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Showing posts from December, 2016

The Best Moments of 2016

New Year's Plenary Indulgences

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NEW YEAR'S PLENARY INDULGENCES Holy Mother Church grants a Plenary Indulgence to all the faithful who recite the Te Deum "in public" on Dec. 31, in thanksgiving for the year ending.  On Jan. 1, a plenary indulgence is granted to those who devoutly pray the "Veni Creator Spiritus." The usual conditions apply: 
-- prayer for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff (on the day of the indulgence)
-- Holy Communion (one for each indulgence, within ~20 days, before or after the indulgenced act)
-- Confession (one Sacramental Confession is sufficient for multiple indulgenced acts, within ~20 days, before or after.
-- a total detachment from all sin, even venial sin. An indulgence can be gained for oneself, or for a deceased person (but not for the living). One can gain one plenary indulgence per day (in Canon law, a day lasts from midnight to midnight).

Remember How He Came The First Time

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My pastor thinks our church should be the nicest church in town.  I wonder.

Look at these church renovations from the Christian Review.  Again, I wonder.

What I wonder about is whether Jesus would come a second time, to the nicest church in town.  Well, He does already.  Being Catholic I believe He is in the Eucharist.  So that's His second coming.  But I'm referring to the popular concept of the Second Coming in Revelation.

Think of the environment that He chose to come to the first time--a very humble stable for animals.
Jesus has an affinity for the most humble.  He chooses the humble to shame the proud.

You know where I picture him coming.  The interdenominational chapel in MCI Norfolk is exactly where He would be most comfortable--welcome to!

A Church Full of Sinners

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Aleteia has an article which reminded me of an incidence with the mother of a friend.  The article is about people criticizing Catholics as "bad" people:

Renaissance cardinals who have mistresses
Catholic mobsters
Catholics are drunkards
Catholic girls are "loose"
Catholic boys are petty criminals
etc..

Yet, these "bad" Catholics wear large crucifixes around their necks and have statues of Mary on their front lawn.

The author, David Mills, converted to Catholicism essentially because of people with "logs in their eyes."  (Matt 7: 5)  His former religion had its share of "bad" people, also, but they didn't acknowledge it.

Anyway, I remember my own Protestant friend had a mother who was very anti-Catholic.  We were discussing this very fact.  People go to church to straightened out their lives.  Don't sick people go to doctors to get well?  Well, spiritually sick people go to church to get well.

However, there's a joke that …

New Saint Patron for 2017

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Due to the generosity of my oldest child and her husband, hubby and I received a trip to Ireland for a Christmas present.  Needless to say, we are thrilled.  Hubby was so touched, he cried.  Naturally, our thoughts are filled with plans of what to see and where to go.  But meanwhile, life goes on.

Blogging continues.  Last night I came across a site that I usually frequent, this time of year.  In one of the posts, the tradition of picking a saint for a patron, for the new year, was posted.  I forgot about doing that.  But I did take advantage of that suggestion.  Guess who I got.

St. Brigid of Ireland.

God-incidence?

St. Brigid is one of Ireland's patron saints.  Mine too, now.  She is the patron saint of

babies; blacksmiths; boatmen; brewers; cattle; chicken farmers; children whose parents are not married; children with abusive fathers; children born into abusive unions; Clan Douglas; dairymaids; dairy workers; fugitives; infants; Ireland; Leinster, mariners; midwives; milk maids…

John's Nativity Story

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John's nativity story?  What one?  He didn't write one.  Strange isn't it, since he spent so much time with Mary?

But look at today's Gospel reading: John 20: 1a, 2-8.  Compare it to Luke's nativity story: 2: 1-2.                                







Luke                                                                                   John
Annoucement  --   Jesus born                                           Jesus --  Risen
Herald  --  angels                                                               Mary Magdalene
What do they seek  --  Jesus                                                Jesus
What do they see --  manger                                                 empty tomb
Clothing  --  white swaddling cloths                                     white shroud

Like all believers, death is a birth into eternal life.  That white baptismal robe that was put upon us will become the white pall put over our casket.  Our birth into eternal life will be forever.

Not Enough Information

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Riding on the bus with my friend, Barbara, I criticized her for shopping at Walmart.  I don't because of their business practices.  Barbara shut me up with "Well, they give employment to those who need a job."

I was reminded of this incident when I read, "Quick Note on Living Wages and Social Justice: Profiteering."  The author, Jennifer Fitz refers to another article, "Outside the Asylum" by Theodore Seeber. This article has an interesting subtitle, "why I am against the Jesuits."

My take is that Seeber judges unscrupulous Catholic employers who take advantage of their employees as unworthy to receive communion.  Jennifer Fitz explains Seeber:

The one concept I thought worth highlighting from Seeber’s comments is that there is a moral distinction to be made between solidarity and profiteering.  Everything else equal, if the business owner is profiting from the low wages and poor working conditions at his factories, it is a serious sin.  Tha…

Priestly Blessings

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Lectio: 
Numbers: 6:22-27
The LORD said to Moses:
"Speak to Aaron and his sons and tell them:
This is how you shall bless the Israelites.
Say to them:
The LORD bless you and keep you!
The LORD let his face shine upon
you, and be gracious to you!
The LORD look upon you kindly and
give you peace!
So shall they invoke my name upon the Israelites,
and I will bless them."
Studium:
Numbers is the fourth book of the Pentateuch.  It continues the Exodus journey.  It is called “Numbers” because it includes two accounts of “numbering” the Hebrew tribes.  It gathers different laws and rituals that will be further developed in later times. This particular passage is called “the priestly blessing,” which was said at the end of the service.  It was an appropriate send-off for the priest to bless the people.
Meditatio:
There are three blessings in these verses.  Think about them and let them sink in: ·The Lord bless you and keep you!  May you always feel loved and protected by the Almighty. ·The let hi…

A T.O.P.S. Christmas Party

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T.O.P.S. is an organization that promotes health.  I wrote this skit for our Christmas party.  Note the unhealthy food in the beginning, then I replaced it with some more nutritious options.

Christmas Past versus Christmas Present Setting:   Silly Samantha’s Christmas party
Characters:  Silly Samantha, Dippy Diane, Zany Zoe, Daffy Dana, Kooky Karen, Narrator
(Door Bell Rings)  (Silly Samantha answers the door.) 
Silly Samantha: Merry Christmas!  Come in, come in.  You know everybody, make yourself at home.  The food is in the dining room.  Help yourself.
Dippy Diane:  Merry Christmas!  I brought my favorite recipe—pecan pie.  I hope you have some ice cream to go with it.
Silly Samantha:  Of course.  My freezer is full of ice cream.  Put the pie with the other desserts.
Dippy Diane:  Oh your pecan pie looks so good.  I haven’t eaten all day so I can eat all I want now, at the party.  I’ll be sure to save room for a big slice of pecan pie and ice cream.
Zany Zoe:  It’s a good thing I wore loose…

Cardinal O'Malley's 2016 Christmas message

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Cardinal O'Malley's 2016 Christmas message: Christmas is such a special time for families and loved ones to come together to share their gift of love and faith in the Christ child.

At this time of year, we are called upon to be more mindful of those not as fortunate as us. Pray for all. I pray and wish my "cloistered brothers" a holy and blessed Christmas.

Over My Dead Body

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This is a book review of an audible book.  I enjoyed the book and I enjoyed being read to, as I drove the car.  That's how I listened to the book.  But it's hard to write a review because I can't flip back pages like you do in a hard copy.

What's that character's name?

Didn't that happen, first?

Whoa! wait a minute, isn't he contradicting himself?

???????

I think you get the idea.  Over My Dead Body was written by James R. Callan. Since my version was an audible book, some credit must be given to Jonathan Mumm, who narrated the story.  The narrator changed voices so distinctly that I had no doubt who was speaking to whom.  So Mr. Mumm gets some of the credit for making Mr. Callan's characters come to life, as well as making the story's point of view clear.

Progress has come to Pine Tree.  A large, aggressive land development firm wants to build a shopping center.  Overall, the town's people want it, except for one old curmudgeon, Syd.  (Sorry, I …

Preaching in the Digital Continent

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Preaching in the Digital Continent I just love this essay from Fraternities OP. And I hope this blog does witness, not by bombarding the internet with religion, but with my life pointing to Jesus.

St. Joseph's Broken Heart

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This morning during Mass someone mentioned how Joseph must have felt when he heard that Mary was pregnant.

I never thought of this before.  Imagine how you would have felt.  How can this be? Well, it could be like how everyone else gets pregnant. Talk about being kicked in the stomach.

Fortunately, he didn't react by wanting to hurt her as much as he thought she had hurt him.  Before he even knew the reason for her pregnancy, his reaction was to protect her.

God chose wisely.  Joseph was the perfect foster father.

'Orans' Posture During Our Father

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'Orans' posture during Our Father: So it's settled. Do what you are comfortable with. There are no rules written down for the people to observe. Read the article.

St. Joseph: a Model for Lay Dominicans

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St. Joseph: a model for the lay Dominicans Ms. Ruth Henderson, O.P. goes for the strong silent type. She is an admirer of Saint Joseph.

Who wouldn't be? Joseph is quiet. We only hear of him twice: re: Mary's pregnancy and birth, and when Jesus was lost at 12 years old. Both times, it's Mary who dominates the scenes. Yet, he seems to have quietly provided for his little family and brought up a Son, Who turned out pretty well.

"He was a lay person who made his own invaluable contribution to the life of the most important child in history, and thus to the life of all humanity. What a wonderful model for us lay Dominicans as we prepare for Christmas!"

Lay Dominicans live in the world, like Joseph. We strive to adhere to our religious and moral and civic duties, like Joseph. We could find no better person to emulate, than Joseph.

Mass. Bishops Urge Criminal Justice Reform

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Mass. Bishops urge criminal justice reform: BRAINTREE -- On the eve of the upcoming 2017 Legislative Session, Massachusetts Catholic bishops sent a letter to state leaders urging them to consider filing legislation that would reform the criminal justice system in MA. Called the CSG Justice Center-Massachusetts Criminal Justice Review, the review is expected to be fully released in early 2017, and its findings are meant to inform lawmakers in developing policy options.

In their letter the bishops said they hope that, at a minimum, the review and subsequent legislation will both recognize and address several "critical areas" in the current judicial system.

Their suggestions include repealing "excessively long" mandatory minimum jail sentences for non-violent drug convictions, and offering treatment programs rather than imprisonment for offenders suffering from substance addiction.

Additionally, they are urging policymakers to increase funding for in-prison and re-ent…

The DominicOption

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A couple of years ago, the Benedict Option was the answer to countering the alarming secularization of our culture.  This morning, I read Father James Dominic Rooney, O.P.'s article in America, "City of God", pp. 20-22, America, April 18, 2016. Father Rooney proposes another way to counter the culture--the Dominic Option.

The Benedict Option was made popular by writer, Rod Dreher, who writes for the American Conservative.  Dreher explains that St. Benedict left the craziness of the Western Roman Empire and formed a community of monks to pray. These Benedictine monks kept the faith alive.

In the 1980's, Alasdair MacIntyre wrote a book, After Virtue, which proposed that moral people get together to oppose the crazy secular culture, which touted immorality. Families had to be strong.  Communities had to stand together.

Father Dominic explains that the Benedictines were the first monks.  The Benedict Option was a good first response.  It offers a time of reflection.  Bu…

Father Patrick Joseph Power

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This picture shows a fenced in monument.  It is the gravesite of a good priest, Father Patrick Joseph Power.  It is fenced to keep people from chipping away at the monument.  Surrounding the monument, up to the fence is cement or something like that, to keep people from scooping up soil, from Father Power's grave.  People did that before this monument was placed in this part of Holy Cross cemetery in Malden, MA.

In examining Father's brief life, there's nothing extraordinary.  See Charles Radosta's story.  He died young from tuberculosis, age 25. But afterward, miracles started occurring, at his grave site.  As usual at such places, crutches, eye patches, hearing aids, etc. started to accumulate at the gravesite.
People even took soil from around his gravemarker.  His gravestone had a chalice on it and people would scoop out the rain water that had accumulated.  Naturally, the surrounding, neighboring gravesites were trampled over.    

Eventually, Father Power's …

Evangelize

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LK 7:18B-23 Lectio At that time, John summoned two of his disciples and sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?”  When the men came to the Lord, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?’” At that time Jesus cured many of their diseases, sufferings, and evil spirits; he also granted sight to many who were blind.  And Jesus said to them in reply, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.  And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.” (Lk 7:18b-23) HideStudium John is in prison but must hear news of Jesus’ ministry. John can’t do anything from prison, so he sends two of his disciples to ask Jesus right out, if He is v. 19 “…the One Who is to come…” The holy scriptures make frequent references to a c…

Home is Where the Heart Is

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Did you ever think or feel that certain houses have personalities?  Well, of course houses reflect eras and personal tastes, but could a house be a living entity?  If you haven’t given it any thought, you will if you read Following Disasters by Nancy McCabe.  The house that Maggie-Kate inherits from her Aunt Beth, I think, is the main character.  Everything revolves around this house.
Aunt Beth was childless.  She had a big house and her dream was to fill it with children.  She had an unhealthy obsession about it.  One room was designated and decorated as a nursery.  Aunt Beth’s hobby was sewing and she not only made baby clothes for the nursery, but went on to make various clothes for an imaginary daughter, all the way up to a wedding dress.
Maggie-Kate was Aunt Beth’s niece who inherited her house.  Maggie-Kate was working as an insurance adjustor when she learned that Aunt Beth left her the house.  An insurance adjustor follows disasters, hence the novel’s title.  Also, Aunt Beth’…

My Heart is Still Racing.

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As I prayed the last Joyful Mystery, this morning, I was reminded of how I felt two nights, ago.  The last Joyful Mystery recollects "the finding of Jesus in the temple."  Remember the situation.  The holy family assumed Jesus was in the caravan.  He thought he was just hanging out with the other boys his age, or walking with relatives.  Imagine how they must have felt when they realized hat he wasn't in the caravan.

Well, Saturday night, hubby and I took our grandchildren to Fatima Shrine to see their Christmas light display.  The six-year-old kept running off to look at this or that.  Her baby sister wanted to follow her. It's dark out and her coat is dark purple and with her dark hair, it was easy to lose her.  Once, when we were busy and distracted by the two-year-old, we lost sight of the six-year-old.  I looked up and realized she was gone.  She was out of my sight.  We called her name.  Again we called.  Again.  Everyone called her.

My heart dropped.  I thou…

A Huron Carol

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My nephew sent me a playlist to play during Advent.  So I was going to send him my blog post on the Huron Carol.  Only I can't find it.  So, I'll give you the story.  This carol is probably the first carol written in the Americas.  It was written around 1642, by the Jesuit missionary, Father Jean de Brebeuf.  Pere Brebeuf was one of what the Indians called "Black Robes."  He ministered to the Hurons in Canada.

Pere Brebeuf wrote it in their language and with references the Indians could identify with: Gitchi Manitou is God or Great Spirit, the babe was wrapped in rabbit skin, the wisemen were chiefs from afar and their gifts were fox and beaver pelts.

Anyway, what happened to Brebeuf and his Huron friends is not pretty.  They were raided by the tribe's enemy, the Iroquois and tortured to death.

Here is a version in English.  I bought the song on iTunes. I recommend it. The melody is  traditional Native American.
'Twas in the moon of winter-time
When all the …

Rescuing Refugees

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There's an article on the European Lay Dominican Blog that touched me.  A Lay Dominican, Anna Marija Edith Foss of the Fraternity in Oslo, Norway and a month later, joined by Br. Haavard Simon Nilsen OP.  It's a pictorial essay. The narrative says the refugees come from Turkey to Lesbos, Kos, and Athens, Greece.  The journey takes 4 hours by boat.  The pictures tell the story.


In Love with Mary

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Just now I came across this article in Crux, about Pope's Francis' devotion to the Blessed Mother.  What I love about it is the picture of the Pope tripping.  He didn't fall completely because he was caught by his aides.  Why did he fall?  The Pope said that he couldn't take his eyes off Mary.



Gamma

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Gamma is the name my youngest grandchild calls me.  Makes sense; if your mother is Ma then it follows that Grandmother is Gamma.

Oh no, I'm sounding like the story I just finished, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She'sSorry, by Fredrik Backman. If you like fantasy, you'll enjoy this book.  I had trouble getting into it. Simultaneously, I'm reading: Mary, Queen of Heaven by Scott Hann, Chesterton's Everlasting Man (for the second time), Reclaiming Catholic Social Teaching by Anthony Esolen, and The Many Sidesof Peace by Brayton Shanley, among various others, which explains why reading a novel like MyGrandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry was hard to get used to.

Of course, I did -- get used to it.  How could one not?  This is the type of book that keeps a smile on your face throughout your entire reading.  The theme is the importance of grandmothers to their grandchildren.  Intergenerational differences are celebrated.  In fact, individual differences…