenly music, feel the flutter of angel wings, see your loved ones waiting for you down that tunnel with a beckoning light.  That's not necessarily so.  That wasn't my near death experience, nor was it Saint Martin of Tours.

Sulpicius Severus writes, "...he saw the devil standing near. 'Why do you stand there, you bloodthirsty brute?'  he cried.  'Murderer, you will not have me for your prey.  Abraham is welcoming me into his embrace.'"

So don't be scared if you don't see angels, scream at Satan, like St. Martin did.  Fr. Nic Austriaco, once explained that Satan often waits to attack then.  It's his last chance.

That's why the Dominican friars sing Salve around a death bed.  They call it the Salve Squad.  And don't forget that St. Michael the Archangel will protect you.  Do not be afraid of death.  God is with you.  St. Michael will walk you to heaven.  Just remember to pray on the way.  It will chase Satan away.

Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of death.








Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sunday Snippets A Catholic Carnival

First this week's question, asked by RAnn, who is the host of Sunday Snippets A Catholic Carnival.  My favorite religious holiday recipe is mimosa, which comes from Catholic Cuisine.  This is a wonderfully informative, and delicious blog about cooking religiously.  And mimosa is a drink, made with champagne and orange toast.  On the feast of St. Dominic, my Lay Dominican friends and I, toast to St. Dominic with mimosas.

Why oranges and St. Dominic?  Legend has it that Saint Dominic planted an orange tree in Santa Sabina priory.  The tree is still there.  So if you eat from that tree, you are eating a third class relic (just kidding).

My Sunday Snippets from the week include:

Monday --  going to a Mass celebrated by a Primitive Franciscan.

Tuesday -- I meditated upon heaven.

Wednesday -- a book review.

Thursday and Friday -- Family Celebrations

Saturday -- I wrote about Blessed Henry Suso.

Why don't you click over to RAnn's and read some others' blogs?  You will be entertained.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Bl. Henry Suso

Bl. Henry Suso, I learned today, was a Rhineland mystic.  In the 14th century the religious fad seemed to
tend to mysticism.  This is what we talked about at a Lay Dominican Regional meeting, today.  The talk was given by Father Augustine Reisenhauer, O.P.

Henry Suso was widely read in his times.  Many of his quotes are still used, today.  He was quite a personality.  He practiced many mortifications.  This picture portrays a cilice, that Suso wore.  He didn't take a bath for twenty five years.  This made me wonder, if it were his companions that were offering up the penance!

In spite of this extreme mortification, people were attracted to him.  He was a spiritual director to many nuns.  Later in life, he moderated his corporal penances.  He must have to live up to his 70's. He had different penances by then.  People persecuted him, he had to defend his teachings, he was libeled, and vilified.  He bore it all, stoically.  He always remained a good and holy man.  Jesus Christ was his center and life.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Anniversary of All Deceased Brothers and Sisters in the Dominican Family

On November 8, the members of the Dominican family (Order of Preachers) commemorate their deceased.  In reading this morning's Divine Office, I marveled at the history in the second book of Maccabees.  Judas takes such care gathering up the dead after battle.  He even took a collection among his soldiers, amounting to two thousand silver drachmas, which he sent to Jerusalem to provide for an expiatory sacrifice.  In doing this he acted in a very excellent and noble way, inasmuch as he had the resurrection of the dead in view; for if he were not not expecting the fallen to rise again, it would have been useless and foolish to pray for them in death.  But if he did this with a view to the splendid reward that awaits those who had gone to rest in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought.  Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be freed from this sin.

How apropos to read about the dead Maccabean soldiers, on the commemoration of the deceased Dominicans, soldiers for Christ.  The Order of Preachers was founded to battle heresy.  The world is a manufacturing plant for heresy.  There will always be a need for soldiers for Christ.  Let us pray,

2 Maccabees 12:45, 46
There are some who have died a godly death;
--they shall receive the splendid reward which awaits them

It is a holy and pious thought to make atonement for the dead,
so that they might be freed from their sins.
--They shall receive the splendid reward which awaits them.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

OP Feast Day

Today we faithfully remember "those who have gone before us in the family of Saint Dominic and who offer us the example of their way of life, their company in the communion of saints, and the help of their intercession.  By this celebration may we be moved to imitate them and be strengthened in the spirit of our vacation."  [LCO, nn. 16,67]

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Lure of the Wild West




Inheriting half Jonah Spartman's ranch in Arkansas, for New York author Maddie Taylor, was an opportunity she couldn’t believe.  She was suffering from writer’s block.  Her condo was being remodeled.  Her boyfriend needed to move on.  She was hoping to live upstairs in the ranch house for three months, (A stipulation in Jonah Spartman’s will).  She couldn’t pass it up.

The novel, Maddie’s Choice by Joyce Zeller, opens with this situation.  As the story proceeds, Maddie meets  Gideon Spartman, the other half owner.  Gideon was prepared to hate Maddie and hoped to drive her off.  The trouble is, they were made for each other.  Jonah Spartman’s Will, was a set-up.

They are both attracted to each other.  Gideon is an Afghanistan veteran who suffers from Traumatic Stress Disorder, and at first thought Maddie a gold-digger.  Maddie thought Gideon a big lout, albeit a fine specimen of sexual masculinity.

Maddie’s retreat from New York is far from idyllic.  She finds herself mothering two needy teenage boys, whom she grows to cherish.  Ranch life is hard.  Her writing isn’t progressing as well as she hoped.  Her agent is making demands.  Add to the mix, money problems, drug dealers, cattle rustlers and carnal desire. 

Did I mention the fact that this is a Western romance novel?  It’s set on a ranch with horses and cattle and cowboys.  It’s also a racy romance.  I’d rate it “adult only.”  Sex hovers expectantly just about every time Maddie and Gideon are together.  They finally do consummate their relationship explicitly.  This book is not for impressionable teens.

Maddie’s Choice is an easy read.  In 265 pages, the author, Joyce Zeller, managed to express the ever present struggle of balancing family, work, love and hate. I’d like to thank Tribute Books http://www.tribute-books.com/   for providing me with a complimentary review copy.

 Maddie chose well.  I’m not spoiling the story for the reader.  Here’s a raffle “give away” to make up.  It’s a $ 25 Amazon Gift Card, or Pay Pal cash.
<a id="rc-2bf06797" class="rafl" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/2bf06797/" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a><script src="//d12vno17mo87cx.cloudfront.net/embed/rafl/cptr.js"></script>
 
Prices/Formats: $4.95 ebook, $14.95 paperback
Pages: 274
Publisher: Camel Press
Release: September 1, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-60381-959-6

Kindle buy link ($4.95):
http://www.amazon.com/Joyce-Zeller/e/B005N0BVCS/

Nook buy link ($4.95):
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/joyce-zeller

Smashwords buy link ($4.95):
https://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=joyce+zeller

Amazon paperback buy link ($14.95):
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1603819592?tag=tributebooks-20

Barnes and Noble paperback buy link ($14.95):
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/joyce-zeller