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Showing posts from January, 2018

The Patron Saint of People Suffering

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Lectio:                                           Job 7: 1-4, 6-7

Job spoke, saying:
   Is not man's life on earth a drudgery?
   Are not his days those of hirelings?
   He is a slave who longs for the shade,
      a hireling who waits for his wages.
   So I have been assigned months of misery,
      and troubled nights have been allotted to me.
   If in bed I say, "When shall I arise?"
     then the night drags on;
   I am filled with restlessness until the dawn.
   My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle;
      they come to an end without hope.
   Remember that my life is like the wind;
      I shall not see happiness again

Studium:

Job is going through many tribulations.  In the beginning of the Book of Job we learn that Job's sufferings are caused by Satan.  Satan claims that Job only appears righteous because he was comfortable, healthy, and carefree.  If all Job's well-being were taken away, he would curse God. So we see what happens when Job's g…

The Job Interview

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She wore flip flops
as an introduction

Bracelets bangled
bongo beats

Gum snapped
and popped.

Across the table
sat black suits

White shirts
solid red ties.

Number crunchers
accounting types

Her MBA with 4.0
Valedictorian

But rainbow hair
and eyebrow rings

                                                                 Clashed with décor
                                                                 offending clientele  

Favorites

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There are many times where I thank God for being in the twenty-first century, i.e., internet, cell phones, etc..  But it occurred to me this morning, as I read Genesis, that the concept of propriety and sensibility was extremely different. 

Imagine how everyone in the family must have felt about the firstborn. How would you have felt if you were Leah on the morning after, when Jacob found out you weren't Leah's sister?  No matter what Leah did, it was never enough.  Didn't you feel sorry for Hagar?  Think of all the trouble Jacob's favoring Joseph caused.

Sure I acknowledge that it is part of being human to have preferences.  But I like to think that today we are kinder.  We try not to hurt people's feelings.  We try to be fair.

Don't we?

The Imperfect Tense

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Msgr. Moran this morning gave us a lesson on grammar.  He explained that the imperfect is a verb form that Mark has Jesus use, e.i., Mark 4: 26-34.  The imperfect is perfect for Jesus because the tense combines the past actions to a continuing or repeating state.

The parable of the mustard seed is the perfect example of this imperfect use.  The Kingdom of God continues on, as that little speck that got lost in the dirt and forgotten.  That seed grows and grows to be a great bush so that even the birds can hide in its largess.  God's kingdom is even greater.  We will experience its reality and power, someday. 

May God's kingdom come.



Too Good to Miss Out (Spoiler Alert)

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I loved this book.  But you may not think so.  The book is The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb.  I give my books away but not this one.  I have to reread it.  Why?  Because I'm impatient.  The book was too long and if the story wasn't on my favorite character, I skimmed ahead. 

The main protagonist was Maureen, married to Caelum.  But none of the story would have happened were it not for Maureen.  I got hooked on Maureen.  I wanted to know what happened to her.  I fell asleep with the book in my hands because I couldn't put the story away.  Unfortunately, nothing else interested me.  Her husband, the other main character was just in the way of my reading.  Much of the book was on Caelum's genealogy and history.  To tell you the truth, I couldn't tell who was whom, when it came to his grandmother, aunt, lady friends and Cailum's biological mother.  I didn't care; I didn't want to read about them.  So I skimmed until I came back to Maureen.

Much of t…

My Refrigerator

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It’s weird, definitely weird.  I’ll step out and even call it a modern era phenomenon.  I know I’m not the only one.  Most people have one and do it, too.  If not, they know many people who do.  I’m talking about the refrigerator.  Specifically, the door of the refrigerator. 
My refrigerator door is a collage of….well…I don’t know how to pinpoint its focus.  It’s family, personal, silly things, reminders, etc.  I guess I’ll describe it as a personal memoir/note/calendar/family album.
The front has family pictures, postcards, medical appointments, grandchildren’s art, holy cards, an obit, the Patriot’s and Bruin’s schedules, a bottle opener, school photos, etc.  One side has a calendar, medical appointment cards, emergency phone numbers and extra magnets.  The other side kisses a wall; likewise the back.  Too bad, that’s wasted space.
Many years ago, the thought occurred to me that all that paraphernalia on the refrigerator was a mess.  So everything was taken off, and the door and s…

A Heartbreaking Meditation

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My "cloistered brothers" and I were in a meditation group, today.  The scene was set.

You're on the beach alone.  The weather is warm with a cooling breeze.  No one is in the water and no one is on the beach.  You take a deep breath of refreshing salty air.  You can feel the salty breeze and a little ocean spray, once in a while.  You take another breath of fresh air and open your eyes and look around.
     Off in the far distance, you see a black dot.  You think it's moving.  Yes, it is moving closer and getting bigger.  You calmly watch the black dot walk into being a person.  The person becomes an adult male.  Gradually you can distinguish hair and clothes.
     You somehow just know that it is Jesus Christ.
     You wait for Him to reach you.  His eyes are sparkling and He is wearing a smile.
      He speaks.  What does He say to you?
       ???????????????????????????????????????????????
       What do you say?
       Then Jesus nods in understanding, turns aro…

Just a Picture

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A friend gave me a book last year, that his parish was giving out to everybody.  It was a book about the apparition at Fatima.  2017 was the 100th year since the event.  The book is Meet The Witnesses OF The Miracle OF The Sun, by John Haffert and it was published to honor the centenary celebrations. 
The book explains what happened and has eyewitness accounts.  I've been reading a few pages a night, until a friend told me he was going on a trip to Portugal and Fatima is on the itinerary.  Then he asked if there were anything I wanted him to bring back for me.  I hurried up my reading so I could give my friend the book.
I've been thinking about what I'd like him to get for me, and I've decided that all I want is a picture of the real apparition statue of Mary--not the Fatima Pilgrim statue.  See the post where I explain the difference between the two statues.
I think I'll enlarge his picture and frame it. 





Home Sweet Home

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How do you like that!  Immigration, refugee, and political problems are in Genesis. It's just not today's problems.  I guess we've had them since the beginning of time.

In Chapter 26 of Genesis, Isaac brought his people to Gerar.  The Philistines lived here and Abimelech was their king.  God told Isaac to go there because there was famine in their country.  God blessed Isaac and his people with good crops and plentiful livestock.  Soon the Philistines became envious.  Trouble ensued.

Isaac's wells were stopped up with dirt.  When Isaac complained to King Abimelech he told Isaac to go to Wadi Gerar.  Isaac's father had dug wells there, so Isaac opened them up and used them.  Again the Philistines stopped them up.  The Philistine shepherds argued that the wells were theirs alone.  So Isaac dug up another well.  That too was the source of contention.  The same thing happened again.

Eventually, Abimelech came to Isaac.  The king told Isaac that he could see how blesse…
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Today I am unabashedly promoting my friend, Lowell's craft business.  He's a good guy.  He's one of my cribbage partners.  We both belong to the Trail Hikers and he's taking beginner's Spanish with me. 

One of our friends' had a fire in his house.  Lowell asked me if a wooden cross he made, would be an appropriate gift.  Crosses are always appropriate and I think our friend would love one.

Lowell's going to help me start a bonsai tree, too.

Clever isn't he?

Dream Interpreters Wanted

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What does it mean?

I was babysitting and while my granddaughter was taking her nap, I thought I'd use the time to pray a rosary.  Today's Monday, the sorrowful mysteries are prayed.  Somewhere from the second decade to the fifth, I nodded off.  I woke up after the Holy Spirit crashed through the window.

Not physical reality, in my dream.  I was at Mass, right next to the altar. I don't know who the Mass celebrant was, but all of a sudden a bird crashed through the stained glass window.  I looked and saw a white bird flying around and thought it was exactly like pictures of the Holy Spirit as a white dove.

OK.  What does it mean?

Culture Shock

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A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a book review on The Revenge of Mothers by Jim Fergus.  I loved that book.  And it was a sequel.  It was a sequel to One Thousand White Women.  Since I loved the sequel so much I read the first book, One Thousand White Women.  The book did not disappoint me.  It is a page-turner.  I learned a lot of history.  I did a lot of googling searching for people and events. Even though it's fiction, it's historical fiction and rings truer than truth.e

The women were an experiment.  The US government gave the women to the Indians in exchange for horses.  What could go wrong?

People gum up the works.  Love, hate, and revenge, etc. take turns rearing their heads.  The women adjust to their new culture, for the most part.  They may even love their new husbands, but forces beyond their control run them over.  What can I say without spoiling it for you? 

The characters are nicely drawn out.  You'll know them and make friends with them.  You'll care wha…
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The Argonauta book club meets this Thursday and I finished our book, early this morning.  Beholdthe Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue is about undocumented immigrants or dreamers

The story is about the Jonga family.  Jende lies to get in the country and has a lawyer who has concocted a story about Jende's life will be in danger if he returns home to Cameroon.  Jende works two years before having enough money to send for his wife, Neni, and their six-year-old son Liomi.  Neni gets a student visa and also works.

They do work hard and save even harder.  They are not lazy welfare recipients sponging of the system.  Things get better when Jende gets a job as a chauffeur for the Edwards.  Clark Edwards works for Lehman Brothers.  The Edwards family is quite a contrast to the Jongas.  Rich and the poor--the working poor.

But you know what happens to Lehman's.  The brokerage firm goes bankrupt and everyone's life changes. 

Jende loses his job.  Neni has a baby.  Cindy Clark takes to drug…

Adventure in Bereavement Land

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Adventures in Bereavement Land by Kathy Salzberg is my latest book.  The author is in my writer's group, The Senior Scribblers.  Here's her website: http://www.kathysalzberg.com/     She has written quite a few books.  I hesitate to list them because it may not be complete (she might have completed another one).

Confessions of a Mad Groomer
How to Start a Home Based Pet Care Business
The Everything Small Dog Book
How to Start a Home Based Grooming Business
The Dog Bible
Adventures in Bereavement Land

She is a busy lady.  She is also very funny.  Everyone enjoys her.  She always tries to find the humor in situations.  She was telling us a riotous story about the tenants above her apartment.  She had us in stitches.  Someone said that she would have told the management.  But Kathy sees the humor in the situation.  She said when it bothers her, she and the cat talk about the giants upstairs.

I thought I would read one of her books.  Since I don't own a dog, the only one left was Ad…

People Don't Change

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Of course, individuals change.  I personally know too many people who have changed their lives for the better, to believe that people don't or can't change.  I talking about people in general--the human race.  People are people.

This morning's reading from Ephesians made me think of the present times. Paul is scolding the Ephesians:

...you must no longer live as the pagans do--their minds empty, their understanding darkened.  They are estranged from a life in God because of their ignorance and their resistance; without remorse they have abandoned themselves to lust and the indulgence of every sort of lewd conduct.

Doesn't this passage sound like the people of today?

The Man Who Walked With God

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Lectio:Genesis 5: 18-24             


When Jared was one hundred and sixty-two years old, he begot Enoch.  Jared lived eight hundred years after he begot Enoch, and he had other sons and daughters.  The whole lifetime of Jared was nine hundred and sixty-two years; then he died.

When Enoch was sixty-five years old, he begot Methuselah.  Enoch walked with God after he begot Methuselah for three hundred years, and he had other sons and daughters. The whole lifetime of Enoch was three hundred and sixty-five years. Enoch walked with God, and he was no longer here, for God took him.

Studium:

Gen 5: 22-24 -- "Enoch walked with God" implies that he did not die, but was taken up to heaven to be with God.  It is said explicitly in Hebrews 11: 5-6, "By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and 'he was found no more because God had taken him.'  Before he was taken up, he attested to have please God.  But without faith, it is impossible to please him, for a…

Midrash

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At this time of year, the birth stories from Matthew and Luke that we read, are not historical texts.  They are called Midrash.  Luke 2: 1-20 and Matthew 18 - 2:23 are the birth narratives.

Midrash according to the American College Dictionary is what Jewish interpretation of scripture is called.  It doesn't seem to be an exact science.  The author is describing the significance of what happened.

I can identify. When telling the story, I am annoyed when I am interrupted by someone to correct a detail.  To me, the detail isn't relevant.  The significance of the point I'm trying to convey is what is important. 

Does it matter whether Jesus was born in a manger or a cave?  No, the significance is that his birthing took place in poor surroundings.

Do you care whether among Jesus' visitors were shepherds, angels, and/or magi?  I don't think the guest list has any effect on whether or not He was born.

Jesus was born.  It happened.  What is important is that the fulfillmen…