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Showing posts from May, 2015

The Trinity

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We went to Mass this morning at Our Lady of the Mountains.  The priest said we couldn't understand the Trinity with our mere intelligence.  It's beyond us.  Of course that got me thinking.

I can try can't I?

The Trinity is like:

An egg--shell, yolk, egg white.

Sun--sun, light, heat.

H2O--water, steam, ice.

Triplets--3 persons with same DNA.

Towel--one towel with three folds.

Shamrock--flower with three leaves.

Cake--one three layer cake.

You can't help but try to understand.  Otherwise, one wouldn't have any idea and give up--no image, no picture=no god.

OK.  instead of nouns how about verbs:

The Trinity is like an action verb:

Shine--radiate, warm, glow.

Whisper--murmur, buzz, purr.

Love--feel, embrace, yearn.

Speak--talk, articulate, verbalize.

But there's too many ways to express the ineffable.

How about the verb to be?

The Trinity is like verb to be:

I am!



Monthly Church Themes

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There are Holy Days of Obligation.  There are some famous holy days, e.i., St. Patrick's Day.  There are some traditional church related days, e.i., Ash Wednesday.  Did you know that the months have traditional character, too?

January -- Holy Name of Jesus.  The feast is on January 3rd.  The beginning of the month is still Jesus' birth.  The beginning of the year should be devoted to Jesus.

February -- Holy Family.  What can be more important that the family?  Families are the building blocks for society.

March -- St. Joseph.  His feast day is March 19th.

April -- The Blessed Sacrament.  Easter usually occurs in April so I think it's appropriate to honor the Blessed Sacrament during this month.

May -- Our Lady.  It is nice to place flowers before a statue of Mary during this month.

June --  Sacred Heart.  A month to contemplate Jesus' love for us.

July -- Precious Blood of Jesus.  May the Blood of Jesus inebriate us.

August -- Immaculate Heart of Mary.  August 15th is…

A Beautiful Day

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It was so beautiful today that hubby and I went hiking.  It was so beautiful today that while hiking we came across some kids skipping school.  They were swimming.  It's a little too cold.  This is Jackson Falls in Jackson, N.H. The water is cold mountain water from melting snow from Mt. Washington and other mountains.  Too chilly for me.

Another blessing today was that Catholic365 published a post of mine.  I'm not sure of the date but it was a few years ago.  Do you remember it?  http://www.catholic365.com/article/1559/what-is-truth.html

God is good.

Phew

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Phew as in smell.  Have you ever walked into an establishment and were hit with an unpleasant odor?  I bet you couldn't wait to leave that place.  I'm thinking of a friend's house that smells of cat's urine.  P-h-e-e-e-w!  How about entering a car stinking of cigarettes!  Ugh!

Don't you think the opposite must be true?  Is there is a pleasant aroma in your home, people will want to stay?  This is my way of thinking also.  In the winter, my secret is to put a few drops of pine sol into the humidifier.  It helps keep the humidifier clean and emits a smell of pine throughout the house.  All other times, I open windows to let the fresh air permeate the atmosphere.

I hope my home gives people a whiff of whom I am, my family is.  I'd like to convey a sense of peace, comfort and love, much like the feeling I get when I enter a Catholic Church.  Smells help do that.  I'm reminiscing the cobbler's shop, when I was I child.  I loved the smell of leather.  I love…

Prayer Journal

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When folks ask me to pray for them and/or their intentions, I either key them into my iPhone notes, or scribble them into a small note pad, I carry in my purse.

These prayer intentions then get transferred into my prayer group's Prayer Intention Book.  This Prayer Intention Book has an attractive cover.  Inside the cover is a history of Our Lady of Hope, also known as Our Lady of Pontmain.  I happen to think it's beautiful.

Getting slower and dimmer as I age, and maybe I always was a slow learner, it suddenly occurred to me to buy for myself a nice, as beautiful as I can purchase, prayer intention book.  It will be my very own special prayer journal.  So when I pray my daily prayers, I don't have to take out my iPhone notes, scribbled note papers, and note book, to pray for those that asked for me to pray for them and their intentions.  I'll make the transferring of their prayer intentions from here and there, into my own meaningful prayer journal, a prayer in and of…

The Future

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I've just come up for air.  The pollen is doing a job on me.  Yesterday, I was so tired.  I fell asleep three or four times during the day, and when I was awake I was very grouchy.  My eyes were itchy and tired.

I've just gotten to my computer, now.  Not that I couldn't before, I just didn't feel like it.  I didn't want to use my eyes.  I didn't want to read anything.  But now that I'm better I was watching a Youtube video of Mons. Paul Tighe talk about the future of the Church in 2025.

Of course, the future is speculative, but I like what he was saying.  Mons. Tighe thinks social media will help with relationships.  News will be spread not by sitting alone in a chair watching to news.  You'll get it tweeted or instant messaged.  The real and the virtual will enhance each other.

Sounds good to me.  There will be less proselytizing and more sharing. Our relationships will grow and so will community.  Always remember to be encouraging and supporting.

Th…

Segatashya

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In prayer group a friend gave me a book called The Boy who met Jesus by Immaculee Ilibagiza.  As soon as I saw that Immaculee wrote it, I was interested.  I love Immaculee.  Before I heard about Immaculee I never heard of the apparitions at Kibeho.  I still know very little about it.  But I'm learning.

This apparition was different in that some other people also saw Mary,
besides the three visionaries.  And!  There was a little boy who saw Jesus.  He was pagan and knew nothing about Jesus.  He is known as Segatashya, which means the boy who met Jesus.

I'm hooked.  When I finish reading the book, I'll write a review for you.

God is Our Savior

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Psalm 107 is a hymn of thanksgiving.  It is a praise to God for being rescued, from physical conditions, imprisonment, situations, etc.  These particular verses spoke to me: Psalm 107: 8-16.

...
Let them thank the Lord for such kindness,
 such wondrous deeds for mere mortals.
For He satisfied the thirsty,
 filled the hungry with good things.

Some lived in darkness and gloom,
 in prison, bound with chains,
Because they rebelled against God's word,
 scorned the counsel of the Most High,
Who humbled their hearts through hardship;
 they stumbled with no one to help.
In their distress they cried to the Lord,
 who saved them in their peril,
Led them forth from darkness and gloom
 and broke their chains asunder.
Let them thank the Lord for such kindness,
 such wondrous deeds for mere mortals.
For He broke down the gates of bronze
 and snapped the bars of iron.

Wherever God's people were, He rescued them.  This is shown through out Israel's history.  My "cloistered brothers&q…

Do You Love Me?

Fr. Kevin said he was annoyed by Jesus always asking him if he love Him.  What is Father talking about?  The Gospel was John 21:15-19.  This is where Jesus keeps asking Peter if he loved Him.  Father Kevin was telling us that Jesus asks everyone the same question.  Of course when we answer in the positive, the response is prove it.

How do I love Thee?

Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)
fromSonnets from the Portuguese XLIII     How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
    I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
    My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
    For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
    I love thee to the level of everyday's
    Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
    I love thee freely, as men might strive for Right;
    I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
    I love thee with the passion put to use
    In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
    I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
    With my lost saints,–I love thee with the b…

God is Not a Genie

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"I've tried everything else, why not try prayer?"  What have you got to lose?

My prayer group gets a lot of this type of prayer.  Do people think God is a genie?  He doesn't grant wishes.

When we pray for certain results, we are asking God to join us. He will be with us, listening, holding You can't make God do anything.  If you are paying attention to God, the Holy Spirit may change your perspective in accordance to God's will. Remember God sees things differently than you do.  He has the whole picture; you see your immediate situation.
our hand.  But don't tell Him what to do.  We should listen.

Thankfully, Our God is generous.  He gives us many many gifts and sometimes those gifts are exactly our size.

I often think when someone prays for someone's conversion to a certain point of view that perhaps God is working on the "prayee". Maybe God is working on their perseverance, patience, and love.  Take praying for the health of someone. …

The Chaplet for Faith

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How about praying different prayers on your rosary beads?

On the large beads:  Lord, increase my faith.

On the small beads:  Thank you Jesus for loving me.

Begin with:  Open my mind, my lips, and my hearts, to hear Your Voice, O Lord, while blessing yourself.

Glory Be.

Three Hail Mary's.

Our Father.

I think I'll call it the Chaplet for Faith.

The Grace of Community

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I've spoken about community before.  It's extremely important.  It's one of the pillars in my Dominican family.  It's very important in AA.  We see exactly how important it is in my TOPS chapter.  You just can't go it alone.

This was fact was brought home to me, again.  We're reading Sacred Fire by Ronald Rolheiser.  In chapter 5, pp. 137-139, Fr. Rolheiser tells several stories.  They all point to "you can't do it alone."  Community support is needed.

Whether you are trying to quit drinking, lose weight, or just become a better person, you need to join a support group.  Learn to share, to help, and to love.

A Few of My Favorite Links

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I spend way too much time on the computer, surfing around.  It's my TV and my books.  Anyway, I have a few favorites that I always check out, every day.  Here are a few (just a few).

First is the daily news.
http://www.boston.com/

Maybe some opinion on the news.
www.thebostonpilot.com/opinion/index.asp

I need to step back and pray.
http://harvestingthefruitsofcontemplation.blogspot.com/

Marina's take.
https://graceinmidlife.wordpress.com

Back to the news.
http://paper.li/antoniospadaro/1306325259

And what else is happening.
www.christophersmith-op.com

With Pere Lataste

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My friend and confrere, Mr. Charles Adams, O.P. died from cancer last week.  I just came back from his wake.  There were many many people there.  He touched so many.  Now he is at rest and at home with the other deceased Dominicans.  St. Dominic welcomed him home and Pere Lataste kissed him like the French do--both cheeks.  I picture Mary introducing him to Jesus and showing him around.
    This picture serves as his holy card.  Our "cloistered brother," MEK drew it.  That's Charlie in the center.  And he was our center.  My chapter will have a difficult time adjusting.

Why Confess to a Man instead of to God?

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Br. Tonto and Cappa
I'm still working on my lesson plan for Confession.  I had a dry run this afternoon.  They loved the skit and everything about it.  When we came to the time for asking questions, everyone felt the question uppermost in everyone's mind would be "Why do I have to go to a priest to confess?  Why can't I just tell God?"  So we're going to dedicate time to address this important question.

First, Scripture.  James 5: 16 instructs us to "confess to one another."  Note, it doesn't say "confess to God."
      Matthew 9: 6 tells us that Jesus was given authority to forgive sins and continue to 9: 8 and Jesus tells us that this authority was given to men.
      John 20: 21-23 is famous for Jesus blessing his disciples with the grace to forgive sins.  "Receive the Holy Spirit; whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained."
     The quote from John is the money qu…

Skit for Confession

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Here is a skit I made up for my "cloistered brothers."  It is written specifically for those in formation for Lay Dominicans and those in RCIA.  Remember these men are in prison.  Yesterday's post was the plan for the evening.  This skit will be the last item on the list.  I need your input.  Do you think the mock confessions are apropros for the men's situation (prison)?  Also what do you think of the last penitent?  Is it inappropriate?  Should it be eliminated?
Mock Sacrament of Reconciliation Skit Props:  two chairs, purple stole Characters:narrator, confessor,  3 penitents Scene: Confessional—two chairs facing each other
Narrator: This is a simulation of different types of confessions.  The first is the no nonsense, just the facts type of confession.  The penitent will just give a list of sins.  The second type of confession is someone working on one area of his life.  The penitent needs spiritual direction.  The third type is …well, different. The Confessor is sitting …

Lesson Plan for Confession

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I'm having my Lay Dominican formation students give a lesson on the Sacrament of Reconciliation to the entire Catholic community in the prison.  Here's my lesson plan:

Ask if they know these vocabulary words that we'll be using: confessor, penitent, examen, etc.

Catechism definition

Explain why confessing to a priest is better than confessing to a bartender or hairdresser.  Why we confess to a priest instead of directly to God?

History of the Sacrament of Reconciliation

Some Confession facts: mortal and venial sin, when, how, how often, etc.

Fun reading of Psalm 51: 1-13--people pinch their noses when sin is mentioned and hand washing motions for words of cleansing and forgiveness.

Skit:  Someone plays the Confessor and have 3 different penitents give examples of making a confession

Ending by distributing an Examination of Conscience specifically crafted for them in their particular situation
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Prison is a State of Mind

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Blessed Jean Joseph Lataste used to tell the prisoners that nuns in convents lived like them, e.i., got up to bells, went to bed with bells, had to ask permission, ate what was given, and could never leave the premises.  Yet the inmates were miserable because they were in prison.  Yet,  the nuns were happy.  The difference is attitude.

The nuns chose to go behind the wall.  They praise God all day and count their blessings.  Whereas, prison inmates are put behind walls.

If only the inmates could turn to praising God and counting their blessings, they'd be happy even in prison.

Sister Confida has a lot in common with Blessed Jean Joseph Lataste.  Sister thought her convent walls were a prison and she was unhappy.  So she asked for a vacation.  Sister Confida and two other nuns went to Vermont.  One morning Sister was making coffee and in a cup she found a mouse.  She carried it outside.  Once outside, Sister put the mouse in an empty flower pot.  She watched the mouse for awhile …

Weekend From Hell

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It started Friday night.  The night was spent moving my niece out of college.  We couldn't use my truck because it's broken, so we had to impose on someone else to borrow their truck.

Saturday I had a Lay Dominican Regional Meeting.  I got lost driving there.  I wasn't late but it frazzled me a bit.  At least I got to go to Confession.

Saturday night, my niece and I gave each other manicures and pedicures.  We spilled nail polish on the carpet.  We couldn't wipe it all up.  Luckily the design is persian rug and it's so busy the spill isn't that noticeable.

Early Sunday morning, 4:00 AM the phone rang.  Being asleep and slow to respond, we let the answer machine take the call.  I was surprised to hear my niece's voice!  That woke me up; after all she's asleep in the same house as me!  I couldn't understand what was going on, so I got out of bed and went to listen to the machine.  She was crying because she was in pain.  I went to her bedroom and fo…

Rosaries blessed by the Pope

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It's a contest!  Click on this link: http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/prayers-and-devotions/rosaries/rosary-contest.cfm  and you may enter a contest to win a rosary blessed by the pope.  Additionally, the book of the pope explaining the importance of the rosary is available at less than $ 5.00!  It's perfect for prayer groups.  Take a look and see. http://store.usccb.org/praying-the-rosary-with-pope-francis-p/7-476.htm 

At the Movies

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We went to see the movie Little Boy, tonight.  It was fantastic.  I cried shamelessly.  My favorite line was "It takes a lot of courage to have Faith."


Poetry Reading

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My writer's group had a poetry reading today. I was surprised at the people.  The room was full.  If we ever have another Reading we'll have to find a bigger room.

I was surprised because I would have never gone to a ladies poetry reading.  It just sounds boring.  But it wasn't.  It was fun.  I read two funny pieces and one serious.  I was surprised to see that I got the audience going.

Here is a picture of Diana Thomas reading a few of her poems.  Here's one of them.

Flight
by
Dee Dee Thomas

I had a dream come to me one night.

All I could see was the world was near me
I did not know what or where I was--I was in Flight.

I could feel the wind all around me
Then it started to rain and something made me come back to earth
I could feel the wind come over me, so refreshing.

Then without a warning
Something made me take Flight again.
This time I moved even faster than I had done before.

Then it came to me I must have been a feather that had come out of a bird.

But could …

Confession

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In the Confessional Listening for the door to slide,
                I self examine.
My throat spasms up thru my lips,
                a ball of gossip.
Gossip rolls down the front of my dress.
                Horrified, I grasped
for it, as it ricochets off the walls
                and out the door.
Gossip sneaked under the pews.
                That slippery sphere
rolled on faster and faster,
                murmuring away.
Horror sucked away my breath;
                mocking me, rolling on.
I find myself running on my knees,
                passed shocked penitents.
Down the aisle to the Tabernacle.
                Gossip mocked louder.
How vile and loathsome is gossip,
                Slippery, slimy, sphere.
Leaping to snatch it up quickly,
                it slips my fingers
and rolls down the steps out the church,
                muttering insults.

Once outside, gossip bounces
                every which way.
Stop it.  Stop it.  Stop it.  I scream.
                It’s unco…

The High Cost of Incarcerating the Elderly and Infirm in the Massachusetts Prison System

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I know that the men and women in prison are there because they committed serious crimes.  They are being punished not only because they are away from family and friends, but they also live with the horror of their transgressions.  So they should; their victims do.  However, many of these offenders are elderly and are no more a threat to public safety.  It is costing the Massachusetts taxpayers dearly to keep these elderly incarcerated.  Is there a better alternative?

According to the 2013 Department of Correction Annual Report, medical care for prisoners cost Massachusetts taxpayers $98,520,685.  By 2015 the figure is expected to exceed $ 100,000,000.  Massachusetts state officials estimate that the state will need to build separate, specialized long term care units for the chronically ill and disabled for at least 600.  These people are severely disabled with illness.  They have debilitating chronic diseases.

The current trajectory on this critical issue is economically infeasible a…

Mass for Anna Devasiea

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The prayer group, Our Lady of Hope, went to 9:00 Mass this morning.  The Mass was a memorial for Mary's mother, Anna Devasiea.  Mary's mother was 91 when she died.  May Anna run to meet the God who loves her.  May she enjoy the blessings of eternal life.

After Mass we all went out for breakfast.  Here is a picture of us around the table, minus Liz who was taking the picture.  Blessings abounded.

Sibyls

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The term sibyl refers to the prophetesses that lived in history.  They were pagan, but as Christians are wont to do, they Christianize pagans.  The word itself is Greek for prophetess.  They were strong women who spoke out.  They were named after places they lived, i.e., Delphic Sibyl, Persian Sibyl, etc.

Some of these Sibyls are mentioned in Christian history.  "You may see some on altarpieces and illuminated manuscripts and even on the ceiling of the Sistine chapel, the periphery of which is dominated by five Sybils (the Delphic, Cumaean, Libyan, Persian, and Erythraean) interspersed with seven Old Testament Prophets (Zacharias, Isaias, Daniel, Jonas, Jeremias, Ezechiel, and Joel).

Pay attention to the words in 'Dies Irae,' sung at Masses for the dead.  It's opening lines:

Dies irae, dies illa,
solvet saeculum in favilla,
teste David cum Sibylla.That day of wrath, that dreadful day,
shall heaven and earth in ashes lay,
as David and the Sybil say." *
Does it bother y…