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Showing posts from March, 2014

Be Careful What You Ask For

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Sister Mary Clare told us the story about her praying in the chapel.  She was praying Sister Fausina's prayer, when a sister came over to her and requested her help.

Sister Mary Clare felt like snapping at her "Can't you see I'm praying."

But she didn't.  She got up and helped the sister carry what she needed.

On the way back to chapel, Sister Mary Clare heard God say, "I answered your prayer."

Sister almost fell over.  "What?"

Then she remembered the prayer asks God to use her hands, eyes, ears, feet, etc.

The very next day, the exact same thing happened.  But Sister Mary Clare had a different attitude when she got up to help sister.

Here's the prayer:

I want to be completely transformed into Your mercy and to be Your living reflection, O Lord. May the greatest of all divine attributes, that of Your unfathomable mercy, pass through my heart and soul to my neighbor.   Help me, O Lord, that my eyes may be merciful, so that I may never s…

Eating and Drinking

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I’m still basking in the after-glow of yesterday’s CommunionBreakfast.  It seems that for a moment in time we were all “one.”  We ate the same food and drink, and listened to the same message, and we seemed to be “one.”  We helped each other to food and drink.  We shared our thoughts.  We were all invited to become a part of each other’s’ lives.
We were in communion with one another.  Strange as it may seem, we were just extending the Mass we just attended.  At the Holy Sacrifice, where Jesus shared His Body and Blood with us:
TAKE THIS, ALL OF YOU, AND EAT OF IT,
FOR THIS IS MY BODY,
WHICH WILL BE GIVEN UP FOR YOU.
…TAKE THIS, ALL OF YOU, AND DRINK FROM IT,
FOR THIS IS THE CHALICE OF MY BLOOD, …DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME.

With these thoughts in mind, every time we gather to eat is an opportunity for sharing in communion, with one another.  We are blessed, indeed.

Laetare Communion Breakfast

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Sunday Snippets -- A Catholic Carnival

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This week RA'nn wants to know who our favorite authors are.  Michael D. O'Brien is mine.  I've read everything he's ever written.  I wish I could write like he.  He inspires me.  I especially like his "Children of the Last Days" books.  He's mostly self taught, which I think is the genius of his work.  God chooses the ordinary to humble the proud.

But let me link you to This And That And The Other Thing, so you can click over to the site and read about some other authors and interesting stuff.

And now, my interesting stuff:   ☺

Sunday --  My brother foolin around with You Tube  

Monday --  John 4: 8

Tuesday -- Feast of the Annunciation

Wednesday --  I got busted.

Thursday -- Advertising a movie.

Friday --  The Pope went to confession.

Saturday -- Do you want to know a secret?  I can't keep one.


Sh-sh-sh-hhhhhhhhhhhh.

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Confidentiality be damned.  I don't know how professionals do it.  Maybe they can keep a trust because they're not involved.  They don't allow themselves to get close to people.  I don't know, and I don't think I want to be like that.

There are times when keeping a secret has caused me too much mental anguish. My emotional, mental, and spiritual health was being affected.  I just had to seek either professional help, or help from a trusted friend.

And you know what happened?  Relief.  Immediate relief, in getting rid of that monkey on my back.  Sharing that secret brought me healing, and the friend with whom I shared that secret, was brought closer to me.  As a result of sharing the secret, I have support, and a resource I can go back to.  I am not alone.  The secret is a burden to be shared and looked at with new and different eyes. I can see more clearly, now.  


The Pope Sins

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I don't know why people are surprised.  Priests have to go to Confession, too.

Consolatrix Afflictorum

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You may have seen the Gabriel award winning series "Saints Alive!" on EWTN? Please support their new film project "Consolatrix Afflictorum"! They will soon be mounting a crowd funding campaign and I am calling attention to their new movie, Consolatrix Afflictorum to support them.
Here's what it's all about.
A dying old man sends a letter to his parish priest recalling a supernatural apparition in his childhood and the amazing healing that resulted. Description From the producers of "Saints Alive!", "Parable" and "The Saints Speak" on EWTN comes this supernatural drama based on the classic short story by Robert Hugh Benson. Plot Outline Alone in his study, a parish priest reads through his mail. He notices that one of the letters has no return address; he opens it and begins to read. The voice of the writer, an old man, becomes the narrator of the story. He thanks the priest for a wonderful Christmas day sermon on the truth of …

God blesses Old People

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Sometimes it pays to be an old lady, in an old truck, going to Mass.

I had just turned the corner on Blackstone St.  I wanted to make the light so I had sped up a bit.  I hit Blackstone St. at 40 mph.  Across the street, I saw a police cruiser put on his lights and start up.

He made a "U" turn and was behind me.  I pulled over.

He did too.  He stopped but stayed in his car.

I prayed.  I also took out my license and started rifling in the glove compartment for the vehicle registration.

The policeman remained in his vehicle for an inordinately long time.  I thought he was probably running a check on my truck.

When he approached me, he asked me where I was going.  I responded, "St. Blaise."

Then he said, "Did you know you were going 40 mph in front of a school?"


I replied that I didn't realize it.  That's the entire conversation.  I handed my license and registration and he just took it and went back to his police cruiser.

Meanwhile, I prayed in an …

Gabriel's Message

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There's an old Christmas Carol entitled Gabriel's Message.  It's not that popular a Christmas hymn, however, it has been sung by some popular artists, e.i. Sting, Charlotte Church, Terry McDade, Jars of Clay, etc.  The ballad itself tells the story of the  Annunciation of Jesus to Mary, (Luke 1: 26-38 and part of the Magnificat).  The tune to me has a medieval tinge to it, but it was written in the nineteenth century as a Basque Christmas folk tune.

Since today is the day the Church celebrates the Annunciation, "Gabriel's Message," came to mind.  This is the day we celebrate Jesus conception.  Also the day, I begin my nine month novena, which will end when Jesus is born, Christmas.

Pick-Up Lines

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"A woman of Samaria came to draw water.  Jesus said to her, 'Give me a drink.'"  John 4: 8

"Give me a drink."!!!  What kind of pick up line is that?  Is that how they opened conversation in the first century?  Nowadays, the man would ask the lady, "May I get you a drink?"


Whatever.  It worked.  The Samaritan woman at the well and Jesus started talking.  Soon a relationship developed.  And that's what Jesus wants with all of us.  He wants us to converse with him, which is prayer.  He wants to quench our thirst, which can never be satisfied, unless it's living water.  He is the living water.  And it's free. 

All anyone has to do is talk like you live in the first century, "Give me a drink."  C'mon belly up to the bar.    Say, "I'll have a tall Living Water, on the rocks, please."

Disciple Once and For All

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My brother in community (Lay Dominican), Christopher Smith put this video together.

Sunday Snippets -- A Catholic Carnival

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R'Ann and the gang from Sunday Snippets are discussing Confession.  I've been thinking about what to answer, all evening.  As a Lay Dominican, I'm supposed to go once a month.  When I had a Spiritual Director, I did.  He began spiritual direction with Confession.  I got used to it.  However, he moved on and I've been adrift.

One Confessor told me I didn't have to go every month; I could go every few months.  Another Confessor wouldn't give me Absolution because he didn't see any sins.  Now I don't feel comfortable going to Confession.

I plan to go at the end of the Lenten mission.  Otherwise, I don't know when I'll go again.  I suppose I'll try every month, again.  I should.  I will.

My week went like this:

Monday -- A ReflectionFrom the Mirror of Love by St. Aelred

Tuesday -- About envy.

Wednesday -- A short story about spring.

Thursday -- Hiking on the first day of spring.

Friday -- An endorsement for the Christian Brothers.

Saturday --…

How to Evangelize

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Two Different Schools of Thought

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This is not a book review.  I'm only on page 7.  But I came across something, that I've been thinking about all night.  Certainly, there will be a book review, and what I'm posting about now, has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the theme of Alive by Piers Paul Read.  But I can't get it out of my mind.

The Irish Province of Christian Brothers was invited to set up a school, as an alternative to the Jesuit run schools.  Why?

Aye, that's why I'm posting.

The reason is because the Jesuits train minds, whereas the Christian Brothers form character.

Why do I find this interesting?  Because I can see where they're coming from.  Isn't this the difference between public schools and parochial schools?  And isn't this why children are home schooled?

You might say that parents teach character.  I will respond with the question, "When?".  Children are in school 6-8 hours a day.  Add in transportation to and fro, extra curricula activities, …

First Day of Spring

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These blue birds look so tiny, but if you click on them and enlarge them, you'll see how beautiful these little birds are.  The one on the left is not as colorful, so she is the female.  The one below is the male.  His blue coloring is striking.

Neily told me that since today was the Spring Equinox, I could balance an egg at 1:00 PM, on the ground.  She happened to tell me that when we were in a place where that couldn't be done, plus we had no egg.  I don't believe it, do you?

Regardless, I had a great first day of Spring.  The Trail Hikers walked some of the road around Diamond Hill Reservoir, RI.  We just reveled at the signs of spring.  Not that we saw budding flowers, but we saw blue birds, red-tailed hawks, goldfinches, and robins.  The female blue bird isn't as blue as the male, but the male was so blue, blue, especially when flying.  The goldfinches are brown in the winter, but turn more and more yellow as spring comes.

Yesterday, the temperature was around 3…

Spectacular Spring

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The princess wanted some flowers to put on the kitchen table.  She planned to pretty up the table with delicate napkins, colorful placemats, and some pretty flowers.  Mother was cooking a dinner for the family and the little princess wanted to help.
Mother had put her in charge of setting the table.  That’s why flowers were needed.  This was the first time the princess set the table and so it had to be spectacular.
The princess opened the door to go outside and immediately the cold air hit her.  “Oh, I need my coat,” she thought.  Back outside, the princess looked around, but the ground was covered in white snow.  “Oh no.”
Dejectedly, the princess went back inside the house.  She went and told her mother her plans.  “But the flowers are all covered up with snow.”
“You could draw flowers.” Mother added, hopefully.
The princess didn’t care for that suggestion.  She wanted flowers in a vase. 
The princess sighed.
As she looked out the sunny window, she noticed a robin sitting on a tree…

Envy

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In our mission today, we talked about envy.  I was thinking of envy of people.  But in discussion, I found out that most of them weren't envious of people, but rather their place in life.
Children of alcoholics, envied children of parents who took better care of their children.  Parents who went to ball games.  Homes, children could take friends into.
Families who encouraged children to continue their education, and helped them go to college, rather than pull the children out of school to go to work.
I didn't know what to tell them.  God put us all in certain situations for a reason.  Some could see a reason.  Others are rather angry at God for putting them where He did.
Again, I didn't know what to tell them.  Their situations drew them to God, or they wouldn't be listening to me.  
Is it possible, that in some cases, envy can cause spiritual growth?
If it does, then can we say that about all sin?






What Are You Doing!

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From the Mirror of Love by St. Aelred:

...It was not enough to pray for them: he wanted also to make excuses for them.  Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.  They are great sinners, yes, but they have little judgment; therefor, Father, forgive them.  They are nailing me to the cross: if they had known, theywould never have crucified the Lord of glory; therefore, Father, forgive them.  They think it is a lawbreaker, an imposter claiming to be God, a seducer of the people.  I have hidden my face from them, and they do not recognize my glory; therefore, Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.

I've often thought the same.  God's power and majesty was hidden.  I probably would be no different than the people thinking Jesus was just a "nut."

Sunday Snippets -- A Catholic Carnival

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A funny thing happened to me this week.  A publisher who I write book reviews for, asked me to write a review.  The book looked interesting, so I agreed.  The very next day the author nixed the plan.  He said that my view was too Catholic conservative, for his book.

It seems that the Catholic liberals think I'm too conservative, and the Catholic conservatives think I'm too liberal.  That's fine with me.  To me it means I'm fair.  I'm where God needs me.

Today, I'm needed to connect with my fellow bloggers on the site This And That And The Other Thing.  On Sundays, we link together to see what we did all week.  We catch up.

Before I talk about my week, I want to add to our discussion as to what resources to use during Lent.  My recommendation is people.  That's right.  I'm assigning everyone to deliberately make someone smile, every day.  I do it by complementing:

"That color looks good on you."
"You look happy and healthy, today."

Shout Out

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You like this picture of St. Dominic?  You'll find this and more at Trinity: Religious Artwork and Icons. I urge you to click over to their site and see what they have to offer.  It's very worthwhile, not only for your own gratification, but for the support they give to religious orders, e.i., Franciscans and Jesuits, and also charities like American Hospice Foundation and the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

They are promoting a Crowd Funding Campaign.  They are offering signed prints and other artworks.  I urge you to visit http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/trinity-religious-artwork-icons-help-spread-our-minbiznistry/x/5278919 to see what it is all about.


Trinity Stores PO Box 631294 Highlands Ranch, CO  80163 www.trinitystores.com info@trinitystores.com PH:    720.344.9212 PH:    800.699.4482 FAX:  303.471.6167
Soli Deo Gloria
Permission to use picture granted by John O'Brien, owner Trinity Stores.

Prayer for Lectors

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PRAYER OF A MINISTER OF THE WORD    

Lord, open my lips,
that my mouth may declare your praise.
Open Your people’s ears,
that they may hear Your Words, not mine.
Open their hearts for Your Word is all holy and true.
Help me proclaim not just with my lips,
but with my whole heart and soul.
Free me from excessive concern over my performance.
Convert my feelings of nervousness and
turn all my apprehension into energy
for proclaiming Your Word with power and authority.
May your Spirit live in me and
fill the Holy Word that I proclaim.


May all I do and say, Lord, be for Your greater glory.
St. Dominic pray for me.
Mary, patron of preachers, pray for me.
All holy blesseds and saints of the Order of Preachers, pray for me.

40 Days

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My friend Ray, hammered home the importance of 40 days.

In the story of the flood, it rained for 40 days and 40 nights, when Noah was in the ark (Gen 7: 12).  Moses went up Mount Sinai to be with God, twice, for 40 days and 40 nights (Ex 24: 18; 34: 28-29, Dt 10: 10).  Elijah took 40 days and 40 nights to travel to Mount Horeb ( 1Kings 19: 8).  The Israelites wandered 40 years in the desert (Ex 16: 35, Num 14: 33-34).  Jesus was in the desert for 40 days in order to fast, pray, and resist the temptations of the devil (Mt 1: 13).  All these things come together in Lent, when we join Jesus in fasting, praying, and resisting temptation for 40 days in the desert.

A Plausible Pumpkin

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What a pleasure to read A Pumpkin for Thanksgiving by Sue Berard-Goldberg, illustrated by Ann Handy and Judy Shammas.  I'm so used to reading children books for my own grandchild, who is only  three, that I had forgotten that children books can have a real plot to them.  A Pumpkin forThanksgiving is a good, family friendly story, published by Three Bean Press.

The story is about a lady named, Nicole, who loved to garden.  When
she planned her garden she made sure that she left room for a pumpkin.  When she seeded her garden, she put her pumpkin seeds in a special area with room for a vine to grow.  When she cultivated her garden, she imagined a huge pumpkin, perfect for a Halloween jack-o-lantern.    She watched with pleasurable anticipation the orange squash grow.

However, what we plan is not what we get.

And that's the extent of my spoiler.  Buy the book.

Barnes & Noble
ISBN-13: 9780988221284Publisher: Three Bean PressPublication date: 1/27/2014Pages: 32Age range: 4 - 8 Y…

Pride & Humility

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We began our Lenten mission today.  I helped facilitate and I don't know what to think.  I'm confused.  I'd say I failed but we were only given 15 minutes to discuss, or share, and how to do that wasn't explained.

We are doing Fr. Robert Barron's Seven Deadly Sins and Seven Lively Virtues.  We chose to do the four session plan.  The directions say to refrain from teaching or sharing yourself.  Let the members express themselves.

The directions also say to use the New American Bible and the Catechism.  Lesson One has nine questions, which the members haven't done, and don't know about.

Get this, I have 15 minutes to discuss/share, yet not teach, 9 questions referencing the Bible and Catechism.

It never happened.

I began by giving out name tags and introducing ourselves.  That took ten minutes.  Yikes! five minutes left.  I figured I can't get into the 9 questions, so I talked about having the Bible and Catechism.

Some background--I lugged my backpack…

The Long Way Home

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I always take the long way home.  I enjoy being stuck behind a school bus.  It makes me smile to see the children jump off the bus into a parent’s arms.  They walk away together grinning and talking.
I always take the long way home.  Did you know that St. Mary’s Angelus bells answer Dean College’s?  It’s like listening to a choir chant antiphonally.
I always take the long way home.  Did you know that Route 109 dog-legs around Medway Community Church?
I always take the long way home.  Whenever I go buy the prisons in Walpole and Norfolk, I am moved to pray.  So many people have broken lives. 
I say, “I always take the long way home,” but that’s a recently adopted philosophy.  You see, I’ve settled into retirement mode.  The rhythm of my life has changed, and I walk to the beat of a different drummer, now.  When I was working, I didn’t walk.  I marched!  I marched to the beat of a fast pace world.  I was in the race. 
I always took short cuts.  Getting behind a school bus would make …

Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival

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It's time for Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival, where we bloggers link together on the blog, This And That And The Other Thing.  We posts our posts from the past week, and answer a question for each of us.

The question is "What is your favorite movie?"  My answer is "How to make an American quilt?"  I enjoyed the female togetherness: their solidarity, their love, their differences, their arguments, their humanness.  It's a different kind of love story because although the theme is love, these characters exhibit different kinds of love.

This weeks posts:

Monday --  Eleanor and a book review of Chasing Prophecy.

Tuesday  --  Still thinking about James Moser's Chasing Prophecy

Wednesday --  Br. Tonto and Cappa and Canis bury the Alleluia and another book review, A Dangerous Past.

Thursday -- I am looking for money to help in Fr. MacRae's appeal.

Friday -- God keeps telling me to pray.  OK, OK, I can take a hint, already.

Saturday --  Another book…

Why the Phalarope?

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It's me.  I know it's me.  Everyone else says this book is a classic.  I don't see that.  Maybe, I'm just too stupid to understand.  Anyway, take it for whatever it's worth.  Here's my take on Alan Paton's Too Late the Phalarope.
Too Late the Phalarope, by Alan Paton is an English teacher’s dream book.  Any teacher of literature would examine the complex society of Apartheid South Africa, the rigid culture mores, the main character’s humanity, and appreciate the beautiful descriptions of the country, and the moral dilemmas the plot purposes. That being said, most students will hate this book.  I also found it painful to read.  Try as I might, I could not identify with any characters.  I didn’t know what they were talking about, most of the time.  The narration is convoluted.  A quarter of the way into the novel, I forced myself to begin again, because I was so confused.  I didn’t know who the narrator was.  Sometimes it was Pieter van Vlaanderen’s aunt.  S…

How Do You Pray?

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It strikes me ironically that in RCIA I talked about prayer, yesterday.  Today everything I read has "prayer," as the topic.  This morning's reading was a homily by St. John Chrysostom:

Prayer and converse with God is a supreme good: it is a partnership and union with God.  As the eyes of the body are enlightened when they see light, so our spirit, when it is intent on God, is illumined by his infinite light.  I do not mean the prayer of outward observance but prayer from the heart, not confined to fixed times or periods but continuous throughout the day and night.

"Prayer and converse with God," is simply talking to God.  St. John Chrysostom is asking us to talk to God all day.  Make God your friend, and talk to Him as a friend.

I went to spiritual direction to learn to pray.  I remember the SpD said the Holy Spirit is the best teacher.  I took that to mean that He will move me to pray and tell me what to say.  Looking back, he was right.  For many years I ju…

Another Appeal

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Fr. Gordon MacRae's goal for money to appeal his court decision, hasn't reached goal, yet.  Please consider contributing in one of these ways:

... there are four ways you can be of help, and I urge you to spread word of this information by sharing this post with your social media and online contacts. Here’s how to help: LEGAL DEFENSE FUND: A legal fund has been established to accept gifts applied directly to legal costs that are ongoing in this case. As we now begin the process of preparing appeals to the federal courts, available funds have been seriously depleted, and continuance of this effort depends on assistance. Checks in any amount to this fund should be made out to Fr. Gordon MacRae and mailed as follows: 

Friends of Fr. Gordon MacRae
 P. O. Box 863 
Hampton, NH 03842-0863 
e-mail: TheseStoneWalls2@gmail.com TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATIONS: The National Center for Reason & Justice (www.ncrj.org) has fully examined the case of Fr. Gordon MacRae. Its Board of Directors and wr…

Flying Too Low

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Dangerous Past by A.F. Ebbers is both a mystery and a thriller.  I was intrigued from the beginning.  This is a fast and enjoyable read. 
Also, the book surprised me, and will probably surprise you.  There’s no sex in it.  There’s no nod to the current cultural preference to prove how modern, how “hip,” how “up-to-date,” the author is, by making one of his characters, gay, or having gay children, or living with his gay partner.  Instead, (Make sure you’re sitting down.) the author relied on his talent.  I repeat.  The author relied on his talent! Imagine that.  A successful novel with no sex, no gay culture, relying on pure, unadulterated talent.  Dangerous Past is so well written than you care about the characters, Frank Braden, Nicole, the FBI, the bad guys.  A. F. Ebbers skillfully employs flashbacks.  The pace will have you staying up later than usual, to see what develops.
The story begins with an explosion on an airplane.  The major character, Frank Braden, is the pilot of a Boein…

Burying the Alleluia

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Explanation:  During Lent, which is a serious, somber time, Catholics don't praise God with Alleluia.  Alleluia is too gleefully joyful.  Easter we will burst with shouts of acclamation--Alleluia!

Deviant Lifestyles

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Monday, I posted a book review.  I loved the book--Chasing Prophecy.  I loved everything except the lesbian couple, called MomZ.  What I didn't like wasn't the fact that they were lesbian.  This is 2014, after all.  What I criticized was my assumption that the author, James Moser, just stuck the lesbians in to show how "hep" he was.  I called it the "author’s capitulation to current cultural sexual/matrimonial fad)". 

Well, the author, James Moser corrected my assumption.  He explained:  

 re: MomZ--I needed the kid + parents to be semi-outcasts in the community, with only the Bethlehems supporting them, making it all the more precarious when that family turns against them. I needed them to be edgy enough that a rural community would , not "shun" exactly, but kind of have them at arm's length to begin with. Gay seemed just right to accomplish that, & that's all, just fyi. :) Wasn't an attempt to be trendy or anything else, though I …