Showing posts from June, 2016

Human Folly

The morning found me reading John James Audubon's The Passenger Pigeon.  My appetite was whet.  Audubon had no idea that the great numbers of Passenger Pigeons he was writing and drawing about, would some day become extinct.  Audubon was writing in 1813.

 One 1855 account from Columbus, Ohio, described a “growing cloud” that blotted out the sun as it advanced toward the city. “Children screamed and ran for home,” it said. “Women gathered their long skirts and hurried for the shelter of stores. Horses bolted. A few people mumbled frightened words about the approach of the millennium, and several dropped on their knees and prayed.” When the flock had passed over, two hours later, “the town looked ghostly in the now-bright sunlight that illuminated a world plated with pigeon ejecta.”

 It seems that their survival depended upon their flocking behaviors.  They had to stick together.  However, their demise i…

Teaching Old Dogs and Cats


Lectio Divina for the Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C

The Gospel reading for today is from Luke 9: 51-62.  But this Lectio Divina is Luke: 9: 51-56.


When the days for Jesus' being taken up were fulfilled, He resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem and He sent messengers ahead of Him. On the way they entered a Samaritan village to prepare for His reception there, but they would not welcome Him because the destination of His journey was Jerusalem.  When the disciples James and John saw this they asked, "Lord, do You want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?"  Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they journey to another village.


Hostilities and disagreements about proper worship dot the centuries-long history of relationships between the Judeans and Samaritans.  In the first century, B.C.  Pompey rebuilt Samaria and Herod built a city there that included a temple to Caesar Augustus.  This did not endear the Samaritans to the Jews.  Later events make matters worse, i.e., Samaritan vandalism of the…
My life can get back to normal, now.  I finished reading, The Free Frenchman by Piers Paul Read.  I normally read about 8-10 books, at a time.  Some I have to, i.e., I was given them to review, some I am required to read for Lay Dominican Study Group.  I also belong to two reading groups, so there's two books I also have to read.  But there's always one or two that are recommended by friends and I am seduced.

The Free Frenchman fell into my lap, while I was sorting books for my town's library book sale.  Once a month the library has a book sale.  I volunteer to help sort the books into some sort of order.  (Not that I have any selfish motive for volunteering.  Perish the thought.)

I read Alive by Piers Paul Read and was riveted by the author's narration.  I also read Monk Dawson by the same author.  So the novel interested me because I knew it would be a good read.

However, I was almost turned off by Read's simplistic depiction of Dominican history.  Being a Lay Do…

St. Toribio Romo

Toribio Romo was born in Jalisco, Mexico in 1900.  He always wanted to be a priest and was ordained when he was 22.  But this was a time when religion was not only frowned upon, in Mexico, there were laws severely restricting Catholicism.  The President, Plutarco Elias Calles was very hostile towards Catholicism.  His anti-Catholicism fueled the Cristeros.
In order to minister to his people, Father Romo had to go underground.  He celebrated Mass in factories and residences.  I imagined he prayed for a lot of strength, but his fears didn't stop him.

On February 25, the government soldiers woke him up at 4:00 AM and shot him. The story of his martyrdom spread.  He became the patron saint of those who watch over migrants and refugeesand border crosses .  In 2000, Pope John Paul II canonized Father Toribio Romo, along with 24 other martyrs murdered for their faith during the Cristero War.

Book Selections

St. Mary's Book Club met last night and decided
which books to read for the coming year. 
June – Sept.Wolf Hallby Hilary Mantel
OctoberThe Nightingaleby Kristin Hannah
NovemberLife in the Jar:Theby Jack Mayer
Irena Sendler Project
DecemberThe 100 Year Oldby Jonas Jonasson
Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared
JanuaryThe Glass Castleby Jeannette Walls
FebruaryThe Caning:Theby Stephen Puleo
Assault that Drove American to Civil War
MarchThe Soul of an Octopus:by Sy Montgomery
A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness
AprilThe Mayflowerby Nathaniel Philbrick
MayThe Circleby Dave Eggers
June – Sept.What Alice Forgotby Liane Moriarity

Count Your Blessings

Another story one of my confreres related yesterday in chapter had to do with the way we look at the world.  Remember, we're discussing prayer.  Gary was thinking positive.  Too many people focus on what they don't have or what's missing, rather than looking at what they do have and should be thankful for.  His story:

A grandmother (why a grandmother I don't know) and her grandson were walking the beach.  The boy stopped to play in the waves and the grandmother sat down to watch and enjoy.  Suddenly, a rogue wave came and snatch the boy up and pulled him far out in the ocean.  The grandmother freaked!  She screamed to heaven, begging God to bring her grandson back.  Then just as suddenly as the grandson was snatched away, a wave brought him in and deposited him back on shore.
    Instead of thanking God, she said, "He was wearing a hat."


We were talking about Faith in Chapter, this morning.  We actually were discussing prayer.  What makes prayer fruitful is Faith.  Not necessarily that we pray for a miracle and have faith that a miracle will happen, but that it could, if it were God's will.  Faith knows that prayers are heard, acknowledged, and we get what we ask for if it is good for us.  We trust that God, Who is omniscient, will allow what is good for us.  Anyway, you get the idea--how and what we were saying.  Nghia told us a story that hit the nail on the head.

There was a drought in the land. The people prayed for rain.  The village leaders decided to get together and all pray together, to pray for rain.  They decided on a date to do this.  The date came and everyone came out to pray together.  There they all were.  Only one of them had an umbrella.  He had Faith.

Pop Quiz


Winter Moths

You wouldn't believe the devastation. Yesterday, the trail hikers hiked the French Trail in Borderlands.  It was hot and sticky because even though we were in the woods, there were no leaves on the trees.  Why?

Our leaves are being attacked by the Winter Moths.   "In the spring, our communities have witnessed an astonishing number of small, green caterpillars defoliating maples, oaks and other deciduous trees. The major caterpillar pest thought to be responsible for this foliar destruction was initially thought to be the fall cankerworm. However, in 2003, by collaborative work done by Deborah Swanson of Plymouth County Extension (retired), the late Robert Childs of UMass Extension, Dr. Joseph Elkinton of UMass, and Dr. David Wagner of UConn it was discovered that the damage was done by a newly introduced insect called the winter moth (Operophtera brumata), a member of the Geometridae family.
Initially, the hardest hit areas were in Eastern Massachusetts, especially southeas…

Who Am I?

I am the only saint directly canonized by Jesus, Himself.  I was assured of a place in Heaven by Him.  I confessed to Him in an open confessional.  My face was closest to Jesus in His last hours of death than anybody else.  I offered Him words of comfort while He died in agony.  Who am I?

Answer: Dismas

Mercy behind prison walls | National Catholic Reporter

Mercy behind prison walls | National Catholic Reporter     Look the book my "cloistered brothers" wrote is plugged in the National Catholic Reporter.


Our First House

The ‘70’s had just turned the corner and so had our lives.  We were engaged to be married and the world was engaging our generation.  Every weekend found us at the beach.  Sometimes we drove along Route 1A in Salisbury and followed the coast to Maine.  Other times we crossed the bridge and traveled Route 6A to P-town.  The best times were with friends.  A group of our friends had rented a cottage in East Falmouth.  They called it Sha-na-na, after a popular 50’s style musical group.
We thought the place was Shangri-La.  We would walk to the Association Beach, and swim across a narrow channel to Washburn Island.  Washburn Island is uninhabited and perfect for twenty-somethings to just enjoy being young.
Or, we would walk in the other direction to Eel River and get in a rubber raft, a sunfish, or a canoe and paddle around enjoying the sun-kissed gentle waves.  We could also walk to the end of Seacoast Boulevard and watch the sun set.
Wouldn’t it be heaven if we lived here forever?
That thoug…

Nurse Log

Hubby and I were taking a little hike on the nature trail behind Dacey Field.  We came across a nurse log.  A nurse log is a decayed tree that begins to decompose and provides moisture and nutrients for insects, plants, and even other trees.

It is easy to tell if a new tree has grown out of a nurse tree.  The nurse tree has decomposed and leaves a large gap extending from the new tree roots to where the nurse log originally was before decomposing.

Now there's plants, trees, and homes for animals, insects, and fungi.  New life is created.


One of my "cloistered brothers" taught me a method of meditation that really works--for me, anyway. Oddly, this is the same "cloistered brother" who showed me how to do SUDOKU.  He has the knack to reach me.

What I used to do, that never worked, was try to rid myself of distractions.  My meditation time was spent at war, fighting off distractions, or using distractions in inventive situations.  Now, I'm trying to place myself in the most distracting place I can think of.  The noise will be background noise or white noise.  It's just there.

The most distracting place I can think of is the city.  So I'm in Boston.  I need to sit, so I sit on a bench.  There're benches in the Common, but that's not THE most distracting.  There's the Garden, but that's not distracting.  There's Washington Street, Commonwealth Ave. and Beacon Street, where's there are benches along the Fens, but the traffic is too slow.  I'm picking Storrow Drive…

Bang - Bang!

A Loaded Gun by Jerome Charyn is well worth your time reading.  Not only is it enjoyable, but you will learn some history of an era, besides gain a little understanding of  what makes a poet tick.  The poet is the poetess, Emily Dickinson.  Charyn views Emily as a complicated character.  She was agoraphobic, but her poems take her out of her self-imposed cloister to meet all kinds of people.  She was a spinster, but her poems can be erotic.  Her eroticism includes fantasies between both sexes.  Perhaps Emily was bi-sexual.  But despite this radical ambiguity, Charyn’s depiction of Emily Dickinson as “A Loaded Gun,” showcases an expert mistress of creative writing.  Her poetry, writing and life are liquid language personified into A Loaded Gun.  Charyn is a detective writing up his surveillance of Emily.  He has to be meticulous because if he can’t prove she’s guilty, the evidence will be thrown out.  Hence the microscopic analysis of her life.  First, Charyn considers what others hav…

Book Review of The Thing IS

The Thing Is by Kathleen Gerard The Thing Is by Kathleen Gerard a very humorous novel.  Not only does it have humor, but it also has romance and mystery, plus a plot that holds the reader’s interest.  The story is told by two people.  One is a very intuitive dog with the name Prozac.  The name is apropos because he is a therapy dog.  That means his presence makes people feel better.  The other voice in the story is Meredith.  She ends up with Prozac.  By “ends up”, I mean that Prozac originally belonged to a lady who was hospitalized, so she asked a trusted friend to dog sit.  The trusted friend was Meredith’s sister, who is too busy and allergic to dogs.  It may seem to be a complicated introduction to the story, but this rigmarole is part of the humor.  Meredith is not in the mood to help out.  But somehow she’s sweet-talked into it. 
Prozac has responsibilities.  He ministers to a nursing home.  This place has a judge that keeps threatening Meredith, a bully receptionist, some sweet…

Blog Tour--Dying to be Beautiful

I am pleased to host a stop on a Tribute Books blog tour and a raffle give-away.  The tour features Dying to be Beautiful, which is a mystery series by M. Glenda Rosen.  

About Book One - Without a Head

“Dying To Be Beautiful,” is about the billion-dollar world of beauty. The mystery series takes place in The Hamptons, where the murdered and suspected murderers are often arrogant and obnoxious with a sense of entitlement. Private Investigator Jenna Preston and her long-time friend, Detective Troy Johnson, work together to solve these murders and other crimes.

However, the intriguing series is about much more than murders and mysteries. “Dying To Be Beautiful” explores the beauty—or lack of it—in humanity. It’s about insights into human behavior, people’s life choices and the impact of their choices on themselves and others.

The first book in the series, “Dying to be Beautiful: Without a Head,” begins with an ordinary occurrence transformed into a gruesome scene. “The head in the sink…


30 Year Anniversary This is an anniversary for a priest.  Father Al Faretra, the pastor of Saint Blaise in Bellingham celebrated thirty years being a priest.  His parishioners love him.  He is an excellent pastor because everyone can feel his love for them.  The picture on the left is Father Al at his own First Communion.  He still has the same smile.   Thank you for answering God's call.

Community is a Powerful Motivator

For some reason, I can't post this video.  It's from the facebook page, Collective Evolution, June 1st.

What I think is noteworthy about it is its message.  It's a group of firefighters arriving in Canada to help fight their apocalyptic fires.  They're from South Africa.  Although they haven't met before they are together now and need to unite to join a common cause.  They sing and move to a unity song.  You really need to see it.  You will see how this community technique builds moral courage.  It shows what collective teamwork can inspire.  They get together when they're tired and need a boost.  Let us pray that our communities learn what communities can do when we support each other.  Think Community of Saints.  Let us pray for these firefighters and the victims of these Canadian fires.

Thru Samaria

Lectio LK 9:51-56
When the days for Jesus to be taken up were fulfilled,
he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem,
and he sent messengers ahead of him.
On the way they entered a Samaritan village
to prepare for his reception there,
but they would not welcome him
because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem.
When the disciples James and John saw this they asked,
“Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven
to consume them?”
Jesus turned and rebuked them,
and they journeyed to another village.
The time for Jesus’ mission to be fulfilled was approaching.  He started out to go towards Jerusalem.  To get  there, He had to travel through the land of Samaria, an adversary of the Jews.  V 53-4 They did not welcome Him, which is insulting because Middle Eastern peoples have an obligation to be hospitable towards strangers.  Not only that, they knew He was a prophet on His way to Jerusalem.  This means their refusal to accept a religious teacher was a rejection of His teachings…

The Antichrist

Do you think you are the antichrist?  Kathleen Norris and her pastor think we all are.  I see where they're coming from, and I agree.  John speaks of the antichrist:
Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. — 1 John 2:18  Many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh; any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist! — 2 John 1:7  Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. — 1 John 2:22  By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. And this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming; and now it is already in the world. — 1 John 4:2–3   In other …

You Never Know What You'll Find in the Woods.

The first thing the hiking group found was this thing stuck in the middle of a rock.  It was hollow so it might have been a pipe of some sort.  Maybe it was a flag, at one time, or something to hoist things up the hill.  Anyway, it's a lesson on the difference between men and women.  None of the women in the group even gave it a second glance.  But all of the men went over to it and tried to pull it out.  Maybe they thought it was Excalibur?

The next thing we came across in the middle of the woods was a Revolutionary War Cemetery.  There

were only about three or four graves in it.  This picture is the only one I could read.

Lastly, was a car.  Yes, a car in the middle of the woods--a recent model, too.  The cemetery I can see.  Terrain changes and what was once a village is now woods.  But a car, in the middle of Diamond Hill?

This was this morning's hike--about 4 miles.  It was a beautiful day for it.