Posts

Showing posts from December, 2014

Cops Aren't Your Enemies

Image
This post is inspired by Kareem-Abdul-Jabbar's message on FaceBook.  Click here.  I agree with his saying that the newspapers and other media, that label the marches as anti-police, miss the point.  They're protesting the anti-black, anti-poor, anti-minority, anti-youth, anti-vulnerable, attitude.

Volunteering in a prison, I can personally affirm that fact.  Just look at the color of the majority of the prisoners.  Look at the predominant nationality.  Look at what economic strata the majority of prisoners come from.  It all can be simply reduced to the fact that the majority of prisoners are poor--the vast majority.  If you have the money to get a good lawyer, you can get away with murder.

Since most of the poor are profiled as a certain race/nationality/ minority, they are viewed and treated differently than the more affluent.  Those profiled as such, are presumed guilty before even given their chance in court.  That's what I deduce from Kareem-Abdul-Jabbar's comme…

Do You Want a Patron Saint for 2015?

Image
Because we’re Catholics we believe in the Communion of Saints. That means we pray for our beloved dead, and they pray for us.  Since we’re still here in this world, and fighting evil, we’re called the Church Militant.  The saints in heaven are called the Church Triumphant.  The Church Suffering is those souls still in Purgatory, who haven’t made it to heaven, yet.
We pray for the souls in Purgatory.  The saints in heaven pray for us. That’s called the Communion of Saints.  We honor the Saints and try to imitate their example.  We ask the saints to intercede for us with God and continue our prayers.
A Patron Saint is one who has been chosen as a special intercessor with God.  The custom arose from the Biblical fact that a change of personal name indicated a change in the person, e.g., Abram to Abraham, Simon to Peter, Saul to Paul, and Linton to Moses.  We are named for patron saints in our baptism.  We may take a patron saint for Confirmation.  The Lay Dominicans may take a patron saint…

I Think It's The Mouth

Image
Faces intrigue me. And I don't mean Hollywood faces. Hollywood's idea of beauty is laughable.  Hollywood worships youth and bling.  Get a face lift and wear bling and you're beautiful.

What I think of beauty is the aura a person exudes.  It's the way they carry themselves.  And, strange as it may sound, and this is my personal gauge--how they hold their lips.

I know.  I know.  The eyes are the mirror to the soul.  I haven't found that to be true.  Unless eyes have tears, I can't tell whether they're happy or sad.  Nevermind, whether they're kind, or lying.

But the lips change shape according to the meaning they want to convey.  Lips tighten to small when the person feels mean or doesn't agree with you.  Lips open when laughing.  Lips turn down when the person is sad.  Lips are soft when relaxed.

The next time you want to see if someone is mad at you, don't look at their eyes.  You won't see anything, but look at their lips.  If they're…

Sunday Snippets -- A Catholic Carnival

Image
Since it's Christmas time, I've a lot to post about.  I've linked this post as I usually do every Sunday, to This That And The Other Thing blog.  This blog is where some of my fellow bloggers and I gather together to share our week.  Why don't you go visit them, here, and enjoy their daring do's.  My daring do's may not be daring, but they're busy.  How were yours?

Monday -- I'm really pushing myself to do de Montfort's Consecration to Mary.

Tuesday -- I am a maggot on top of scum.
Confirmation that I am an ugly and loathsome maggot.
                 What's in store for the rest of the consecration.

Wednesday --  I love being a mother.

Thursday -- Reflection on Christmas day.

Friday -- I hate the Litany of Humility and I can do better.

Saturday -- Cartoon.

What's taking up a lot of my time, and making everything so crazy busy is that I'm doing St. Louis de Montfort's True Devotion Consecration to Mary.  It's eating up a lot of my…

I'll Follow

Image

Consecration to Uplift You

Image
Picture from MEK's Pencil in the Hole
This morning's post about wasting your prayers, was just confirmed.  It really was.  I was whining about the Litany of Humility.  This litany asks the person praying to pray for things that will happen anyway.  Hence I said to not waste your time.  I developed that thought deeper, yet I applied it generally to St. Louis de Montfort's True Devotion Consecration to Mary.  I am doing the entire five-week consecration.  I'm finding it tremendously outdated, especially because most people, nowadays, don't have the time.  I really feel badly about this.  Many would want to do this consecration but can't because of today's demands.  This results in making people feel bad about their spiritual lives.  Prayer should not depress people.  Prayer should lift people up to God.

What am I babbling about?

I just sat down to do Week 2: Day 4 -- Second Meditation and I read:

Dearest soul, do not let the labors, which you have taken up fo…

Don't Waste Your Prayers.

Image
Contemplate this picture by MEK, Pencil in the Hole.
I question the usefulness of the Litany of Humility.  The litany has you praying for something that will happen anyway?  It's life.  There's always somebody smarter, more handsome, richer, pleasanter, more personality, etc.  Capece?

Here are some of the petitions:

That others may be loved more than I.

That others may be esteemed more than I.

That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase and I may decrease.

That others may be chosen and I set aside.

That others may be praised and I go unnoticed.

That others may become holier than I.

Do you see what I'm saying?  What a waste of time!  This will happen whether you pray for it or not.  Sigh (Resigned sigh.)  I don't think St. Louis de Montfort and Thomas a Kempis are on my wavelength.

I'm thinking of writing my own book, Commuting Consecration to Mary.  It will be short, but to make up in brevity, it will last 365 days.  I'll pray about this.  I'll …

The Holiday that Keeps Giving

Image
When we brought my granddaughter to Jordan Furniture's Enchanted Village, she had a good time, just as we expected.  I thought of the Enchanted Village, the same as I thought of Disney World.  Things and places that are geared for children, are wasted on children.  Isn't school wasted on them?  The children just don't appreciate what goes into making an event, a place, etc..  They enjoy according to their own level of enjoyment.  Adults enjoy even more.  The adult level of understanding, frame of reference, etc., allow for more grateful appreciation.

Christmas is the exception.  There are so many levels to view Christmas, that there's something for everybody.  Today, even in my late age, the fact of the Incarnation inspires such a depth of awe, that I don't have the vocabulary, nor wherewithal to express what I feel.

When I saw my infant granddaughter's eyes round into circled amazement upon looking at her first Christmas experience, I felt her understanding c…

Being a Mother

Image
Today, December 24, I keep thinking of Mary's labor.  I think of mine and wonder if she felt like I did. Did she feel like a whale?  Was she dying to pop that baby out? Did she worry if her baby would be all right--probably not because of what Gabriel told her.  So she had no fear that the baby would die in birthing.

Was it a long labor?  Did she even have labor pains, since she was conceived free of Original Sin?

Was she exhausted afterward but elated?  Imagine her feelings, emotions, thoughts, after giving birth.  I know how I felt after each of my babies were born.  She like I gave thanks to God for allowing me to be a partner in His creation.  We certainly were His instruments.  It's awesome being a mother.

Picture from MEK's Pencil in the Hole.

The Preparation

Image
According to St. Louis de Montfort's True Devotion Consecration to Mary, I have twelve days (at least) of ridding myself of the worldly things.  Then three weeks of filling up with Jesus, by the holy Virgin.

During these days of self-examination, I should use the prayer ejaculations:

Lord, that I may see.
May I know myself!      All three are to be employed with the Litany of the Holy Spirit.
Come, Holy Spirit
Plus ask the Blessed Virgin to grant grace to persevere, and end with Ave Maris Stella and the Litany of the Blessed Virgin.

And!  I have to make a confession sometime during this five-week period.  Preferably a general confession of my whole life, if possible.



Confirmation

Image
Here's confirmation regarding this morning's meditation from today's Morning Prayer, Psalm 144: 3-4.

Lord, what is man that you care for him, 
mortal man, that you keep him in mind;
man, who is merely a breath,
whose life fades like a passing shadow?

In fact, today, St. Louis de Montfort tells the story of Our Lord telling one of His saints--"If you saw yourselfas I saw you, then you would die of fright!"   And that's to one of His saints!

We're that ugly and loathsome.  :-(


From Temple to Rubble

Image
Less than twenty-four hours ago, I was chafing under St. Louis de Montfort's exaltation to hate ourselves.  I summed up the first week of St. Louis de Montfort's True Devotion Consecration to Mary as outdated and, well, ...ridiculous.  I wrote:

"The meditations are mostly from the Imitation of Christ.  That was written in Medieval times, and the language isn't updated.  The theme this week is to hate one's self.  I expect flagellation, on the next page.  It's too much. 

I was made in the image and likeness of God.  My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.  I think it's disrespecting God when I disrespect myself.  I understand what de Montfort is saying.  We are nothingcompared to God.  We owe Him everything.  But the medieval concept of denial and the language is so self-deprecating, that it's a turn off.  It's just too much!"

 Today is a new day.  Everything I read for this morning is pointing me towards being like de Montfort's ideal.  W…

Evaluation of Week One

Image
I've completed the first week of St. Louis de Montfort's True Devotion, Consecration to Mary.  My thoughts tend to be critical.  I'll still persist to the end.  I'm faithful to the point of stupidity.  In this case, I have nothing to lose.  Time?  Hey, I'm retired!

And that's my first criticism.  No way could I be doing this consecration in any other time of my life, except in my retirement.  Today's lifestyles are just too busy, regrettably so, but necessarily so, if one has to compete in the workplace.

The other criticism is it's outdated and confusing.  My first day was just scripture.  I skimmed over it because I know these verses, so well.  There was no commentary, whatsoever, accompanying them.  The language is not modern, so it may confuse the reader.  Before one starts, you are supposed to sing or read Veni Creator--all seven stanzas!  Each time!  There are five meditations each day, hence I'm supposed to sing Veni Creator's seven stan…

Sunday Snippets -- A Catholic Carnival

Image
Crazy!  Crazy.  It's crazy busy around here.  I don't think I'd feel as stressed if it weren't for the fact that I'm still recuperating.  I tire so easily.  Yesterday, I had to walk for a mile and I did OK but I slept all the way home.  We were visiting my son in Roslindale.  It's hard to find a parking spot, so we didn't move the car; we walked. However, I still managed to post every day.  And today is the day my fellow bloggers and I link together at the blog, This And That And The Other Thing.  We catch up with each other to see what happened during the week.  Here's what's happening in my world:

Monday -- Mary, Mary, Mary, Mary, Mary, Mary, ...

Tuesday -- I started St. Louis de Montfort's Total Consecration to Mary.

Wednesday -- You know, it's hard to live in the world, and not be in it.

Thursday -- Did you know that a god is judged by how he treats mankind?

Friday -- Book Review of An Amish Second Christmas.

Saturday -- My Christmas pr…

Christmas Cards

Image
It's taking me longer than usual to write my Christmas cards, this year.  I pray for each person and/or family I send a card to.  I also pray for the people who sent me cards.  It's my Christmas gift for each one of them.

An Amish Second Christmas

Image
An Amish Second Christmas is a collection of four novellas by Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, Ruth Reid, and Tricia Goyer.  All the stories deal with Amish life, and the day after Christmas, which is a fun, social activity day, in the Amish world.  This day after Christmas is known as Second Christmas, hence the title. 
Since I read this book in December, I enjoyed the holiday theme even more than usual.  The four stories are light and easy to read.  I am going to recommend An Amish Second Christmas for my own book club to read for next December.  The first novella, When Christmas Comes Again by Beth Wiseman was a thriller, but not a scary thriller.  The suspense was tempered by the safety of the Amish culture.  An Englischer appears to be following Katherine.  Katherine’s husband has recently died, so this stranger stalking her made for some unwanted stress.  That is until he made himself known by giving Katherine pictures of her late husband, and a story that just couldn’t have been…

Judging

Image
Sometimes, I wonder why God bothers with us.  People can be unfaithful, unthinking, dirty, miserable lowlife.  Really--why does God put up with us!  Why?

Reading a treatise Against Heresies by Saint Irenaeus, in this morning's office, I found one answer.  The saint says,

Just as a doctor is judged in his care for the sick, so God is revealed in his conduct with men.
Imagine that!  Following that line of thinking, St. Paul says,

God has made the whole world prisoner of unbelief that he may have mercy on all.
I'm gobsmacked!!  This is way beyond me.  Also, I kind of think it's passing judgement on God, which of course would be wrong--way out of line.  Who are we to even think of judging Him.  But wait a minute.  Don't people do this all the time?  When someone blames God for the bad that happens, aren't they judging God for what they perceive as His doing?

I think it's best just to trust God.  As mere humans, we can't see the whole picture, only the part tha…

Virtues of the World

Image
St. Louis de Montfort, in his Consecration to Mary talks about avoiding the  lures of our culture.  He refers to the lure as virtues.  But those that are tempted are only using their eyes and feelings.  People appear to act as Christians, but they never think of God, or trouble themselves with discernment of His Will.  These are some of these worldly virtues:

what people sayconventiongood cheerwitty deprecating jokes These people can be unaware that without God, they'll never be satisfied.

Rush, Rush

Image
Day One of my consecration to Mary isn't going so good.  Tomorrow will be worse because I'm babysitting all day.

Time is the culprit.  I didn't sleep well, so I woke up late and rushed.  I was in a hurry so I threw a smoothie together so I could drink it while I was running around.  I had no time to shower, maybe later.  I did sit down with my cup of coffee and looked at the first meditation for Day One.  It was Chapter Five in Matthew.  That's the beatitudes.  I thought I could skip that because I stare at the framed beatitudes every day; they're on my wall.

I had to pick up my granddaughter and bring her to nursery school.  Then I had to go to physical therapy.  I've been given exercises to do 10 times a day!  When do I have time to do that?

Afterwards, it was time to pick up my granddaughter and bring her to daycare.  Finally, I could go back home.  I prayed Morning Prayer.  I looked at the second meditation for the consecration.  It was a continuation of c…

I Can Take A Hint

Image
I give up.  As my four-year-old granddaughter would say, for a couple of whiles, I have been hearing "Mary, Our Lady, the Blessed Mother."  Now I honor Mary as the Mother of Jesus.  But I don't love her as a mother, or sister--maybe a friend.  Well, I'm tired of being pushed into the same room as her; people mentioning her to me, and picking up something to read and it's about Mary.

First it was Father Gordon MacRae and his consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  I've been following his blog, These Stone Walls, for years.  I really didn't pay much attention to his posts about his consecration.

Then it was Donna in prayer group who spoke about visiting Medjugorje.

Then Father Francis asked me if I knew a lady by the name of Janine who lives in my town and has visions of Mary.  "What?"    "No I don't."  But still.  Mary, Mary, ...again and again.

The other day I got a Christmas letter from Father MacRae.  Again with his conse…

Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival

Image
What a blast I'm having this week!  Omega is here, visiting.  We're having a grand time.  This week's posts reflect the thinks we've done and thought and talked about.  I'm going to link up with my fellow bloggers on This That And The Other Thing blog for more can read what I posted.  Click here to read more.

Monday:     Short story.

Tuesday:  Book review of a classic.

Wednesday:  Mary's story.

Thursday:  I still haven't found it.

Friday:   Dominican Sisters of Bethany fun.

Saturday:  Profession Day in my chapter.

How's your Advent going?

Litany of Mercy

Image
My Lay Dominican Chapter held its Promise Day, today. Of course, we had Mass.  When it came time for the Prayer of the Faithful, my "cloistered brothers" prayed a Litany of Mercy.  I never heard this before and thought it was beautiful.  It was created for the beatification Mass for Blessed Jean Joseph Lataste, O.P.

Leader: Gracious and loving God, be present with your mercy in the house of Bethany, the house where everyone is welcome, an open house without bars.

With your love          ALL: be present here

Through your forgiveness          ALL: be present here

In your reconciliation            ALL: be present here

With your light            ALL: be present here

In your sympathy            ALL: be present here

With your fidelity            ALL: be present here

In human forbearance          ALL: be present here

That we may meet everyone with respect         ALL: help us good God

That we may accept everyone in hospitality         ALL: help us good God

That we may accept every…

Games for the Temporary Professed

Image
Sister Barbara asked for some English sentences, for a game.  Tomorrow is a celebration for professions.  Two novices will be making their temporary profession.  Sister plans to give the novices some sentences to translate.  The languages will be English, French and German.  I'm doing the English.  I'm going to sneak in some Latin, too.    What do you think?

The silence of a stupid man, looks like wisdom.


Speech is given to many, intelligence to few.


Nothing moves faster than gossip.


Don't whistle and drink at the same time.


An ugly vase doesn't break.


Community is being together--even when apart.


Asking for help is a strength, not a weakness.


In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity.


The harder you work, the luckier you get.


People forget how fast you did a job, but they remember how well you did it.

Latin

Fortunam citius reperias quam retineas.

Summum ius summa iniuria.

Nos in vitium credula turba sumus.

Falsum etiam est verum quod constituit superior.

Virtuti …

Calling All Prayer Warriors

Image
Help! I've lost my niece's passport and she is going to need it next week.  Pray.  Please.

Tony, Tony,
Please come down.                            
A passport's lost
And must be found.

Our Lady,
Undoer of knots,
Please untie the
mystery of where
I put that
passport.

It goes without repeating, that I ask all through Christ,
Our Lord.  Amen

St. George and the Chickens

Image
My friend, Mary, told me an interesting story, today.  She was born in Kerala, India.  She was baptized in St. George's church.  St. George is honored in Kerala, and especially in this church.  They have festivals to celebrate St. George's slaying of the dragon.  In Kerala, since there are a lot of snakes, the snake is symbolized by the dragon.  They see St. George protecting the people against the snakes.  On the day of the festival, people bring their chickens to the church.  The chickens are auctioned off and the money goes to the church.

One year, Mary said she wasn't going to bother.  She didn't bring her chicks to the festival.  That night a snake came in and ate every single one of her chicks.

You better believe that she brought her chicks every year thereafter.

Kristin Lavransdatter

Image
Kristin Lavransdatter III: The Cross
by
Sigrid Undset
Translated
by
Tiina Nunnally
Reviewed
by
Faith Flaherty Kristin Lavransdatter is a trilogy of historical novels written by Sigrid Undset. This edition is a translation by Tiina Nunnally, which I found very understandable.  Notes are included for further explanation, in the back of the novel. 
The Cross is about the life of a Norwegian woman living in the fourteenth century.  The culture was completely foreign to me.  I found the customs fascinating. 
I was particularly interested in the fact that there seemed to be no capital punishment.  Two men were killed and the perpetrators weren’t arrested, thrown in prison and subjected to inhumane deaths.  Instead, they had to make restitution.  The details weren’t given, just that they had to give property and money to the victim’s family.  The perpetrators were worried that banishment may sometimes be required, as part of restitution.
Another cultural and historical fact that surprised me was that…

The Mensch on the Bench partners with the Elf on the Shelf

Image
Today, the Elf woke up to being squashed between two big books on the bookshelf.  Every morning Elf wakes up in a different location.  It’s a hard life, but an important one.  Every Advent, Elf keeps an eye on the children, until Christmas.  It is Elf’s job to report to Santa Claus how the children are behaving.  And with this family of eight, oh wait, baby Dominic is a new addition this year, this family of nine children, Elf is kept very busy.
Yikes!  Hannah is shoving a chocolate into the baby’s mouth.  Whew.  Abraham to the rescue, he’s the oldest and the most responsible of the children.
Last night, the children set up the crèche.  And Abraham gave me the baby Jesus to hide, until Christmas.  Jesus wasn’t born until Christmas, so he’s not put in the crib, until then. Mary and Catherine are setting up the menorah. Tonight, Dad will light the first candle, commemorating the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem, at the time of the Maccabean Revolt.
It is interesting to observe …

Sunday Snippets -- A Catholic Carnival

Image
Yes, I know today's not Sunday.  I had company all weekend and I've been running around like a headless chicken, so I didn't have time to link up on the proper day, with my fellow bloggers who join together at R'Ann's, This And That And The Other Thing Blog.  Here's how I spend my week:

Monday -- You MUST talk to God.  That's called prayer.  Then listen.  You will soon be conversing and that's how you become friends.

Tuesday --  Book review on a book by one of my "go to" authors, Cristelle Camby.

Wednesday -- Christmas Eve tradition from my mother's side of the family.

Thursday --  I wish I would win one of these raffles.

Friday -- One of my favorite religious nuts.

Saturday -- At least someone in the family appreciates my efforts.

I have company next weekend, too.  Hope to connect with you next Sunday.

Cat Nap

Image
It took my thirty-seven years to complete a Christmas tree skirt.  I started it when my oldest was an infant but when she started crawling around and getting into things, I put my knitting away.  I know that when mothers have babies, is when they knit, but that's not me.  I focused on doing baby things.

Anyway, once I retired, I took up knitting again and I finished what I started thirty-seven years ago.  I'm proud to have finished, but no one seems impressed, except the cat.  She loves it.

Henry Suso's Good Christian Men Rejoice

Image
Since I didn't sleep well, last night, I had the TV on.  I was surprised to see that my fellow Dominican, Henry Suso wrote the Christmas hymn, Good Christian Men Rejoice.  I had never heard that story before. Naturally, I googled Good Christian Men Rejoice.  I eventually did find some reference of him, but it wasn't easy.  Everything said the hymn came from Medieval times.  The hymn originated with the Rhineland mystics.  Both these references fit Henry Suso.  Only Wikipedia names Heinrich Seuse circa 1328.

 What I know of Suso, obviously, isn't much.   I consider him a religious nut.  One incident he did was tattoo himself with his pen point.  He wrote Jesus over his heart.  Additionally he gave himself some extreme penances, which finally did him in health wise.  Also, he affected the people he lived with by his crazy ideas.  He didn't bathe for 25 years!  He died in his thirties, so consider it his entire adulthood.  I guess he never heard the expression,"Clean…

Enter to Win

Image
The United States Council of Catholic Bishops is having a raffle to promote the book, Catholic Households Blessings and Prayers.  It is perfect for families with young children, newlyweds, and grandparents like myself, who are active with their grandchildren.

If I can get you to enter (What have you got to lose?), I get another entry.  Just enter from http://woobox.com/pjdyns/cd8dsu  and I'll get a bonus entry.

Learn essential prayers that Catholics need to know by memoryBless before games of sportBless on the roadPractice the simple form of the Liturgy of the HoursCelebrate the feasts and seasons of the Church year in ritual and prayerBless the advent wreath, Christmas crèche, and Easter foodsLead grace before and after mealsPray for family membersBless the home before a move and in times of trouble   And I'd add to bless yourself every time you pass a Catholic Church, to recognize the presence of Jesus in the Tabernacle.

Kalėdaitis

Image
Since I'm half Lithuanian, I try to carry on some of the traditions my mother had.  One of them was sharing the Christmas wafer, on Christmas Eve.  I purchase it in a Polish deli.  There it is called oplatek.  It's made up of the same ingredients as a communion wafer.  Of course, it's unconsecrated.  Think of it as a traditional sharing of goodwill.

The Christmas wafer will have a Christ related scene stamped on it, e.i., creche, holy angels, Mary with Jesus.  It will sit in the center of the table and will be the first thing people touch.  The father, or in my case me, (Hubby thinks I'm nuts.) will say a blessing before we eat and then I'll break off a piece of the wafer and pass it around for everyone to break off a piece and eat.

I like to think of it as wishing everyone health and good cheer.  Hubby says he'd rather clink wine glasses, but it's the same idea.  In my family, we do both--pass the wafer and toast.

Neve and Egan to the Rescue

Image
Danse Macabre, Cristelle Camby’s latest mystery is the third in the Neve & Egan cases.  The other two are Russian Dolls and Ruby Heart.  Like the others, Danse Macabre is a good whodunit, solved by the unlikely, but successfully adept,  private investigators, Alexandra Neve and Ashford Egan. One is a young lady, and the other is a blind man.  
The novel begins with a prologue to explain how Alexandra Neve and Ashford Egan came to be private investigators.  Just the fact that Egan is blind, will want the reader to read on to see how this unlikely pair can function at all, never mind be successful.  That’s what intrigues me, in this mystery and in the entire series.  How can this team of handicapped investigators solve these crimes?  That’s what the reader wants to know.
Danse Macabre tells the story of a serial killer.  At first it’s a pianist, then a ballerina, and then a singer.  The story itself begins with a mother looking for her missing daughter.  The police think the 24-year-o…