Showing posts from August, 2017

Jesus, Jesus, Wake UP!

Cardinal DiNardo said, "Considering the "cosmic" damage caused by Hurricane Harvey so far, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston said Monday, “The people of Houston, I have to sayare rather resilient, but this is really stretching them." Calling for prayer on behalf of the affected region across the country and around the world, DiNardo said, “I think we have to wake up Jesus in the boat!”

Jesus in the boat is a reference to Matthew 8: 23-27.  

Enough!  Hurricane Harvey caused the kind of panic we now see in Texas.  They need God's help, yesterday!  It's time to appeal to God.

Avoiding Embarrassing Situations Receiving Holy Communion

Avoiding Embarrassing Situations Receiving Holy Communion: I was recently making a retreat at a Monastery in the Catskills. At Sunday Mass, I was asked by the Chaplain to distribute the Precious Blood to the nuns and lay people in attendance.

This article in the Pilot relates the story of the priest distributing the Eucharist and asking the person if they were Catholic. It was a girl.  She must have not been holding her hands out correctly.  Just in case you didn't know that there is a correct way to receive, this article will tell you how.

God the Designer

For Boston priest and bishop, eclipse trip went 'from science to spiritual very fast': BRAINTREE -- For three days they traveled, driving a total of 1,352 miles from Massachusetts to their eventual destination of Athens, Tenn. Once there, they pulled into a parking lot, put down chairs, and settled in to watch the show.

Father Paul Soper and Bishop Mark O'Connell, the event marked their friendship with clarity.  Clarity?  During an eclipse? Yes, their friendship with clarity, not the event--itself.  You see Father Paul is interested in science, Bishop Mark is interested in law/people/etc.--not science.  Their friendship is an example.  They are different but enjoy and appreciate each other's uniqueness.

Since science can tell us when each eclipse is coming, Father Paul and Bishop Mark have been planning to see it since they were in the seminary.  And so they did.  Bishop Mark said, "all very interesting, cool science, but not exhilarating."

Father Paul saw i…

Update on Poem Project

Last April I presented the My Favorite Poem Project to my writers' group, the Senior Scribblers.  They said, "Go for it!"  So I thought I'd tell you how it's progressing.

I think it's progressing very, very well.  The local newspaper is covering it.  The local cable company is covering it.  And!  They are reading their favorite poems.

I have sent out twenty six invitations.  I've got back eleven.  Six have said yes.

I've got the space secured and the time.  I'm in the process of making up flyers.

What do you think?


Lectio: Isaiah 22:19-23

Thus says the Lord to Shebna, master of the palace:  
"I will thrust you from your office
and pull you down from your station.
On that day I will summon my servant
Eliakim, son of Hilkiah;
I will clothe him with your robe,
and gird him with your sash,
and give over to him your authority.
He shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem,
and to the house of Judah.
I will place the key of the House of David on Eliakim's shoulder;
when he opens, no one shall shut,
when he shuts, no one shall open.
I will fix him like a peg in a sure spot,
to be a place of honor for his family."


It was not unusual for a change of positions in the court.  Princes are fickle.  In these verses, Shebna is in disgrace.  He was the treasurer.  What he specifically did is not the point.  He did something.  The point is that temporal positions aren't forever.  Don't rely on princes.  Their favors are fickle.  We need to pray for our princes (leaders).

No one Cares

The Coleridge Taylor Mysteries are about a newspaper reporter who is interested in solving the murders no one cares about.  Lights Out Summer by Rich Zahradnik is the latest Coleridge Taylor mystery. Taylor works for a news wire.  The large, flashy newspapers cover the big news.  They seek the sensational, the latest titillation that the public seems to clamor over.  But Taylor would rather find the story of the people who interest him the most, like Martha Gibson.
Martha was a hard working young woman, who was murdered.  The crime seemed unsolvable, but Taylor was determined to find the killer.  In researching Martha’s life, he becomes enmeshed in Martha’s sister’s drug life and her employers’ rich lifestyle.
The reader will expect the drug dealer to have killed Martha.  Then it seems like someone in Martha’s employer’s family.  All this sleuthing is done on the side because Taylor has to do some reporting on other news. 
Taylor has a girl friend named Samantha, who is a private de…

Cat Got Your Tongue?

Has the cat got your tongue?  It's an expression that is asking someone why they're not answering.  Well, my cat didn't have my tongue, he had my iPad.

I've been looking for my iPad for four days.  The last time I saw it, one of my grandchildren was playing a game on it.  I've been looking for it, ever since.

I'd hear it gong for the Angelus.  So three times a day, I'd be alert to listen from what direction the gong sound of the Angelus was coming from. It was in the living room, somewhere.  I dusted.  I vacuumed, lifting furniture.  I searched the bookcase.  I tore the room apart.


I prayed to Saint Anthony:

Tony, Tony, please come down.
Something's lost and must be found.

Today I went to my Lay Dominican Chapter.  During the Intercessions in Evening Prayer, I asked that my iPad be found.  Afterward, one of my "cloistered brothers," suggested I go to the APPLE website and have them find it.  I said, "How can they find it?"  He s…

Towards the Feast of the Assumption

Towards the Feast of the Assumption: The old Catholic Encyclopedia, published before the dogma of the Assumption of Mary was defined by Pope Pius XII in 1950, is nonetheless edifying in what it says about the Feast which the Church celebrates on August 15...

Read The Pilot for the rest of the article.  It's a Holy Day of Obligation and while the pews aren't filled as they are on a Sunday, there are a surprising amount of people, especially considering when the parish offers a selection of Masses to accommodate people's schedules.  I credit it to the love the people have for the Blessed Mother.

Catholics have a soft spot for Mary.

Argonauta's Selections

This is how one of my book clubs (Argonauta) chooses its book selections.  No more Irish stories, memoirs, and mysteries.  Not because they're not good, au contraire; it's that we've read too many and are sick of them.  I predict we will add African stories to the list because there's two on this year's list.

We met in a restaurant for breakfast--a quiet, not rushed atmosphere, place.  Each of us ordered a huge breakfast.  After breakfast, the bidding discussion began.  Here are erthe resulting selections:

September:  Lilac Girl by Marsha Hall KellOctober:  Circling the Sun by Paula McLain
November:  Britt Marie Was Here by Felix Bachmann
December:  Bossy Pants by Tina Fey                                        
January: Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue
February:  Eleanor Oliphant by Gail Honeyman
March:  The House at Sugar Beach by Helene Cooper
April: Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Burke
May:  The Tea Planter's Wife by Dinah Jefferies
June-August: To Be Decide…

Fairy Rings and Fairy Forts

Today in my writers' group, a member read her piece on Fairy Rings.  This is what she described:

They're on hills.
Trees are clustered together.
From the sky, they're circles of trees.
Walking into the trees, you'd fall down into an abyss.

Theories abound as to their purpose.  A popular guess is that these were for defense.  The enemy would fall into the deep holes.

Curious?  I know I was.  My google search couldn't find these types of Fairy Rings.  In fact, Google references mushroom circles as fairy rings.

However, there's something called Fairy Forts.  They are circular settlements.  Around them were walls made from rocks, gravel, dirt or some sort of earthenware, and maybe trees.  The purpose was for protection from wolves and other predators.

Better information is from the website where I got this picture: This woonderful has a plethora of Irish folklore.  Clic…


Spine Damage by Sharon St. George will leave you with a good feeling.  All’s right with this world.  St. George ties up all the loose ends.  There are no dangling story lines or plot plops.  Everyone and everything are as it should be.  The good guys win and the bad guys get their just desserts.
What else do you want?  Good writing?  How’s this:
When we reached the location on the dock where I’d seen the man fall, a roly-poly harbor seal with impressive whiskers poked its head up from the basin’s briny seawater.  He gazed at us with round, curious brown eyes—another hungry resident hoping for a handout.  P. 226 Saturday morning, I woke to the harbor’s usual salute to the senses: the crying of gulls, the pungent smell of seawater, and the bright morning sunlight striking my face through a porthole in the forward berth.  The aroma of coffee confirmed that Nick had been up at least long enough to start a pot brewing.  P. 232
Spine Damage is the fourth book in the Aimee Machado Mystery serie…

Last Day

Ninth Day: Devotion to St. Dominic This is the covenant with them which I myself have made, says the Lord: and my words that I have put into your mouth shall never leave your mouth, nor the mouths of your children, nor the mouths of your children’s children, from now on and forever, says the Lord. (Isaiah 59:21) As St. Dominic lay dying just outside of Bologna at St. Mary of the Hills, he requested to be taken back at once to Bologna that he might be buried “under the feet of my brethren.” There, having assured his spiritual children that he would be of greater assistance where he was going, he left them his last will and testament: “Behold, my children, the heritage I leave you: have charity for one another, guard humility, make your treasure out of voluntary poverty.” Be therefore followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:1) O wondrous hope that you did give at the hour of death to those who mourned you, when you did promise to help them even after death. Father, …

Entering Eternal Life

Eighth Day: The Death of St. Dominic Well done, good and faithful servant; because you have been faithful over a few things, I will place you over many. Enter into the joy of the Lord.        (Matthew 25:2) St. Dominic died at Bologna, August 6, 1221, at midday. Father Ventura, prior of Bologna, was present and thus describes the death of St. Dominic. “Father Dominic returned from Venice about the end of July. Although very weary with traveling, he conversed on the affairs of the Order with me till late. I begged him to rest that night, but he prayed in the Church till Matins at midnight, and then was present in choir. Afterwards he complained of his head, and his last illness began. Lying on a straw mattress, he called the novices around him and exhorted them to fervor with cheerful words and smiling coun­tenance. After being carried to a hill not far off, for better air, he preached to his brethren and was then anointed. Fearing that he would not be buried ‘under the feet of his bret…

Loving Like God

Seventh Day: Love of God and Our Neighbor That we have passed from death to life we know because we love the brothers. The man who does not love is among the living dead. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that eternal life abides in no murderer’s heart. The way we came to understand love was that he laid down his life for us; we too must lay down our lives for our brothers. (1 John 3:14-16) Love is the fulfilling of the law, and Dominic, the preacher of God’s law, was consumed with the fire of love. In all his actions his love for God appeared and his constant prayer was that he might have true charity and love God purely for his own sake. From this love sprang that ardent desire to suffer for God which made him a martyr in spirit. So deeply was he moved by the love of Jesus Crucified that he longed to die for him. His life of generous self-sacrifice proved his love sincere. As a youth he sold his only treasure, the books from which he studied, to feed the poor. …

Friars of Mary

Sixth Day: Devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and the Mother of GodHow lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts! My soul yearns and pines for the courts of the Lord. My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest in which she puts her young by your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God!   (Psalms 84:2-4) The Eucharist and the Mother of God were objects of Dominic’s special devotion. Before the tabernacle he spent his nights, finding there rest after his labors; and arriving weary and foot sore from a journey, he always visited the Blessed Sacrament before refreshing his body. However much fatigued, he always celebrated Mass, and if possible sang it. During the celebration of Mass tears were often seen flowing down his face, moving all to devotion. Of God’s Mother he was always an ardent and reverent lover. His life, his work, his Order were placed under her protection, and he invoked her in every difficulty and danger…

The Spirit of Prayer

Fifth Day: The Spirit of Prayer True devotion was in his mouth, and no dishonesty was found upon his lips; he walked with me in integrity and in uprightness, and turned many away from evil. (Malachi 2:6) As an unbridled tongue destroys a spirit of prayer, Dominic loved silence and retirement, that he might dwell with God. His intimate friend, William of Montserrat, said that “Dominic always kept the silence prescribed by the custom and rule of the Order, abstained from idle words, and always spoke either of God or to God.” Dominic considered custody of the senses important and fed his soul constantly with spiritual reading. His books were the Bible and Cassian’s Conferences of the Fathers of the Desert. The Holy Scriptures he always carried, and ordered his spiritual children diligently and unceasingly to read them. At dinner one religious used to read aloud, that the souls of all might be fed on the Word of God. If any man offends not in words, the same is a perfect man. (James 3:2) Pr…

They Think We're Crazy

More and more I can see how being Catholic is counter cultural.  Now I feel it. 
I am at the bank trying to open an account for my Lay Dominican chapter.  The banker asks: When was your chapter founded?
Now how am I supposed to know that?  I don’t know when my chapter was founded, nor my region’s founding, nor my province’s.  I do know when the Order of Preachers was founded.  The date of the Dominican Laity is arguable.  So I gave the banker the date I know.
1216, I say affirmatively.
The banker’s eyes open wide.  “What?” I explain that Dominicans have been around for 800 years.
OK.  He fills that line in and asks.  Who was your founder?
Saint Dominic.
How do you spell that first name? This is where I realize that this person has no clue what I’m talking about.  But I explain that the first name is Dominic and the last name is Guzman.
The next question I’m asked is, “What is your purpose?”
Save souls.
I would have repeated my answer but I instinctively intuited that “save soul…

Always Pray and Pray Always

Fourth Day: St. Dominic’s PrayerBe filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and inspired songs. Sing praise to the Lord with all your hearts. Give thanks to God the Father always and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:18-20) Prayer was the breath of St. Dominic’s life, the light on his path, the staff on his pilgrimage. He prayed always. In childhood, his delight was to serve Mass, to visit the Blessed Sacrament, and to chant Office. As a student, he learned wisdom more from prayer than from books. He won more souls by prayer than by preaching or miracles. In traveling, St. Dominic prayed as he went, sometimes singing the Veni Creator Spiritus, or the Ave Maris Stella, or sometimes he recited psalms. He often reminded his companions to think of God. Many times St. Dominic spent the night in prayer before the altar. His methods of prayer were various: sometimes he lay prostrate, then stood erect, then knelt down. For hours he wou…

The Sovereignty of God

Lectio:  Daniel 7: 9-10, 13-14
As I watched:
                Thrones were set up and the Ancient One took his throne.
                His clothing was bright as snow, and the hair on his head as white as wool;
                His throne was flames of fire, with wheels of burning fire.
                A surging stream of fire flowed out from where he sat;
                Thousands upon thousands were ministering to him, and myriads upon myriads attended                     him.
                The court was convened and the books were opened.

As the visions during the night continued, I saw:
                One like a Son of man coming, on the clouds of heaven;
                when he reached the Ancient One and was presented before him,
                the one like a Son of man received dominion, glory, and kingship;
                all peoples, nations, and languages serve him.

His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not be taken away,
                his kingship shall not be destr…

Weep and Weeping

Third Day: Compunction of HeartThose who fear the Lord seek to please him, those who love him are filled with his law. Those who fear the Lord prepare their hearts and humble themselves before him. Let us fall into the hands of the Lord and not into the hands of men, for equal to his majesty is the mercy that he shows. (Sirach 2: 16-18) ROSA PATIENTIAE             ROSE OF PATIENCE Though so pure that Holy Church calls him “Ivory of Chastity,” and Christian art puts a lily into his hands, Dominic was always weeping over sin. His soul being full of contrition, acts of sorrow were constantly upon his lips. On seeing towns or villages, he used to weep over the sins committed there against God. But this sorrow was not merely hidden in the soul; it bore fruit in works of penance. Three times every night he scourged himself: once for his own sins, once for those of others, and once for the suffering souls. He was a rule of abstinence, even on journeys never eating meat or food cooked with mea…


last night I went to a talk by Bishop Robert Reed.
 Here Bishop Reed is talking to a friend he only knew virtually.  He is congratulating her on her 90th birthday.