Monday, May 22, 2017

IHS

My mother told me that these initials stood for "I Have Suffered."  We were in church looking at a monogram.  And I have been told a million times what it really means.  Of this, I was reminded by Philip Kosloski, in his article in Aleteia, IHS - What does the Monogram Mean?

Mr. Kosloski explains that it isn't a monogram.  It's a Christogram because it's not initials, but rather the name, Jesus.

Dating all the way back to the third century, Christians shortened the name of Jesus by only writing the first three letters of his name in Greek, ΙΗΣ (from his full name ΙΗΣΟΥΣ). The Greek letter Σ (sigma), is written in the Latin alphabet as an “S,” resulting in the monogram being commonly represented as ΙΗS.

Oh.


Saturday, May 20, 2017

Community


Lectio                                                  Acts of the Apostles 8:5-8, 14-17

...
Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, who went down and prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit, for it had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.

Studium

I am concentrating on Acts 8: 14-17.  But the reason for the two apostles, Peter and John, to come to Samaria is understood in the events preceding this Lectio.
    Firstly, Samaria is important because it shows that the Gospel is being spread beyond the Jews of Judea and Galilee.
    Secondly, before chapter 8, the deacon, Stephen is stoned to death (our first martyr).  So the persecution of the church has begun.
    Thirdly, the Samaritans believed in a messiah.
    Fourthly, the emphasis on creating a community is exemplified here. This text is also used to justify the work of the bishop coming to confirm the faithful.  Think of Peter and John as bishops coming to do the sacrament of Confirmation.
   But also, Acts 8: 14-17, stress what the apostles knew what was important in establishing the Church--community. No Christian community can exist without a relationship with someone who has experienced the resurrected Jesus.  Makes sense.  How can one experience anything from someone who knows less than you?  I suppose one could, but we're talking experience, not just general learning.
   So if the apostles in Acts believe in pulling the faithful closer into a community, they visit, they write letters, they keep in touch, and if not done personally, then they send a representative.  Hence, the bishop comes, with the authority of an apostle, i.e., apostolic succession.

Meditatio

Catholics are not brought up to be solitary.  We are brought up in a community, e.i., family, parish, village, etc..  We are not orphans.  We are not rugged individuals.  We can't get far on our own.  Even our God is a trinitarian community.  You, O Lord, lead us to live in a Trinitarian relationship.  We are taught to love our neighbors as ourselves. Thus is our church.

Oratio

Lord, Jesus is among us.  He is alive among us.  We experience Him in our worship and very lives.  We are the body of Christ when we interact with each other and only then are we truly a manifestation of Jesus' church.

Contemplatio

Jesus, help me to love others, as You do.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Surrogacy Outrage

Of course, I've heard of surrogacy.  But not until I read Breakpoint's article, "The Handmaid's Tale Come True, did I realize how widespread it has become.  It's alarming!

Surrogacy is embryo transfer.  Women who want babies but not the pregnancy that produces the babe, have their fertilized embryos inserted into other women.  These women carry the baby to term.  They are surrogates.

What has happened is an industry has arisen in Third World Countries.

 In India, the number of women renting their wombs for affluent white foreigners was so high that the government enacted a law limiting the practice to Indian couples. All that did was open the “market” to other desperate Third World women.

To me, this is just one example of a cultural fad gone amock.  Too many us jump on the latest fad without thinking very deeply.  Sound good, if you can't carry your own baby to term.  But good things are misused and in this case, our most vulnerable (babies and poor women), are being taken advantage of.

The author's of the Breakpoint article, John Stonestreet and Robero Rivera refer us to other references to learn more:

surrogacy clinics
  • Julie Bindel | The Guardian | April 1, 2016
Can I Hire a Caucasian Egg Donor?
  • Sensible Surrogacy | July 3, 2014
Wombs on rent: Inside a surrogacy hostel in India
  • Seemi Pasha | Dailyo.in | September 22, 2016

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

A Maternal Ambassador's Peace Plan Unveiled at the United Nations

A Maternal Ambassador's Peace Plan Unveiled at the United Nations: On May 12, at the very time Pilot, writes about the event.
Pope Francis was arriving in Portugal to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the Fatima apparitions and the canonization of Saints Francisco and Jacinta Marto, something unusual was happening at the United Nations.  Father Roger Landry, in the



This is a clear sign that they believe that Fatima has something important to say to us, regardless of our religious status, and to say to the nations of the world. It has something in particular to say about peace in this institution dedicated to preventing the scourge of war."


Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Papal Nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN explained that Our Lady of Fatima has a timeless message of Peace for the world:

(1) Conversion of  minds

(2)  Conversion of hearts

(3)  Prayer is important

(4)  Everyone must work towards peace.



Archbishop Auza said at the end of his remarks that the centenary of Fatima is not principally about marking a series of events from the past, but on responding to its lessons in the present and future. "The message of peace that the shepherd children said the Lady from heaven brought, and the practices of conversion, transformation of heart, prayer and commitment she indicated," he said, "are as important today for peace in the world as they were a century ago."

Let's pray the peace plan brought by the maternal Ambassador of Peace to Fatima in 1917 echoes at the United Nations, and across the world, for many years to come.


Reaping What I Sow

the lettuce patch

I hate gardening.  I've spent all morning planting.  The soil had already been prepared by hubby.  I just had to plop in seedlings.  Even so, I worked enough to remember why I hate to garden:


  • the dirt--It's disgusting.  My gardening gloves are ruined.  Even washing them, they're never the same.  Somehow the dirt manages to penetrate through the gloves and into my fingernails--and I keep my fingernails short.  And (get this) when I went to take a drink from my water bottle, there was dirt on the rim.  I thought it wouldn't bother me, but I could taste it and now my teeth are gritty.
  • worms, snakes, nightcrawlers--They're disgusting.  My garden is full of them.  The thought did occur to me to put a BAIT sign in my front yard.  Hubby says they're good for the garden.
  • the sun--It's disgustingly hot.  I was wearing a big straw hat so I wouldn't get sunstroke.  But after awhile, my head was sweating and I felt like I was getting heat stroke.
  • the bugs--They're a disgusting nuisance.  It's May.  Those little tiny gnats fly in clouds.  One cannot even talk without a swarm flying in one's mouth.
  • my knees--They're disgustingly dirty and sore.  I suppose if I got down on my knees and prayed more, my knees would be in shape.
So why do I do it.  I garden because it's a together thing to do with hubby.  He likes it and he's an "old buck" and needs help. 

And then there are the vegetables.  There really is nothing like fresh vegetables. Since I hate to garden, I push myself to do it, and really do reap what I sow in more ways than enjoying eating the fresh vegetables.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Cheating

This post should be a book review of The Circle by Dave Eggers.  But I couldn't get into the novel.  I'm on p. 127.  I get that this company, The Circle is the best company ever.  OKay, already!

Book Club is tomorrow night.  I have 326 more pages to read.  I just can't.  So I went to see the movie, instead.

I liked the movie, in spite of Facebook friends saying they didn't.  One even said that he walked out on it. And it was the dumbest movie he ever saw.

Well, I disagree.  I think of it as the new 1984.  I can see a really good discussion coming tomorrow night, at book club.  

Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Games Jerzy Played


You know how many books have written a disclaimer, in small print, somewhere near the front of their novels, “The characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any apparent similarity to real persons is not intended by the author."  Well, Jerome Charyn, the author of Jerzy A Novel, writes the disclaimer more creatively, “This is a work of fiction.  Characters, organizations, events, and places (even those that are actual) are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.”

I consciously had to keep that in mind because Charyn’s Jerzy is real.  Jerzy was a real person.  His name was Jerzy Kosinski and he was a prominent writer from the 1960’s to the 1990’s.  He was popular and sold many books. Jerome Charyn uses Jerzy as a diving board to cannon ball into his imagination.  And what a ride it is.  Jerzy is BFF with Peter Sellers, Princess Margaret and Stalin’s daughter, Svetlanda. All the people he meets, befriends, loves, and marries, add color to Jerzy’s life and Charyn’s story. But eventually, Jerzy’s fame and fortune disintegrate when jealous people make accusations of plagiarism and opportunism.  The wolves surround Jerzy and he eventually gives up the fight.  He commits suicide.

Jerzy in real life, I gather, was an enigma.  His childhood in WWII was crazy.  He and his family had to live a double life.  And Jerome Charyn’s Jerzy depicts  Jerzy as continuing to live a crazy frenetic life.  Jerzy uses people and depletes them.  He has ghost writers—or does he?  Muses or just secretaries?  Genius or luck?  Saint or sinner?

The answer is “yes.”  Jerzy Kosinski is all these things and more.  Charyn’s novel, at the very least, will have you reading Jerzy Kosinski’s Painted Bird.  Charyn whets your appetite to learn more about Jerzy.  May I suggest, that you read Jerome Charyn, instead.  This author has written about other people: The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson, I am Abraham, etc.  Compare Jerzy to these other novels.  You will learn to appreciate the detail, imagination and writing of Jerome Charyn.  I admit I do.

I was given this novel to review but there were no strings attached.  It was up to me to give a positive or negative review.

Jerome Charyn's Bio:

Jerome Charyn is the author of more than fifty works of fiction and nonfiction, including A Loaded Gun: Emily Dickinson for the 21st Century, Bitter Bronx: Thirteen Stories, I Am Abraham: A Novel of Lincoln and the Civil War, and The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson: A Novel. Among other honors, he has been longlisted for the PEN Award for Biography, honored as a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, named a Commander of Arts and Letters by the French Minister of Culture, and is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award for Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in New York.
  
Jerzy Book Summary:
Jerzy Kosinski was a great enigma of post-World War II literature. When he exploded onto the American literary scene in 1965 with his best-selling novel The Painted Bird, he was revered as a Holocaust survivor and refugee from the world hidden behind the Soviet Iron Curtain. He won major literary awards, befriended actor Peter Sellers (who appeared in the screen adaptation of his novel Being There), and was a guest on talk shows and at the Oscars. But soon the facade began to crack, and behind the public persona emerged a ruthless social climber, sexual libertine, and pathological liar who may have plagiarized his greatest works.

Jerome Charyn lends his unmistakable style to this most American story of personal disintegration, told through the voices of multiple narrators—a homicidal actor, a dominatrix, and Joseph Stalin’s daughter—who each provide insights into the shifting facets of Kosinski’s personality. The story unfolds like a Russian nesting doll, eventually revealing the lost child beneath layers of trauma, while touching on the nature of authenticity, the atrocities of WWII, the allure of sadomasochism, and the fickleness of celebrity.
 
Prices/Formats: $16.99 ebook, $16.99 paperback
Genre: 
Historical, Jewish
Pages: 
240
Release: 
Jerome Charyn
Publisher: 
Bellevue
ISBN: 
9781942658146

Amazon buy link:
https://www.amazon.com/Jerzy-Novel-Jerome-Charyn/dp/1942658141?&tag=tributebooks-20

Barnes & Noble buy link:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/jerzy-jerome-charyn/1123623732?ean=9781942658146

Indiebound buy link:
http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781942658146

Bellevue buy link:
http://blpress.org/books/jerzy/




Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Close Call


Truly, Madly, Guilty, by Liane Moriarty is one of my book club, Argonauta's assignments. I had such a hard time getting into it, that I was wondering if I was going senile.  I just could get into it.  The plot revolves around three couple and I couldn't keep them straight.  Who's who?  Who's married to whom?

But as the day of the Argonauta's meeting approached, I sat down with the story and focused on just reading.  It is a good story.  Liane Moriarty drives you crazy with talk about an event, an earth shattering happening, something that changed the lives of the three couples.  She teases you because you think the next chapter contains the revelation.  But it never does.  Very late in the novel, everything will mesh.

It is a nail biter, easy to read, and the characters are people you know.  I mean they're believeable.  This would make a good beach book because its 400+ pages. And it really is a good book.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Why I don't Want My Family In the Audience


The expression, “It’s complicated,” is overused.  But in my particular case it is true.  I confess, I don’t really understand my own feelings.  They’re too complicated.  I never tell, never mind ask, any one in my family to come to an event I’m a participant in.  I feel:

·         Nervous because I can’t trust them to be honest.  They’ll be kind and tell me how good I was.
·         Rushed to get everything over with to let them off the hook—which means I’m not focused on my part.
·         Ashamed that they well be ashamed to have such an old fool for a relative.
·         Fear, that  I am belittling their image of their mother or wife.
·         Embarrassed to show a side to my family that they’ve never seen before.
·         Evil—did I force them to come and see me.
·         Exposed in revealing ideas that they can’t, won’t ever appreciate.
·         Worried about what they are thinking.
·         Self-conscious—are my clothes and demeanor appropriate?
·         Crazy—why am I like this?  I must be crazy.

Have I given you my explanation of “it’s complicated?”  The urban dictionary defines the phrase as “a couple in an ambiguous state between friends who maybe in a closer relationship.”  However, I know some people who use the expression as meaning I don’t have the time or the desire to explain it to you.

I’m using the expression not to describe a relationship, itself, but because of the relationship of a wife and mother stepping out of those specific roles to people who aren’t accustomed to seeing her step out of her usual supporting role.  However wonderful I may be in front of an audience, they won’t like it.  They will prefer their wife and mother, not a presenter, lecturer, teacher, etc.


All these words to explain why I don’t my family in the audience.  I can’t focus on the task before me if I have all the above feelings circling around inside my head.  

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Contemplative Nuns v. "Cloistered Brothers"

Our Spiritual Advisor was with Chapter, today.  He was telling us that one of his students was amazed at how much my "cloistered brothers" were like the nuns in the abbey.  They were comparing my "cloistered brothers" to the Trappestines.


  • community life
  • prayer schedule
  • worship together
  • simple life
It seemed that the nuns and "cloistered brothers" have similar attitudes.  Their community helps them overcome any separate problems which an individual would have.  This sharing and community spirit is a testimony to their trust in God.  Their simple life of prayer lived within a community makes them strong. Happy, too!

Reaction of Jews and Romans to Resurrection of Christ

Reaction of Jews and Romans to resurrection of Christ: Q. I have always been puzzled by the lack of reaction to Christ's resurrection from Jewish citizens and Roman officials.



Oh, there was a reaction all right.  Read Matthew 28: 11-15.



What convinces me is the reaction of the Apostles.  Why would they all insist that Jesus rose from the dead?



There was no money in it.

There were no fame and glory in it.  In fact, they were persecuted.

What was in it for them except persecution and tortured to death? (John was exiled.)

And they all told the same story.



Read Father's Doyle in the link above.

Turibius of Mogrovejo

One of my "cloistered brothers" was received today in the Lay Fraternities of Saint Dominic.  He St. Turibius.
chose to have the religious name of

He was Spanish priest and sent to Peru as Archbishop of Lima.  He baptized both St. Rose of Lima and St. Martin de Porres. 

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Be Patient

Lectio
1 PT 2:20B-25

Beloved:
If you are patient when you suffer for doing what is good,
this is a grace before God.
For to this you have been called,
because Christ also suffered for you,
leaving you an example that you should follow in his footsteps.

He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.

When he was insulted, he returned no insult;
when he suffered, he did not threaten;
instead, he handed himself over to the one who judges justly.
He himself bore our sins in his body upon the cross,
so that, free from sin, we might live for righteousness.
By his wounds you have been healed.
For you had gone astray like sheep,
but you have now returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.

Studium

Peter is addressing the people's sufferings.  He urges them to imitate Jesus, Who suffered.  Recall Isaiah's Suffering Servant.  Jesus brings healing with God, through his life-giving death.

Meditatio

My sufferings are nothing compared to what Jesus endured.  Life is too short to wallow in self-pity.  I must keep the heavenly promise in view when I feel despair.

Oratio

Lord, I hand myself over, as Jesus taught me.

Contemplatio

Your will be done.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Beaver Destruction

You had to be there.  The area looked like a bomb hit it.  The trees were fell all over the ground. We were hiking Rocky Woods.


Worse!  The beavers had made a dam which caused the water to pool on one side of it and rise.  This wiped out our bridge to cross Chickering Pond.  See how one end is under water.  The entire bridge is under water due to the high water level caused by the damn beavers' dam.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Noli Simul Flare Sorbereque

At the bottom of by the page of a magazine I was reading was an ad for a book, The Devil Hates Latin by Katharine Galgano.  It sounded interesting so I bought it.  I was immediately hooked because the hero was a Dominican and although the setting was in Italy, there were many references to Boston.  Add to that, one of the main characters is an ex-con.

What more could I want?  How about action?  Thrills?  Romance?  Catholicism?

The Devil Hates Latin has them all.  It's a very good story.  I'd qualify it as an adventure story.  Two families are strangely united by a common interest.  They go through some scary stuff together.  A rogue religious community tries to eliminate the entire families.  That's the story.  But you find yourself rooting for the ordinary people.  The priests, you have to sort out the good ones from the bad ones.  The bad ones have the money and are trying to protect their power.  An exorcist does the trick.
Another interesting observation was the description of modern Italy.  We in the USA are becoming like that. We're a consumer society, good careers are impossible to find, people aren't getting married, people aren't having children.

The exorcist saves the day.

Product details

  • Paperback: 308 pages
  • Publisher: REGINA Magazine LLC; 1 edition (December 29, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0996647902
  • ISBN-13: 978-0996647908
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)

Buy it here.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

God Judges Justly

Oo-o-h. I finally get it.  A scripture phrase has been bothering me ever since I read it, Monday.  It is 1Peter 2: 23.

It says "he handed himself over to the one who judges justly."

I was thinking, Pilate judges justly?

Well I finally figured out that the verse is talking about God--Jesus handed Himself over to the Father by His death.

I would have understood immediately if capitalization was used to refer to God.

He handed Himself over to the One Who judges justly.

See?

No question that One is God.

Pride, Humility, and Social Media

Pride, Humility, and Social Media: On a recent trip to Sacramento, from my home base in the LA area, I flew Southwest Airlines. In an idle moment, I reached for the magazine in the seatback pocket and commenced to leaf through it.

Image result for smiley facesThe irony of posting this on a blog is not lost on me.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Facial Expressions


There has always been something about this photo that has bothered me.  I think it's the expressions on the girls' faces.  It's not the suspicious unsmiling expressions on the girls, primarily.  It's the fact that the boy's expression is well, expressionless.  Why?

When my son was that age he would have been wearing the same expression as the girls.  He didn't like having his picture taken and would have been grouchy about it.  He was being forced to do something he didn't want to do, which is what the girls expressions tell me.

So the girls seem like normal kids, to me.  It's Francisco.  What was he thinking?