Showing posts from 2018

Cowboys, infertility and deeper moral questions

This article in the Boston Pilot gave me pause for reflection.  My younger self wouldn't have cared, "Pay me and you can have my eggs.  I'm not using them.  What do I care?"  But once I was married and having dificulty conceiving, I very well might have bought healthy fertilized eggs, myself.  Cowboys, infertility and deeper moral questions: Now as a simple, old woman, I definitely can see Father Tadeusz' side of the issue.  When a couple marries and plans their family, it's a covenant made with God.  No strangers are included.  The parents parenting the child shouldn't be surprised that their child is not theirs.

Miscarriage of Justice

I have no faith in our justice system.  I just read the latest post on These Stone Walls.  Good Grief!  He's been in prison for more than 20 years!!!!  No, he didn't murder anyone--he'd be out of prison by now if he did. He was falsely accused.  This latest post offers more proof.

Synod of the Amazon and married priests

Synod of the Amazon and married priests: The news that Pope Francis has set in motion the planning for a synod of bishops of the Amazon region next year may not strike most U.S. Catholics as a matter of great interest. But hold on--there's something significant going on.  Click on the link and read.

Working at Night


Ignorantia Juris Non Excusat

ACTS 3:13-15, 17-19 Peter said to the people:
"The God of Abraham,
the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob,
the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus,
whom you handed over and denied in Pilate's presence
when he had decided to release him.
You denied the Holy and Righteous One
and asked that a murderer be released to you.
The author of life you put to death,
but God raised him from the dead; of this we are witnesses.
Now I know, brothers,
that you acted out of ignorance, just as your leaders did;
but God has thus brought to fulfillment
what he had announced beforehand
through the mouth of all the prophets,
that his Christ would suffer.
Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away."
Studium: Peter and John had just healed a crippled man.  The people were amazed, to say the least.  More importantly, they were open to an explanation.  They were listening.  And so Peter began, "Why are you amazed at this?".  Peter goes on to explain that…

Door to door: Pope reaffirms missionaries' mandate to knock on hearts

Door to door: Pope reaffirms missionaries' mandate to knock on hearts: VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- As a sign that God's mercy cannot be limited, Pope Francis has recommissioned his special army of priests charged with bringing that divine mercy to everyone. Originally instituted in the year of mercy, these priests are to continue their apostolate.


This map of New England is a satire of what the people in New England think of others in New England, especially of what we all think of New York.  Remember it's SATIRE.


Today is the Solemnity of the Annunciation.  And I don't like the fact that the "powers that be" changed the date.  I have always been pregnant with Mary from March 25, (usual date of the Annunciation), to December 25, (birth of Christ).  But today is April 9th!  I assume the date was changed because March 25 this year was in Holy Week.  It just wouldn't do to celebrate Jesus' life beginning when that was the week His life was ending.

Oh well, babies usually aren't born on their due date, anyway.

Call to Arms on October 7, 2018

To be more specific: A Call to Arms, Prayer, on the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. 

What does Baseball and Stations of the Cross Have in Common?

A man in my class asked me why are the Stations of the Cross counterclockwise?

A search in google told me that no one knows. And the location doesn’t have to be counter clockwise.   In fact, one responder said his church had both positions—the downstairs chapel’s stations were clockwise and the upstairs church’s counterclockwise!

Since there is no definitive answer I can give you my theory. The Stations of the Cross are clockwise to the priest.  Think of a baseball field. The bases are
clockwise to the fans in the stands.  But to batter, the bases are counter clockwise.

What do you think?

Appeals court hears oral arguments in archdiocese's suit over Advent ad

Appeals court hears oral arguments in archdiocese's suit over Advent ad: WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit heard oral arguments March 26 in the Archdiocese of Washington's suit against the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit.  Click on the link and you please tell me what is offense in the ad.

Teacher's Evaluation

Much to my surprise, my baby Catholics want me to demand more from them.  I'm talking about the people who came into the Church during the Easter Vigil.  We had a meeting today to celebrate their new status and also to critique my RCIA class.

They want homework.  I never gave any because everybody is too busy.  Taking that into account, they suggested that the homework not be mandatory but suggested.  So I'll try it and see if they do it.

The next suggestion was interesting.  Instead of one topic a class, to have many topics each class and repeat them for the rest of the year.  For example, instead of a class on the Mass, a class on Jesus, a class on the sacraments, a class on prayer, a class on the Bible, a class on the Catechism, do them all in each and every class.  That comes out to 20 minutes on each of those topics which would take up the class' two hours.  In that way when a catechumen misses a class, he won't miss the entire topic. 

I also should keep attendan…

Christian Community

ACTS 4:32-35 The community of believers was of one heart and mind,
and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own,
but they had everything in common.
With great power the apostles bore witness
to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus,
and great favor was accorded them all.
There was no needy person among them,
for those who owned property or houses would sell them,
bring the proceeds of the sale,
and put them at the feet of the apostles,
and they were distributed to each according to need. Studium: This reading is the ideal Christian community.  God's presence is felt within the community and the citizens therefore feel compelled to love and share their possessions.  At this time in history, the ideal was Hellenic friendship, which would be to love your friend and give to him what was yours.
    The reading also shows that without leaders, like Paul, the community grew because they were of one heart and mind.  Paul and the other leaders were warned not to preach of th…

A New Reality

Easter should be the beginning of a new reality, don't you think?  I'm treating it as such.  Just as Jesus is as real today as He was for the apostles and disciples, so I am entering into a new way of living.  I mean when you understand what the Easter Triduum is all about, how can you stay the same?  How can life continue on, as if the Resurrection never happened? 

I don't think I will ever worry anymore.  At least, I shouldn't if I trust in Jesus.  I feel peace in my powerlessness.  Doesn't Paul say, "It is when I am weak that I am strong."?

For the rest of my life, I will walk with God and His people.  Through His grace, all will be.

Cliff Dwellers

Both my parents were the children of immigrants.  They worked in the mills of Lawrence, MA.  When I was young, my dad brought home a chapbook of poetry, written by a fellow worker, Henry Boulanger.  I came across the book today and the very first poem brought back, oh so many memories.

Cliff Dwellers by Henry Boulanger

The block was long, dark and ugly.
In it existed many a family.
It was not low, but many stories high.
You could see full clothes lines as you went by.
Each person has his little corner to exist in
There you'll find some has-been.
They are of all Nationalities, in an alley behind
                                a street called Main.

O Sacred Head Surrounded


Jesus does not give up on anyone, pope tells prisoners

Jesus does not give up on anyone, pope tells prisoners: ROME (CNS) -- Before washing the feet of 12 prisoners, Pope Francis told them and hundreds of inmates to remember that Jesus constantly stands before them with love, ready to cleanse their sins and fo

Maundy Thursday

The word "Maundy" comes from a Latin word meaning "mandate."  On the day before Jesus died and since we celebrate Good Friday as that day, then on Thursday, Jesus gave us a few "mandates:"

to love.  Jesus tells us He loves us and asks us to love everyone like He loves everyone. He told His disciples to eat and drink in remembrance of me.  He gave His Apostles the authority to forgive sins. Tonight we represent the Last Supper where the mandates were given.

A good priest makes Christ present to his people, Pope says at Chrism Mass

A good priest makes Christ present to his people, Pope says at Chrism Mass: Vatican City, Mar 29, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- At his annual Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday, Pope Francis said that a good priest is one who is close to his flock and who makes Jesus’ presence felt in

Spy Wednesday

Sometimes this particular day of Holy Week is called "Spy Wednesday."  Wednesday is the day tradition has picked to highlight the bad guys plotting to kill Jesus.  Jesus' enemies were looking for a way to trap Jesus and kill him.  Jesus was attracting followers (think of the parade with people celebrating with palms, His arrival in Jerusalem).  So when the apostle, Judas Iscariot came to them with a plan to turn Jesus over to them, they knew they could be rid of Jesus. Since Judas and Jesus' enemies were watching Him and plotting against Him, the day is called Spy Wednesday.

AQ's Prayer

Father Fitz this morning had us pray this prayer from St. Thomas Aquinas.

Grant me, O Lord my God,
mind to know you,
a heart to seek you,
wisdom to find you,
conduct pleasing to you,
faithful perseverance in waiting for you,
and a hope of finally embracing you.



The word is vaguely familiar.  Although, I admit I can't tell you what it means.  Google-queen that I am, I did google it.

Passiontide (in the Christian liturgical year) is a name for the last two weeks of Lent, beginning on the Fifth Sunday of Lent, long celebrated as Passion Sunday, and ending on Holy Saturday.  Wikipedia

IOW, during the last two weeks of Lent we are to focus on the penitential aspect of  Lent. It's an old custom to cover the statues and crosses in the church. They are covered with purple cloth, since that's the color of Lent.  However, it's an old custom.  No churches around here do this.  And the Stations of the Cross are not covered because we use them during Lent.  Besides, they are a virtual reminder of the passion and death of Jesus--de facto!

Pity.  I love old traditions and it definitely is a literal tangible of what these last Lenten weeks are leading to--crucifixion of Jesus.

And the unveiling is a spectacular reminder of Jesus' death a…


The cat is disappointed in me.  I just bought her the wrong kind of food.  The ingrate doesn't realize what I had to do to purchase "chipped beef in gravy."  She's old; I thought I was doing her a favor buying soft morsels in gravy; she doesn't even have to chew.  She can slurp it up.  How was I to know that she hates beef?

You see hubby does the food shopping in the family.  He has it down to a science, i.e., timing, traffic, sales, etc.  But March 19th is hubby's birthday.  His favorite is lemon meringue pie, so I had to go out myself.  It just wouldn't do to have the poor man buy the ingredients for his own birthday surprise.

Naturally, being the considerate person that I am, I asked before embarking on my shopping trip, if anyone needed anything.  Just cat food was needed.  Doesn't that seem easy enough?  Well, today being Saturday and also St. Patrick's Day, the traffic was horrendous.  So was the traffic inside the super market.  Add that t…


In my RCIA class, one of the elect, who is a former Buddhist, explained a Zen Koan to me.  A Koan is a question, a statement, a puzzle, so to speak, to test the student's progress.

And so the student asked the teacher, "cat's bowl broken, why is the mouse smiling?"

The teacher referred to the class. 
Some just shrugged, "What's the point of this?" 
Some were curious and wondered why the mouse was smiling.
Some offered answers: the mouse broke the bowl, now the cat is unhappy which makes the mouse happy, the cat will get a scolding from his master, etc.

The teacher wondered if the mouse was simple-minded.  The mouse's knee-jerk response was to be happy because the cat was unhappy because his bowl was broken.  But if the mouse thought deeper he'd realize that if the cat wasn't eating from his bowl, the cat would soon turn to eat the mouse.  That smile would soon be wiped off the mouse's face.

This example explains a zen koan.  Teachers gi…

The Story of Maddy

During the last blizzard, I read a book.  There was nothing else to do.  I read the whole book in one sitting.  The story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg is an easy read.  It's a cute story.  A recent widower visits his wife's grave every single day, at lunchtime.  An unpopular high school senior, Maddy, visits the cemetery every day because she doesn't want to eat alone.

Eventually, they talk.  The girl has a lonely life, living with a father who is distant.  When she becomes pregnant, her father wants her to have an abortion.  She runs away to Arthur Truluv, who takes her in.  That's basically the story.  There's a teacher who helps the young girl.  A neighbor of Arthur's who he helps, too.  Everything works out.

It's a happy ending and very unrealistic.

So what!

The Car Rental,

It was Sunday and I was bringing a friend to her church.  I dropped her off at the handicapped entrance.  As she pushed her walker up the ramp, I put the car in reverse and commenced to swing back to turn around.  That’s when my front bumper hit the church.
Yikes!  That church came out of nowhere!
My car turned out to have $ 1800 dollars damage to the front bumper and a scraped and dented driver’s side fender.  So my car is in the body shop and I am now driving a rental.
Now, the story: my experience with the rental is a sad tale.  It made me really feel old and out of touch.  The rental agency came and picked me up at the auto body shop. Nice and convenient!  I was told to turn the car on and off, all I had to do was step on the brake and push a button.
Push a button is how to turn a car on and off, nowadays.  Well, it worked to turn the car off, but a few hours later, I couldn’t get that button to turn the engine on. I stepped on the brake and then pushed the button.  I tried numer…

Intergenerational Book Club

The day finally came.  Today was the first meeting of the Intergenerational Book Club.  The club is made up of Franklin, MA, High School students and Franklin senior citizens from the Senior Center.  We met at Franklin High School.  The book was You Bring The Distant Near, by Mitali Perkins.

We were greeted with bingo cards.  This was an icebreaker exercise where we had to socialize to fill out the squares on our bingo cards.  We had to find someone who had been to Paris, someone who plays a musical instrument, someone who is left-handed, etc.  The prize was a mango.  Mangoes originated from India.

We played bingo until it was time for our interview with the author, Mitali Perkins.  This was a skype interview.  Mitali was in her bedroom and we could see her plainly.  She saw us sitting in a classroom.  For 45 minutes we asked her questions.  She surprised us and we surprised her. 

You can't say you don't like Indian food because there are 29 states and 7 union territories in …

The Snow Really Was Waist High

It is not uncommon for people to compare today’s snow storms to the blizzard of 1978.  That particular snowstorm was such an enormous nor’easter, that every blizzard will always be compared to the Blizzard of ’78.  When I hear mention of this notorious blizzard, I feel a little guilty.  I had just had a baby a year ago and was home safe and warm and living in the glow of new motherhood.  I felt guilty because I was not out in the thick of it.  Even so, I do have some memories that I can share.
The biggest factor in making this snowstorm such a monster was that it wasn’t predicted to be so horrendous.  The storm was predicted, but back then, the meteorologists were usually wrong, so not much attention was paid.  No one stayed home from work.  No schools were closed.  No one rushed to the supermarkets for milk, eggs, and bread.  Everyone went about their business as usual.  And that included my husband, Rich.
On the morning of February 6, 1978, everyone went to school or work.  The sn…

From Tee Shirts to Rain Slickers and Maybe Snow Boots

It's hard to believe that after such a beautiful day as today, tomorrow is going to have a beast of a storm.  I was hiking the Borderland State Park today.  The temperature was in the 50's; the sun was shining and we were dressed in tee shirts.  Tomorrow we will be hit with a nor'easter. The people on the coast will be hardest hit.  It's a full moon, the storm will last through three high tides.  If it's cold enough it will snow, otherwise expect flooding from rain.  And the wind!  Get your candles ready because the wind will last for days, knocking down power lines.

Blasphemy Ain't What It Used To Be

Yes, I know there ain't any such word as ain't, but due to colloquial acceptance of the word, the expression, "ain't what it used to be," has become so familiar that correcting ain't to isn't, grates on the ears.

What once was, ain't no more.  I'm talking about a sin against the second commandment.  Back in the day, it was almost socially acceptable to hear God's name taken in vain.  It seemed the conversation was peppered with Christ!  I even remember a comedian saying that until he went to school and everyone used the name his mother gave him, he didn't recognize it because he thought he was Jesus Christ.  That's because every time his father saw him, he'd yell Jesus Christ!...

I used to think that maybe the habit arose because people were used to praying pious ejaculations and when surprised or something needed emphasis, they'd absentmindedly exclaim Mother of God!, or Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!  How about, "Oh, for Chri…

Historical Trail

One of my "cloistered brothers" was telling me about a possible ancestor of his.  I was curious.  So I googled.  My "cloistered brother" is black and I was searching for a black woman who started a school for black children around 1800.

Actually, she was easy to find because she was on television news a few days ago.  Evidentally, there is a proposal to put up a monument to her.  I am talking about Dinah Whipple.  She married Prince Whipple at age 21 in 1781.  Dinah was an avid reader and evidently loved learning.  She held classes in her home, which is credited to be the first school for black children in New Hampshire. 

Laudable as this is, what interested me more, was her husband, Prince.  He was a slave and his owner was named William Whipple.  As Mr. Whipple's property, he also was called Whipple.  For his first name, he was given the name Prince.  It seems that slaves were given names like King, Ceasar, etc.  The times are the beginning of our country an…


When I am surprised by the first flowers I see on my plants I always think of them as presents from God. It’s about midway between the winter solstice and spring equinox. So the surprise of flowers brings an expression of delight to my face.

The first time I noticed a flower was when I was watering my dish garden. I saw a white leaf- a strong healthy stem and when I turned the pot I saw that it was not a leaf but rather a flower. So I looked around my other plants and saw one flower on my cactus. Just now a few days later, I spotted a flower in my purple shamrocks.

God is good.

Saved Through Water

Lectio:     1 Peter 3: 18-22 Studium

Christ suffered for sins once, 
the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous,           

that he might lead you to God.
Put to death in the flesh, 
he was brought to life in the Spirit.
In it he also went to preach to the spirits in prison, 
who had once been disobedient 
while God patiently waited in the days of Noah 
during the building of the ark, 
in which a few persons, eight in all,
were saved through water.
This prefigured baptism, which saves you now.
It is not a removal of dirt from the body 
but an appeal to God for a clear conscience, 
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
who has gone into heaven
and is at the right hand of God, 
with angels, authorities, and powers subject to him.


This letter was most probably read and circulated among the faithful.  This is a catechesis teaching of the meaning of Christ's life.  People who are suffering can take heart when they hear this reading.  Jesus suffered, too, and He didn't have to.…

Boys Will Be Boys

The kids weren’t really bullying him.  At least, he wasn’t  taking it that way.  The kids constantly put-down everyone like that, even themselves.  Think of it as derogatory teasing:
You’re a wimp.
You’re such a baby.
Is that shirt your sister’s.
You have a face only your mother would love.
But today Paul couldn’t think of anything appropriate to respond.  He wasn’t in the mood.  So Paul shrugged off their teasing and turned the corner to go home.  As he passed the bank, he did a double take.  The shades were down.  His mother is a teller in that bank and she told him that the shades being drawn meant that there’s a robbery going on.  The employees were told not to go in and to call 911.  Paul tried to look in.  He didn’t want to call 911 for nothing.  His friends would rag on him forever if he called the cops and the shades were down because they were being dusted or some other stupid reason.
But he did take out his phone and dial 911.  A dispatcher answered.  Paul said, “Hi, I thin…