Thursday, July 31, 2014

Do Rabbits Have Predators?

My garden is beautiful, this year.  The only thing that isn't plentiful is tomatoes.  We have plenty of flowers but the tomatoes aren't coming.  I don't see many bees and I think that's why.  I've already harvested peppers, yellow summer squash, zucchini, egg plants, green beans and snap peas.  The smell of basil permeates the garden.  I see watermelon and pumpkins growing.

This morning, we went out to a mess.  Something has eaten and wrecked the squash and zucchini.  A lot of the vegetables have one bite taken out of them.

You know whom I blame.   

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Time to Start the Novena to St. Dominic

The Novena to Saint Dominic should start today.  His feast day is Aug. 8.















A NOVENA

TO SAINT DOMINIC


O renowned champion of the faith of Christ,
most holy saint Dominic,
who didst renounce the honour and dignity 
of an earthly principality to embrace the poor,
laborious, and mortified life 
which should distinguish a disciple of Him Who has said:
"If any man will come after Me,
let him take up his cross and follow Me."
O burning torch,
who being thyself consumed with the fire of divine love,
didst incessantly labour 
to enkindle that sacred flame 
in the hearts of others,
look down upon me from that throne of glory 
where thou enjoyest the reward of all thy labours,
and obtain that some sparks of that blessed fire
may be lighted in my soul,
to animate and encourage me under any crosses or trials
with which it shall please the divine goodness to visit me.
Thou, O great Saint,
regardest as nothing all the afflictions thou didst endure,
and all the toils thou didst undergo 
for the promotion of God's holy cause;
obtain, I beseech Thee, that the same
ardent love which strengthened thee, 
may make sweet to me labours, humiliations, disgraces, 
or whatever other mortifications 
I may have to suffer for the Name of Jesus.
May I ever bear in mind that nothing can happen to me 
but by the particular dispensation of a God 
Who is infinitely wise,
and therefore knows what is best for my welfare;
infinitely powerful,
and consequently able to effect it;
and above all,
infinitely merciful and loving,
Who has laid down His life for my redemption,
and continues daily to give new proofs of His love and bounty.
O tender Father of the poor who,
when all other resources were exhausted,
didst offer thyself for their relief,
obtain for me that true spirit of compassion 
for the suffering members of Jesus Christ,
which shone forth so conspicuously in thy holy life.
May I, by charity to those whom Jesus so dearly loves,
lay up for myself treasures in heaven,
where thou now enjoyest that which the eye hath not seen,
nor the ear heard, 
nor the heart of man conceived,
but which God has prepared for those who love Him,
and who prove themselves His Disciples 
by the observance of His Divine precept 
- love one another.
I praise and thank God for the high 
I praise and thank God for the high degree of sanctity 
to which He had raised thee, 
and the special privileges 
by which He has distinguished thee.  
I conjure thee, 
by that gratitude with which thou shalt for all eternity 
be penetrated for thy Divine Benefactor,
implore for me the grace to root out of my heart 
whatever is not agreeable in His sight,
especially that evil habit 
by which I most frequently offend Him.
Obtain likewise the favours I request in this Novena,
through thy powerful intercession.

(Here specify your intentions)

O glorious Mother of God, 
Queen of the most sacred Rosary, 
thou who didst love Dominic with the affection of a mother, 
and were most tenderly loved and honoured by him, 
look upon me, for his sake, 
with an eye of pity, 
deign to join with him in presenting these petitions 
to thy most Blessed Jesus.  
I sincerely desire from this moment 
to love Him with all my heart, 
and serve Him with all my strength, 
and now place myself under thy powerful protection, 
as a sure means of obtaining all the graces necessary 
to serve Him faithfully here, 
that I may eternally rejoice with Him hereafter.

Amen.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tone


Tone of voice is important.  The problem is that one doesn't realize one has a tone until after the fact.  For example, I've been told that I have a sharp, hurtful tone.  I don't really mean it and am surprised at people's reaction.  It's something I'll always be working on.

Today, when it was time for my granddaughter's nap, she was goofing around. In exasperation I said, "That's too bad.  Now go lie down."  I saw a surprised look on her face (not happy, more shocked), and she started to cry.  But since she was heading towards the bed, I didn't say anything.  I watched her go lie down.  She softly cried herself to sleep.

Crying because I said, "Too bad; now go lie down?"  It had to be my tone.

In the afternoon, the table was turned.  Granddaughter was at the table doing a craft, with paper, scissors, and glue.  I was getting something out of the refrigerator and saw some chocolate candy in there.  I took one to give to her.  She said, "ExCuse me.  I'm busy."

Actually, she sounded just like her mother.

Tone of voice must run in families.


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Brother Can You Spare A Dime

Abbot has his Costello, George Burns has Gracie, Dean Martin had Jerry Lewis, and so we have a new comedic pair in Ken Dalton’s characters, Flo and Bear.  Readers will love them.  Bear is a big, loveable, detective working for J. Pincus Delmont.  Flo is Bear’s girl.  She’s street smart and is the brains in the duo.  Pinky is a big shot defense lawyer, and is Bear and Flo’s boss.  In Brother, Can you spare a Dime? Pinky is trying to get his favorite ex-wife, Willow, to remarry him.  Willow is a prosecuting attorney. 

The main plot is trying to prove that Bear’s high school friend, Helmut Kaufman didn’t kill his brother, Ludwig Kaufman.  Ludwig was a numismatist.  He was killed for a rare dime worth millions.  This case will take Bear and Flo to Hawaii, China, and Tibet.  Bear loves women, food, and Flo.  Flo is smart and has a strong personality.  She loves Bear and is always looking out for him.  Their personal interactions are hilarious.

Flo pulled off her sweat shirt and posed like that Venus statue I’d seen with no arms.  “Bear, you can search the world but you’ll never find any better … If we do stop by Waikiki beach, while you’re searching for the girls, I’ll be scouring the area for one of those bronzed beach boys with muscles on top of muscles.”
      “Babe, two can play at that game.”  I pulled off my tee shirt.  “You can walk all over that Waikiki beach and you ain’t never going to find a better six-pack than this.”
     She stared at me for a second, and then said, “Okay.  I’ll drop the beach boys as long as you forget the topless Hawaiian girls.”

Their banter will keep you smiling as you read.  Don’t forget, this book is a detective story.  Business is business and part of the business is making sure Pinky, their boss doesn’t jip them.  The real business is catching the crook.  In this case, it’s Madame Soong who wants to steal a rare dime.  Politics is involved and Bear gets sick, and Flo has to pull out all her tricks to pull this case to a successful conclusion.
If humor, tension, characters and suspense, aren’t enough to keep you reading, how about learning and a contest.  The author has added some concluding notes and pictures, to enhance the setting.  Brother Can You spare A Dime? has everything.  I think a TV series with Bear, Flo, and Pinky would be a big hit.  Ultimately, Brother Can You Spare A Dime? will entertain in more ways than one.  The reader’s appetite for more Flo and Bear stories will be craving for more.  Just to make sure, the author has added a “cliff hanger contest”, at the very end.  Email him to answer the question.  Ken will choose the two answers he likes the best.  These two winners will receive a complete set of his Bear and Flo mysteries.  The author calls them Pinky and Bear stories.  But I ask, “What’s Bear without Flo?” 

           Let Ken know how you would answer the question and he will choose the two answers he likes the best. Both winners will receive a complete paperback set of his Pinky and Bear mystery series.

The Bloody Birthright
The Big Show Stopper
Death is a Cabernet
The Tartan Shroud
Brother, can you spare a dime?


Five books, each one personally inscribed!

Email your cliff hanger answer to 
ken@kendalton.com and in a couple of months Ken will post the winners' names on his Facebook page.

You are welcome to write to the author, Ken Dalton at ken@kendalton.com.  He has a website: www.kendalton.com and a Facebook page.



Prices/Formats: $4.99 ebook, $14.95 paperback
Pages: 310
ISBN: 9780578140391
Publisher: Different Drummer Press
Release: April 9, 2014

Kindle buy link ($4.99):
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JKBPZDM?tag=tributebooks-20

Amazon paperback buy link ($14.95):
http://www.amazon.com/dp/057814039X?tag=tributebooks-20

KenDalton.com paperback buy link ($14.95):
http://kendalton.com/
personalized inscription and free shipping

Sunday Snippets -- A Catholic Carnival

A Brother Tonto Cartoon
with Cappa and Canis

R'Ann and we other bloggers are discussing whether or not we promote our blogs on Facebook.  R'Ann doesn't, not really.  It may come up, but that's not a regular occurrence, for her.  I'm different.  Somewhere along the blogging journey, I set up an automatic link from my The One True Faith blog, to Facebook and Twitter.  It's done automatically.  And that's OK.  I use both this blog and all social media to preach.  My witness is preaching God's love and goodness.  That's how I see it.

This is what God love and goodness did this week:

Monday -- Book Review

Tuesday -- I went to hear Father Timothy Radcliffe give a Talk.

Wednesday -- Book Club's luncheon.

Thursday -- A false dichotomy.

Friday -- Catholics worshipping statues.

Saturday -- One of my poems.

God's love and goodness abounds.  You can read more at the blog, This That And The Other Thing.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Terce

Terce

"Teach me O Lord, and I shall live."
The morning chant blends with sparrows' song.
I lift my voice.
I rise to fly.

Sparrows' trill praise You, Lord.
Glory Be bows,
I bless myself.
"Teach me O Lord, and I shall live."

Friday, July 25, 2014

A bald-faced Lie


Telling you that Catholics worship statues, is definitely a lie.  I was quoted Exodus 20: 4-5.  This is where Moses was given the command not to carve any graven image as an idol and not to worship it.  But then God commands the carving of images in Exodus 25: 18-19.  There's also Moses having a serpent on a pole, in Numbers 21: 8-9. And in Kings the temple had engraved cherubim, trees, flowers, bronze lions, oxen, and even pomegranates.

See?  God explicitly commands graven images to be built.  The difference is that God isn't condemning the use of statues per se.  It's how you use the statue, e.i., inspiration, visual aid, etc.  Idolatry is condemned.  Using the statue as a picture of a loved one, a remembrance, etc., is not worshipping it.  Heck, I kneel beside my bed at night, to pray.  To say that I'm worshipping my bed, is a bald-faced lie.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Your Truth is Not My Truth

Huh?  I  heard this today.  It doesn't make sense.

Truth is true for everybody, correct?  Otherwise it's not true.

So if you say that "Well, it's true for me."  It follows that it would be true for me.

Since it's not true for me, then your premise is wrong.  It's not true.

It's true, is false.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Argonauta

The Argonauta met today to pick out next year's selection of books.  These are the book club's picks:

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
Death Comes to Pemberley by P. D. James
Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight
Christmas at Eagle Pond by Donald Hall
The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Natchez Burning by Greg Iles
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
A Star for Mrs. Blake by April Smith
50 Children by Steven Pressman

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

We are What We Were Created By.

A Selfie with fra Tim
Five of us trekked down to Christ the King parish to see Father Timothy Radcliffe speak.  This parish has a Summer Speaker Series and Father Radcliffe is their July offering.

We've been traveling down, together for the other speakers, also.  We go out to eat at a restaurant down the Cape, where we can pig out on seafood.  We have a very good time.

Tonight was not a disappointment.  Father was very good.  We sat in front; I sat right next to him!  He leaned over to me and asked me to pray for him because he lost the middle of his Talk.  He said he must have left it on his bed, but the middle of his papers is missing.

It seemed fine to me.  I didn't see anything missing.  He talked about how beautiful our human bodies were.  How important the sense of touch was.  When he talked about the eyes; he spoke about his brother in community, Vincent, who was blind, but such a joy to everyone.  The ears and listening were a major point.  Talking involves listening.  We are made in the image of God, and as such, are beautiful.  We are the presence of God.  We carry Him out into our world.

As we rode home, all five of us, squished together.  We joked about our bodies touching each other and how we were relating as Jesus would want us to.




Monday, July 21, 2014

Who Said Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend?


Every detective series has some endearing quality to hook the reader, or the series would have been a one shot deal.  The detective story, The Hard Way, has many endearing facets, which is why the Laurel and Helen mysteries are so successful.  The author, Cathi Stoler has introduced an interesting main character, Helen McCorkendale.  She’s so believable, you recognize her.  Why she’s that lady you see around town.  She is always dressed fashionably, and is busy doing something interesting.  You’d love to be friends with her.

Guess what.  You can.  The book is The Hard Way, by Cathi Stoler, and you and Helen can have a cup of coffee and share one dessert with two spoons.  That’s how Helen is.  Helen will also tell you about her boyfriend Mike.  They recently moved in together.  Laurel is Helen friend, accomplice, and Mike’s daughter.

The Hard Way is about Helen helping out another friend, Jimmy.  Jimmy Scanlon just opened up a casino in Las Vegas.  He named it January because the theme is “cold.”  That’s cold colors, a frozen bar, and all around “cool”.  As a promotional gimmick, a contest offered a free weekend at January.  What’s weird is that the winner didn’t want to come.  She eventually changed her mind and came, only to be murdered.  The Hard Way is a who done it.

The suspects are: Jimmy’s competitor—Drummond, someone in the mob, maybe even one of the diamond exhibitors staying at the January.  I’ll help you out.  The killer isn’t one of them, but that’s the closest to a spoiler, you’ll get.  There’s a traitor in Jimmy’s circle of confidants and friends.  Then there’s an international jewel theft ring.  And oh, the murdered victim wasn’t an innocent casualty.

An interesting aside is Laurel’s love life.  Laurel is Helen’s partner in crime, so to speak.  Laurel was interested in a New York cop.  Evidently, due to circumstances,  Aaron Gerrard (the cop) can never understand, why Laurel betrayed him.  He has turned his back on her; he won’t listen; he is finished with her.  This case has them working together, again.  This interplay is very interesting. 

Interpol becomes involved.  Diamonds are stolen.  People are killed.  Helen is in danger. 
The pace is so fast that you can’t read fast enough.   You’ll enjoy every minute of The Hard Way.  In fact, you’ll soon be reading the other two Laurel and Helen New York Mystery series, because The Hard Way will make you a fan.

Prices/Formats: $4.95 ebook, $14.95 paperback
Pages: 
280
Release: 
April 15, 2014
Publisher: 
Camel Press
ISBN: 
9781603819497



Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday Snippets -- A Catholic Carnival


It's Sunday again.  This means I link my blog to a blog called This That And The Other Thing.  I encourage you to click on that link and read what's happening.

On This That and The Other Thing, we are discussing the religious sisters in the parishes we grew up in.  My parish had Sisters of the Notre Dame de Namur.  But I didn't go to the parish parochial school, St. Monica's .  My parents said the public schools were better.  But I think the real reason was because you had to pay to go to the parish school.  Today, the parish has both religious sisters and lay teachers.  In fact, I taught there at one time.

This week wasn't as busy as last week, but I had a good week.

Monday -- I wrote about a surprising recipe I found in a cook book.

Tuesday -- I posted about the Pope's upcoming journey to South Korea.

Wednesday -- I've been blessed with some wonderful friends.

Thursday -- The present times call for much prayer.

Friday -- I wrote a short story.  (It is fiction.)

Saturday --  What I learned from a jar.

Hope you enjoy my posts and all the others at This That And the Other Thing.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Lesson Given by a Jar of Pickles

A jar of pickles taught me a lesson today.  I couldn't open it.  So I passed it around and everyone tried to open it.  Eventually, it opened.

Think about it.

The person who finally opened the jar wasn't stronger than anyone else.  It was everyone trying again and again and again.

Everything that went on before, did it.

Think about it.  Don't give up.  Keep at it.

Friday, July 18, 2014

A Memory that Still Haunts



No one knew it was us.  Watching from our hidden perch, up in our tree house, my brother, Ronnie, and I, held our breaths.  Mean Mrs. Northrup walked to her mailbox.

The dump had caught on fire, that morning.  Ronnie and I had ridden  our bikes, to go watch the firemen put out the fire.  Much to our surprise, and Ronnie’s delight, snakes galore came slithering out.  We caught hundreds of them. Well, maybe not hundreds, but lots of them.  Ronnie draped twenty two snakes over a stick. 
Thanks to Creative Commons License
     We didn’t want to waste this natural treasure.  We thought of cooking them, but then what?  We rode around and showed all our friends.  But after a while, the snakes were kind of dead, and weren’t as good, anymore.  Before they all died, we had to put them to good use.
     Of course we had to scare someone.  But who?  Someone who deserved it.  Mrs. Northrup immediately came to mind.  She lived on the corner.  No one liked her because she was always yelling at everybody—even grownups.  She wouldn’t let us cross her property, even when late for the school bus.  She wouldn’t return our baseballs, when they landed in her yard.  She kept her lights off on Halloween, so no one would go trick or treating to her house.  She was the neighborhood witch.
     And there we were, belly-down in our tree house.  We had shoved all twenty two snakes in her mail box and then put its flag down.  We watched and waited. 
     Once in a while we’d giggle because our stomachs were jumping around with excitement.  We couldn’t stop smiling.  We wiggled and giggled. 
     We didn’t have long to wait.  Ronnie jabbed me and pointed.  Mean Mrs. Northrup walked to her mailbox. 

We stopped breathing. 

She opened the mail box and looked.  She jumped back and yelped.  Then she moved even farther away and clutched her heart.  She kept walking backwards while shaking her head, back and forth.  Eventually, she turned around and ran to the neighbor across the street. 

We could hear her sobbing.


I tried to remember which of us spoke first.  But it was too long ago.  I remember Ronnie had covered his ears, and hid his head.  I couldn’t take my eyes off of Mrs. Northrup.  I just sat there a very long time, staring...just staring.  

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Call to Prayer

call to prayerCardinal Seán O'Malley

Chairman, USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities
It is a great blessing to be joined in prayer with thousands of Catholics nationwide. The Call to Prayer is a reminder for all of us that we rely on God for everything; it is an invitation to grow in faith and love as we pray and fast together for the protection of life, marriage and religious liberty. Everyone can make a difference for the good of the Church and society through participation in this important campaign. Please join me and so many others in holding up the power of prayer.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is asking people to pray, do penance, and sacrifice, for the sake of renewing a culture of life, marriage, and religious liberty in our country.  Life, marriage, and religious liberty are good for society; they are not just the values of the Catholic Church.  The well-being of society rerquires that strong marriages and families, life, and our religious liberties are promoted and protected.

Our culture does not promote family values.  In many ways our government does not support our religious values and hampers our exercise of our religious freedom.  We live in a threatening environment.

So the USCCB has asked all people of good will to join together in prayer.  You can participate by:
1.  Host or attend a Eucharistic Holy Hour on the last Sunday of the month.
2.  Daily Rosary.
3.  Suggested Prayers of the Faithful, at Mass.
4.  Abstain from meat on Fridays.
5.  Pray

Lots of information on the Call to Prayer website.





Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Anam Cara


Every once in a while, someone buys a new four volume Liturgy of the Hours set.  Then they give me their old one volume Christian Prayer Book, for my "cloistered brothers."  They use the one volume.  This is what happened, today.  As I flipped through the prayer book, to take out any old pictures, newspaper clippings, or pressed flowers, I came across a scrap of paper.

Anam Cara

According to Celtic spiritual tradition, the soul shines all around the body like a luminous cloud.  When you are very open--appreciative and trusting--with another person, your two souls flow together.  This deeply felt bond with another person means you have found your anam cara, or "Soul Friend."  Your anam cara always beholds your light and beauty, and accepts you for who you truly are.  In Celtic spirituality, the anam cara friendship awakens the fullness and mystery of your life.  You are joined in an ancient and eternal union with humanity that cuts across all barriers of time, convention, philosophy, and definition.  When you are blessed with an anam cara, the Irish believe, you have arrived at that most sacred place: -- HOME--.

I have been blessed with many anam caras in my life.  What would be perfect would be to find a spiritual director who would be my anam cara.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

All the Martyred Saints of Korea, Rejoice


    "Peace be with you." (Luke 24,36)
    Pope Francis, Servant of the Servants of God, will visit South Korea in August. This visit has great significance for both Korean Catholics and Korean society as a whole. Less than a year after his inauguration, Pope Francis chose Korea as his first pilgrimage to Asia, a decision which has humbled and brought great honor to the Korean Catholic Church.
    The Korean Catholic Church has struggled to gain its fruits of the Gospel, going through vast hardships and persecutions, which could be an inspiring exemplar for the churches of the world in trouble and despair. We believe that, for these reasons, the Lord moved Pope Francis to use Korea as a light for the world in their walks of faith. However, as parents tend to care about a child in trouble more than any others, the Pope also may have more concerns and love for Korea; including a long history of sufferings within the Korean church as well as a geopolitical position situated in the center of international conflicts. 

    In his 'Evangelii Gaudium (Joy of the Gospel)' Pope Francis is inviting us to go forth beyond our own church walls in order to reach all the ‘peripheries’ in need of the Light of the Gospel without fear. Korea has experienced rapid economic andsocial development, and now is struggling with the conflicts surfacing from increased social polarization. The Church must go beyond itself to meet the world in all its joys and sorrows with the Gospel. The Korean Church is being invited to go into the world with the Gospel as the head of Asian churches, and to follow God's direction by turning the world away from the hunger for material growth and development.
    The Popes of modern times have had their pastoral aims on the peace of the world. The Korean peninsula is a dangerous threat to the peace of the world but also a hopeful prospect to bring the new era of peace. A harmony between South and North Korea is critical in order to stabilize the Korean peninsula and to bring peace to East Asia and the rest of the world. The Pope has expressed his strong desire for Korean society and Church to be the outpost for world peace.
    With Pope Francis' visiting Korea in August, the Korean church should pray unceasingly for the blessing and the work of the Holy Spirit for the peace of the world.

President, The Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea
Most Rev. Peter KANG U-il
Rise up in splendor Logo■ Design Concept

The logo which symbolizes flames and a boat, signifies the Biblical saying, "ARISE, SHINE"(Isaiah 60,1), and means the request to rise up like waves and to enlighten the world like flames.

The colors red and blue of the dynamically burning fire symbolize the divided Korea, which should take a key role in the whole Asia. The harmonious shapes and colors of flames in union embody the wish that the South and the North of Korea become one and achieve Peace and Unity.

The ship in the shapes of waves and blades means the Church in Korea which is founded on the sacrifices of the martyrs. The light blue color indicates Divine Mercy as wide as the sea. As a whole, it means that we should rise up like waves in order to bring unity and hope where division and despair are prevailing.

The faithful of the Catholic Church in Korea which is founded on the bloods of numerous martyrs want to follow the spirituality of martyrdom of the ancestors. Following this spirituality, we want to be a light for ourselves and for neighbors and to transfer the light of faith further to theuniversal Church, especially to the poorest and most marginalized.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Elephant Stew

Jagacida
The St. Vincent de Paul Society was selling  cookbooks, after Mass.  Since I've been looking for a recipe for Jag, I bought one.  I didn't find any Jag recipes, but I did find one interesting recipe--elephant stew.  This is from St. Anthony's St. Vincent de Paul Society's, cookbook, Taste and See, page 8.

Ingredients:         1 elephant         brown gravy          salt & pepper          2 rabbits

Directions:  Cut elephant into bite-size pieces (this will take about 4 months).  Cook over kerosene at 525 degrees until tender (about 5 months).  Add salt and pepper and cover with brown gravy.  This will serve 3,800 people.  If more are expected, add 2 rabbits.  Do this only if absolutely necessary as most people do not like to find hare in their stew.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sunday Snippets -- A Catholic Carnival

Sunday Snippets A Catholic Carnival is a post about my week.  I also link up with other bloggers who do the same, at the blog, This And That and The Other Thing.  Thanks to R'Ann for hosting this link up every Sunday.

R'Ann posted a remembrance regarding a nun she knew.  When people tell their "nun stories" I always think of my St. Martin de Porres story.  Back in the day, I taught the seventh grade in a parochial school.  Whenever we prayed the rosary, we would turn around and face the statue of the "black virgin."  This went on for many years.  One day when I was speaking to Sister Agnes, I happened to mention the "black virgin." Sister asked, "What black virgin?"  I told her the one in my room, on the high shelf above the windows.

She laughed and laughed. "That's not the virgin.  That's St. Martin de Porres."

Let me remind you.  I had been doing this for years.  I taught religion.  I had never heard of St. Martin de Porres.  I was very embarrassed.  In my embarrassed state, I stammered, "Well, how come he's wearing a dress?"

Sister Agnes explained that the dress was a Dominican habit.

What's even funnier, is the fact, that later in life, I became a Lay Dominican!

Monday -- How and why I turned around.

Tuesday -- Mother Angelica meets the bird.

Wednesday --  St. John of Gorkum.

Thursday -- The charism of a diocesan priest.

Friday -- Two faced Christ.

Saturday -- Mike's book for free.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Free Kindle Book on July 15-17

Here's a chance to get a free kindle book by my brother (in community), Mr. Michael Seagriff, O.P..   I think it's perfect for Lectio Divina.  


FREE Kindle Book - Pondering Tidbits of Truth - FREE July 15, 2014 through July 17 only!




Get your free Kindle copy of my book, Pondering Tidbits of Truth, Volume 1, by clicking this link on any of the three days listed above.  


We are all busy people. Many of us have convinced ourselves that we simply do not have the time to read, ponder and reflect on the wealth of spiritual wisdom our Catholic Church has accumulated over the centuries. Yet, we owe God and ourselves this reflective time.



If we spend little or no time pondering the truths and mysteries of our Faith, we are not going to progress spiritually - a growth essential to our eternal well-being and that of those around us…

You will find 100 quotations there...All offer much fruit for your reflection and contemplation.

Don’t miss out on your free copy. Please tell your readers, friends, family and fellow bloggers to get their free copy as well! 

Get your free copy from Tuesday July 15, 2014 through Thursday July 17 BY CLICKING HERE


[YOU DO NOT NEED A KINDLE IN ORDER TO READ THESE BOOKS. JUST DOWNLOAD FREE KINDLE READER APPLICATION ONTO YOUR LAPTOP, SMART PHONE OR TABLET AND YOU ARE GOOD TO GO.  YOU CAN FIND THE KINDLE APPS HERE]

Friday, July 11, 2014

Christ the Pantocrator

The icon of Christ the Pantocrator is famous, even though it was only discovered in 1962.  Actually, it was never lost.  The icon hung in St. Catherine's Monastery in Egypt.  When the time came for the statuary, pictures, and icons to be cleaned, the icon was discovered for the rest of the world.

This image of the Pantocrator has been used in domes and icons from the beginnings of Christianity.  Pantocrator means Almighty One, or Most Powerful.  But the icon found in St. Catherine's is particularly interesting because it has two faces: serious and not, judgemental and merciful, disapproving and kind, etc.  Look at the left and right side.

My favorite interpretation is the one that portrays the image as representing the two natures of Jesus: human and divine.  Depending on your perception of God, which would be which.  I like to think that the human nature is the judgemental side; and the merciful side is the divine side.

What do you see?

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Charism of a Diocesan Priest

A charism is a talent one has.  It's something one finds easy to do.  Some call it a gift.  People join religious
orders because they feel called to work with that order's charism.  Franciscans work with the poor.  Carmelites pray contemplatively.  Dominicans preach.  Jesuits teach.  Get the idea?

What charism does a priest who works for a diocese have?  This was a question that Father Wally said he once had.  One day, as he looked over his congregation he saw:


  • the family whose husband wasn't Catholic but came to Mass anyway
  • a man who had cancer and only months to live
  • a young lady who was struggling with alcoholism
  • a teen who thought he had a vocation
Looking over his parishioners, he realized his charism.  He was to minister, or serve, the many different people, with their unique and different problems.  

The charism of a diocesan priest is to serve the people.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

St. John of Gorcum & Companions -- Pray for us!

"Night now is over, rising sun casts splendor over the triumph of those valiant soldiers fallen in battle on the field of Gorkum; great in their courage!"

These words begin the Lauds hymn for the feast of St. John of Cologne, also known as St. John of Gorkum, (+ 1572, feast - July 9) and his 18 companions who were martyred in Holland by Calvinists. With the spread of Calvinism during the Reformation, the area of Gorkum had become overrun with Calvinists who would have nothing to do with the Catholic priests still living in the vicinity. So they imprisoned and tortured them in an attempt to get them to renounce the Church's teaching. These priests and religious, many of whom were Franciscans, remained steadfast in their faith.
    When St. John, who was serving in a parish in the nearby Hornar, heard of their plight, he obtained permission from his superiors to go and serve the priests incognito and offer them the sacraments. Eventually, he was caught and was subjected to the same torments that his fellow priests suffered. 
      Through various methods of torture, the Calvinists sought to get the priests to renounce the Eucharist and Papal supremacy. Yet, 19 of the 20 captured remained faithful (the other was not blessed to join them in martyrdom). As time went on, the Calvinists continued to try to get the faithful priests and religious to proclaim heresy. Ultimately, they would not, and so they were brought to Briel, and on the night of July 8th, they were taken to a barn outside the city.
         As they walked along, they heard one another's confessions, and upon arriving, they were hanged. One Dominican, eleven Franciscans, two Praemonstratensians, one Canon Regular of St. Augustine, and four secular priests offered their lives as witnesses to the truth of the Church's teachings on the Eucharist and the Papacy.
        That night, a couple of the Catholics in Gorkum, some of whom even thought there was a chance for the release of the prisoners, had visions of a troop of martyrs. Moreover, a shrub bearing 19 white flowers is said to have sprung up at the site of their martyrdom. Many miracles have been attributed to their intercession, especially the curing of hernias.
          May St. John of Cologne and his companions intercede for us that the Lord may grant us perseverance no matter what hardships or persecutions we may have to endure.

        "O God, who didst crown with the wreath of immortality the strife of Thy blessed Martyrs, John and his companions, for the faith, mercifully grant that, fighting here on earth, we may likewise deserve, through their merits and after their example, to be crowned with them in heaven. Through Christ our Lord."

www.Vocations.OPEast.org


www.DominicanFriars.org