Showing posts from November, 2013

Condemning Then and Now

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. 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, …

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.

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.

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 mi…

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.

The True Thanksgiving


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?"…

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.


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,…

Foul Mood Fix

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

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.

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.

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 …

Foul Mood

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:

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 insof…

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 …

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)

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."


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.
Hide himself, shield himself from the face of God.

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

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?



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.

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 …

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 r…

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.

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 liabili…

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 Squ…

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 ente…

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…

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 Ch…

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]

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 tw…