Search This Blog

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Dominican Study Group

Tonight the Dominican Study Group met. The discussion was led by Dr. Marina McCoy. Dr. McCoy teaches philosophy at Boston College. Tonight we discussed Nicomachean Ethics. I was "wicked lost." I just don't have the time to read the material that my "cloistered brothers" do. Maybe I should quit the group. I do love it. It's just that I feel that I can't contribute to it.
What would Aristotle do? Since we seek the virtuous good, then I'll stay. I like Aristotle and I can readily see why Aquinas was attracted to his philosophy. "The good of man is an activity of the soul in conformity with excellence or virtue, and if there are several virtues, in conformity with the best and most complete."
Aquinas takes Aristotle and pushes it up a level by applying God as the greatest Good. I like Aquinas better than Augustine. Augustine isn't as happy and optimistic as Aquinas.
See, I am learning. I guess I'll stay in the group. It is a "good."

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


My very first Spiritual Director introduced me to Carlo Carretto. Once in awhile I reread something of his. In Robert Ellsberg's Selected Writings of Carlo Carretto I was surprised to see that the last twenty pages were about "Death." I didn't remember that. Carretto lists all the reasons why he welcomes death. Tonight that was my mediation.
I welcome death because I'm dying (pun intended) to see Jesus. Will God the Father look like a white bearded old man? How will the Trinity concept be portrayed? How long will I have to stay in Purgatory?
Who do I want to welcome me? That's easy. Fr. Marie Jean-Joseph Lataste, O.P. I follow his spirituality, which I define as what you are now is what matters. One's past does not define one. Redemption is possible for all people.
Another thing I definitely want to do is dance all over heaven with St. Jean Vianney. I've wanted to dance with him ever since I read in high school that he wouldn't allow dances in his village. I was shocked. I love to dance. I happen to think that dance can give glory to God. Anyway, I expect to dance in heaven--with a lot of people.
I'd like to see my parents again. I'd like to meet relatives that died before I was born.
Geesh! I can make a list just like Carretto did. My favorite of his is "I love death because it give me back life."
Is that just Wicked Awesome"

Monday, October 27, 2008

Eagle Eyes

Today I had my last appointment with the ophthalmologist. Both my eyes had cataract surgery. He said that I don't need to ever see him again, unless I have eye problems. I don't need glasses anymore. I don't have cataracts anymore. And I don't need eye drops anymore.
The first thing in the morning, as I get out of bed, is to reach for my glasses. After all, I've done that ever since I was ten years old. It makes me smile, when I realize that I don't need glasses.
That's a good way to greet the day--with a smile on your face.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Last night I went to Mass so that I could sleep in this morning. No such luck. We were awakened with "Squeak, squeak, SQUEAK!" Dallas had caught a mouse. Dallas is the cat we inherited when my son, Mark, moved out.
I tried to get Dallas to go outside on the porch, so I could shut the sliding glass door and go back to bed. No such luck.
She dropped it on the kitchen floor. It looked dead. Dick picked it up with a paper towel and placed it outside on the grass. He said he thinks it was still alive, just in shock.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


By mistake, or God incidence, I opened my LOH this morning to the wrong day. I was reading Wednesday, instead of Saturday. I was just too engrossed in what I was reading (doesn't happen too often, so I went with it.) It was Esther 14: 12, 13, 9; Job 24:23.

King of the saints, all-powerful Lord, give me courage.
--Put the right words into my mouth, that I might
speak wisely.
Give us some time for repentance and do not silence
those who sing your praise, O Lord.
--Put the right...

Oh, how often have I wished I could say something to support the Church, or belief in God, or even words of comfort to someone who need such.
Now I have the words with which to petition Our Lord.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Jon's Birthday

My son-in-law, Jon, is 36, today. We just came from Cheryl and Jon's house. Cheryl, my daughter mad a delicious meal: chicken parmasan, meatballs, pasta, salad, bread, condiments, and wine. The name of the wine was thee blind moose. It wasn't bad, especially after the first glass.
The birthday cake itself was white with white frosting. I had my choice of cookie dough ice cream or reese's peanut butter ice cream. I had it all.
Good thing T.O.P.S. was earlier in the afternoon!


Take Off Pounds Sensibly is a group I belong to. It's not really a diet club; it's more of a support group. We meet every Friday and basically have a good time.
What was funny this week was that when I stepped on the scale, it said that I had gained a pound. So I took off two rings, a bracelet, and my watch. Then the scale read that I had maintained my weight.
If only it was that easy.

Update on Agustin

Ruth called the chaplain. She said that Agustin is innocent and that he should be released in a few days. Whatever it is that put him in the "hole," was bogus.
I'll have to write him snail mail and get the story.
On another note, Paul's father died. I'll have to write to Paul, too.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I'm worried about Gus. He's one of my "cloistered brothers", who happens to be in prison. He is a good man who did a bad thing. Yes, good people sometimes do bad things. He has been placed in the infamous "Hole." His unint was search and after the search, Gus was taken to solitary confinement.
Everyone is surprised. He is not the type that this sort of thing happens to. He is a prayful and pious person. We can't imagine what the problem is. He does have a bit of a mouth and is not afraid to write against human rights violations. Perhaps this is an opportunity for the prison administration to settle a score with him. Maybe, a fellow inmate planted something in his cell.
Please pray for him.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

50 Top Five of Everything

Fr. Philip Neri Powell, O.P. suggested that bloggers list their Top Five of Everything. Here's my contributions.

I am thankful for:
1. My 3 children
2. My husband
3. Fr. Aniello Salicone, s.x.
4. St. Stephen's Priory
5. Spiritual Direction

Glad I didn't
1. Enter the convent
2. Marry Peter
3. Become a drunk
4. " " smoker
5. " " drug addict

Favorite Foods
1. Maine lobster
2. Fried clams
3. Garden salads
4. Avocado
5. Ice cream

Favorite Prayers
1. Jesus Prayer
2. Our Father
3. Hail Mary
4. Salve Regina
5. Fr. Lataste's Prayer

Wish I Did
1. Learn Lituanian from Mom
2. Learn French from my Grandmother
3. Went into the medical field
4. Never stopped writing poetry
5. Learn to play piano

Wish I Could
1. Pray better
2. Love the Rosary
3. Help people more
4. Go to the Holy Land
5. Speak another language

Five Favorite Books
1. St. Catherine of Siena by Fr. Thomas McDermott, O.P.
2. Hope Beyond Hope by Sr. Emmanuelle-Marie, O.P.
3. Changing Habits by Mr. Robert Curtis, O.P.L.
4. Poetry As Prayer series put out by Pauline Books
5. My Love: A Prayer Journal by Fr. Andrew Greeley

Five Pople I Want to Meet In Heaven
1. Fr. M. Jean-Joseph Lataste, O.P.
2. Dance with Jean Vianney
3. Little Rose Ferron
4. St. Catherine of Siena
5. St. Dominic

Five Favorite Poets
1. Charles Peguy
2. Fr. Ernesto Cardenal
3. Mary Oliver
4. Steve Kowit
5. Robert Curtis

Five Movies that Impressed Me
1. The Passion of Jesus Christ
2. The Great Silence
3. The Devil Comes on Horseback
4. How to Make an American Quilt
5. Gone with the Wind

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Standing Pilates

This is my third class in Standing Pilates. I am getting better. And I don't practice, at all, in between classes. I think I'll try to remember to practice. It's easier than most exercise classes, certainly easier than the killer Zumba class I'm taking. You can do them while waiting for something to cook in the microwave, or the kettle to boil, or while talking on the phone--you get the idea. The idea is to keep the core part of your body still--firm, while you do balance type movements. I picture it as pulling my belly button all the way to my spine. It's great exercise for the lower back. This type of movement strengthens your core. The result should be a stronger back, better posture, firmer abdomen and just overall better. What's funny is that I always feel taller, after class.

Monday, October 20, 2008


PPC is Parish Pastoral Council. I've just come back from my parish's. It was a good meeting. We were talking about working on certain projects. I signed up to be on two committees--The Liturgy Committee and the Web Site. I'm interested in liturgy that's why I'm on that group. And I'd like to learn more about how to do a web site. I do do Our Lady of Mercy Chapter Web Site, but that's a google site; just like this is a google blog. IOW, it's easy. I'd like to know how to set up a site myself, design and maintain it.
Well, we'll see what becomes of it.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Arise Together With Christ

Tonight was my first meeting with my Arise group. I had one more person than expected. So there were eight of us. It went well. I ended sooner than expected. Everyone seemed happy about it.
We discussed the story of Jesus and the paralytic, Mark 2: 1-12. Some of us were the paralytic, some the friends, some were even the crowd and no one was Jesus. What I thought was interesting was that while we thought we were friends at times, and would willing bring people to Jesus, we would never push our way to the front of the line, and certainly not presume to take apart the roof and get to Jesus that way. That's too nervy. We also wondered why Jesus didn't reprimand them. "The first shall be last, and the last first..." or something like that.
But that's not the point, is it?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Day With Mary

What a busy day! This morning, a couple of friends and myself went down to the Priory at Providence College for A Day with Mary. Two Dominican Laity Groups sponsored the event. We prayed, sang, had a talk by Fr. Nicanor Austriaco, O.P.. He was very good. He explained Marian Dogma by going through the Hail Mary. He also touched on abortion and euthanasia--well he is an ethicist/biologist. He made the picture whole.
Naturally we prayed the Rosary. Father celebrated Mass and then we ate lunch there. It was a very good morning.
Later, I Lectored at the 7:00 PM Mass. After Mass I went over to the Parish Appreciation Night. We ate and socialized. Now I'm exhausted.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Library Book Sale

My town's library has a book sale twice a year. Tonight in four hours we made $ 3500.00. I volunteered to help out. I also had first crack at the books. I went for religion and poetry. Some people bought boxes worth of books. Hardcover books are $ 1.00 and softcovers are $.50. I think some people went for old books just to resell them on ebay or craig's list. It was fun but tiring.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Lord have mercy. I'm really too old for this. Today, I had my first Zumba class. It turns out that Zumba is aerobics to Latin music. I'm surprised that I'm just as good as everyone else. I'm also surprised that some people just didn't drop--especially the heavy ones.
We began so fast. There was no easing into it. Bang! We were moving fast, wiggling, gyrating, and anything else the body can do.
Next week I'm wearing shorts, head band, sports bra, and bringing a towel.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Something happened to me today that rendered me speechless. I was talking to a co-worker about someone who had a child with Down's Syndrome. She went into a rant. She talked so emphatically, so fast, and with such conviction that I didn't respond. I couldn't. I have never encountered anybody who openly promoted murder on innocent babies. She actually believes that if there is anything wrong detected in the womb, it should be fixed. If it can't then it is an unfortunate fact of life but life is for the mentally and physically fit. She believes this because of the tax money that is spent on special education. It's her hard earned tax dollars that are used to support the handicapped.
I was shocked into silence. I won't allow this to happen to me again; I'm going to do some research and have some ready responses to rebut her arguements.
It is important to remember, however, that this person comes from a different culture--one that aborts more than one child.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


A friend criticized my criticism. I happen to think that homilists, retreat masters, presenters and speakers should be entertaining. What's wrong with that? She said somethimes people are there to learn and not be entertained. But why can't it be both?
Personally, IMHO, teachers, priests, ministers, and lawyers make terrible speakers. They are so use to speaking in front of a captive audience, that they just talk--no presentation tricks. To have a successful speaker you have to get an entertainer. Someone whose profession is to hold an audience.
Don't you agree?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Magnificat's Pilgrimage of Hope

It was the experience of a life time. I feel spiritually lifted. I learned about the concept of Christian hope and to read scripture like a Catholic. I met more Dominicans than angels on the head of a pin. I ate like a queen. I heard music like angelic choirs of nine dimensions. I met new friends to send Christmas cards too.
I learned that Logan airport is the next exit too close to Boston Convention Center. Yeah, I found myself at the airport. No big deal. I just went out the departure exit. I lost my pocketbook and found it right where I found it. Evidently pilgrims aren't thieves.
What can I say?
I thank God for this gift.

Friday, October 10, 2008


I just blitz cleaned the house. I have three people sleeping over. We are all pilgrims on our way to Magnificat's Pilgrimage of Hope. I thought I did a pretty good job until I just looked at the closet doors. Ugh! They're louvered. I can't remember the last time I dusted each slat. Years and years, ago! Oh well, I'm too tired to do it now. Besides, my digestive system feels funny. I have Cronkhite Canada disease and I don't want a flare up. It's caused by stress and I think obsessing about dusting the slats in louvered doors qualifies as stress.
Tomorrow and Sunday we go to Magnificat's Pilgrimage. I hope I make it. Lord, calm and heal my digestive system. I would like to go closer to You through this pilgrimage. As is Your will, My Love.
There's a Plenary Indulgence attached to going to this Pilgrimage. I should prepare for Confession.
I probably won't have time to post my impressioins, until it's over. But I will--God willing.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Honorary Bostonian

Okay......I've been trying to tell you about this for two days, now. I was reading Boston Magazine
This issue is October 2008. The cover story is about envy/how great Boston's places are. The lead quote is from St. Thomas Aquinas, "Charity rejoices in our neighbor's good, while envy grieves over it."
ROFLOL! The last thing a contemplative would do, would frequent the places Boston Magazine refers to.
I'd love to think of the Angelic Doctor in Boston. Where would he fit? MIT, Harvard?
Last night when I tried to write something about this esteemed Bostonian, everything disappeared when I hit "Post." So I'm making a point to Ctrl+C before I Post.
This may be my last post until Monday. I'm going on Magnificat's Pilgrimage of Hope. I have three people sleeping over, and four people traveling with me, and ten people to rendevous with. I'll have a lot on my mind, not blogging--that's for sure.
All for the glory of God.


Last night, I spent the time to post about Boston Magazine quoting Thomas Aquinas and the whole damn thing disappeared when I hit "Post." Everything was lost. So as you can see, I just tested the waters here and it worked. Figures--I don't have time to write anything now.
Catch you later.

Bostonian Aquinas

This is just a test.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Tonight I started a class in Standing Pilates. It's hard. Very Hard! I'm sore already. I have absolutely no balance. I must hold all my stress in my shoulders because they ache. We were just standing there and gently moving, but I was sweating. What gives?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Lost and Found

The Suitcase Man has been found. He's been home sick for a week. Although, his landlady said she went into his apartment and he wasn't there. He says that he must have been asleep.
I still don't trust the Housing Authority. This is not the end. Watch. Somehow this will be used as an excuse to evict Jim.
He always did need prayers, now and forever.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


It was great, but a casual observer would probably raise his eyebrows over my descriptions. Everyone except Louise and I knew each other. They all come from the same region: PA, NY, NJ and Conn. They hadn't seen each other since last year, so they had a lot of catching up to do. Louise and I were new, so we had a lot of getting acquainted to do. IOW, forget the "silent" in this silent retreat. Each day ended with a social, which meant a lot of wine drinking. I couldn't believe the bottles of wine they polished off!
Praying was intense. I guess you could say they played hard and prayed hard. Saturday we prayed all four mysteries of the Rosary, by the end of the day. LOH was prayed, and of course Mass. There was time for Adoration, and Confession, too.
The retreat Master was Fr. Lawrence Donohoo, O.P. His theme was "Knowing and Loving" God. He is in the process of writing a book on his 21 ways of loving God -- or something like that. I could relate to his theme because as my eye is healing, I am seeing more and more, which I likened to knowing God's creation more and more, leading me to loving Him more and more.
Coming home, Louise and I were assessing our feelings about the retreat. We concluded that never mind the spiritual aspect, the community aspect gave us such a shot in the arm that our spirituality was deepened, our vocation was rejuvenated, and our faith was deepened. What more do you want?

Friday, October 3, 2008

Villa of Our Lady Retreat House

I'm waiting for Lousie to pick me up. Having just had eye surgery, I'm not that crazy to drive over five hours to the retreat house. I'm very anxious to meet my fellow Lay Dominicans, there, especially Helen. We've emailed and chatted on the telephone for almost two years.
And I'm looking forward to relaxing with Jesus. We haven't had concentrated time together since vacation. Chilling with Jesus, that's what retreat is all about.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


My eye is doing very well. The doctor took the patch off today.
I'm starting to pack for retreat. It's a weekend retreat at Mount Pocono, PA. I just looked up the local weather and it said 46 degrees. Brrrrrr! I'll make sure I pack warm pajamas.
The "Suitcase Man" is still missing. I found out that he used his "food stamp" charge card on Sept. 25th. But that doesn't mean that he was the one who used it.
My Love, I lift Jim up to You. I trust You to do what's best. Amen

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Suit Case Man is Missing

Jim, a/k/a the "Suitcase Man" has been reported missing. He's a "poor soul." I don't know how to describe him. Let's say that his cognitive ability is not normal. He walks all over carrying a suitcase. It's like his pocketbook. Inside is "stuff" he might need. Jerks sometime push him around, insult him, and he's even been "rolled".
I met him when I use to work for Human Services. He was one of our clients. When the department was eliminated, I still helped him. I'd help him fill out forms: fuel assistance, medicare, disability, transportation, etc. I'd bring him to the welfare office, St. Vicent de Paul's store, to pay his rent. He lived in subsidized housing. I helped him as much as I could until I got very sick a couple of years ago. That was a sign to me to slow down. I just couldn't help him anymore when I was coping with trying to help myself. All I can do now is pray for him.
His land lady from the Housing Authority telephoned me to tell me that she reported him missing. No one has seen him lately. Everyone keeps an eye out for him. The police haven't seen him around, nor the bus drivers, or train conductors. The land lady went inside him apartment and it didn't look like he'd been there for days.
I'm fearful that he might be ill, or worse. I also don't trust the Housing Authority. Poor Jim also has compulsive hoarding disorder. The authorities have been trying to get him out for years. I admit he is a fire hazard. But they don't find him any place else for him to live. He'd be homeless. He was homeless before, but he's in his 70's, now. He refuses to go into a nursing home. He just doesn't understand. Part of me thinks, that he isn't missing; the Housing is just looking for an excuse to take his apartment.
Sigh...............all I can do is pray.
I wrote a poem about Jim.

Sometimes I see him in the Common,
Sometimes he appears on the "T,"

It's Jim, the Suitcase man,
My friend who calls me an angel.

He's walked the day; God knows where!
Traveling for hope, looking for love.

He's talking to invisible people.
But they're nicer than most.

Head down, one foot in front of the other.
Plod, plod, plod friend.

"You are the God of the lowly, the helper of the oppressed, the supporter of the weak, the protector of the forsaken, the savior of those without hope." Judith 9:

Cataract Surgery

I'm back from my second cataract surgery. It went well. I'm very pleased. I was worried that the doctor wouldn't do it because my blood pressure was too high. When they took my blood pressure 144/78 the nurse just recorded it, not saying anything. So I didn't say anything. After the surgery, I was getting dressed and chatting with the nurse. I mentioned that I was worried about my blood pressure. She told me that during surgery something is fed through my IV to keep my blood pressure down.
Hrmph! I worried for nothing.

The Blood of Goats will Shatter Diamonds

                                                                        Greek bronze bust of Aristotle by  Lysippos ,                       ...