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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Tongue/Hand and Bread/Wine and Either and Both

So how's Christmas going?

Lovely,I tried to keep it focused on Christ. I hear that you Catholics do that.

We try. Of course that's what the celebration is about. Without the birth of Our Savior, Jesus, they'd be no Christmas.

We agree on that, for sure. I bet the music at your Midnight Mass was special.

Yes, and the flowers, and the Readings.

Was the Mass different?

You mean the celebration of the Eucharist, itself?

Oh yeah! What did you do for a Christmas Eucharist?

You mean the Consecration of the Bread and Wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus?


That is always the same. The same words that Jesus used.

Well what about the people receiving Communion?

What do you mean?

At the Mass you took me to, some people went to the priest, some to regular people, some had wine, and some knelt down, some bowed, and I couldn't follow what was happening.

Mmmmmm You've just hit a hot button issue -- how best to receive Communion. It's personal preference. Some priests prefer Communion on the tongue, and some prefer Communion in the hand. Some people, likewise. The same with the kneeling, and bowing. That's the way some show reverence. Most people in the United States take Communion in the hand. We call receiving the Bread and the Wine receiving both Species. Actually, that's a matter of practicality: whether there's time, the ministers to distribute Communion, and the occasion. The Bread and Wine is the fuller form. However, we Catholics believe Christ is present in even the One Form.

So who do you know to go to? Which line?

LOL! The closest to your seat.

What if you're in AA and can't drink the wine?

Then don't. I don't, not because I'm in AA, but because I had Cronkhite Canada Syndrome and it's so rare that it's not sure how it's carried. I'm probably not a carrier, but why take the chance when I can receive Christ, wholly and entirely, and receive the necessary grace for my salvation, in the Bread alone?

What if you have celiac disease?

The same. The Wine or better to call it, the Precious Blood, is wholly and entirely the true Sacrament, and the same grace is given, just like the Sacred Host. So celiacs only take the Precious Blood.


You can say that again. WOW.

If you Catholics really believe that, then why aren't you all receiving Communion on your knees?

Good question. Very good question! Because we're Americans? Because it would take too long? Because too many are elderly and can't? Because it's not comfortable? .......all of the above. As you noticed some people do. Others may think that's too show-offy. Matt. 6:6 Some pastors have asked people not to. It takes too long. What can I say? It really is a pastoral decision. But one or two people kneeling isn't too time consuming. But wait a minute. Don't get hung up on posture. It's important to receive Communion with faith and devotion whether kneeling or not?

I see.

I'll take you to some Masses where Communion is distributed by the intinction of the Host.


You'll see.

OK. That'll be interesting.

Friday, December 30, 2011

My Personal Top Five 2011

Richie and I celebrated our 40th year anniversary!

The Master General of the Dominican Family visited my Chapter.

My granddaughter's first birthday.

Family Newport Vacation.

New Translation of the Roman Missal.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

From the site "We are Catholic." Inspiring!

When is Christmas Over?

When I went back to work today, I was surprised to find all the Christmas decorations put away. That's it! It's gone. Christmas is over.

How sad. Another reason, I'm glad I'm Catholic. Our Christmas lasts until January 8th, this year. The Epiphany, the Feast of the Three Kings, where Christians celebrate the Wisemen bringing their gifts to the Christ child, is actually January 6th. but that's a Friday, so it has been transferred to Sunday, January 8th.

Some people actually exchange their Christmas gifts on this day, instead of the birth of Christ. It's a wonder some enterprising entrepreneur hasn't capitalized on these two holidays and hyped it up to two Christmases. But of course, the religious meaning of Christmas hasn't entered the minds of the secular commercial promoters. They promote the idea of Santa bringing gifts (period).

Hence the mind set of the people at my work, who took down the Christmas decorations. They think Christmas is a party and socializing and gifts. It is so much more. Again, thank God, I'm Catholic. I party, socialize, and exchange gifts, AND I experience Jesus in the celebration at Midnight Mass. Jesus was present in everyone at that Mass. The music, the singing, the candles, the bells, the incense, the prayers, the readings, the blessings, the Kiss of Peace, and listening to my husband sing Silent Night (now there's a miracle)enhance our communion with Jesus. It is a happy time for everyone. For Catholics, this feeling of goodwill last until Little Christmas, Jan. 8th, 2012.

Jesus came to us as a baby. He is not a God to be feared, but to Love. And He wants nothing from us, but our love. This is what I feel this Christmas season--God's love. This is what Christians experience and mean by Christmas. This is exactly, what the secular world doesn't get.

Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice! Psalm 96

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Want A Patron Saint for 2012?

Matthew from a Catholic Life is matching patron saints to people who request them. I can attest to this wonderful devotion. I have met and become close to my patrons, over the years that I have participated.

I've also requested patrons for my family and others, whom I thought might benefit. So it you, too, would like to receive the patronage of a saint, this year, click on A Catholic Life and ask for a patron. God bless.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Down Syndrome Community

Look at this website, Fraternities Notre-Dame de l'Etoile. They aim to develop and support small "fraternities" of down syndrome people who want to live a spiritually oriented Christian life.
Everyday's life is shared between education, manual activites, and prayer and services, in the parish environment.

Their challenge is now to develop many other such tiny "micro-structures".
It is essential to mitigate the fragility of the size by a united functioning in network.
So don't hesitate to let us be known by parents, by physicians, by anybody, family, teacher, who would be interested to help create a new "Frat" anywhere aroud the world.

May God bless them with many graces. Lord, secure them with Your Love.


Since I've volunteered to do the Readings on January 1st, I thought I'd take a look at them to see what I've gotten myself into.

They're good ones. I can relate, Gal. 4: 4-7. When the fullness of time had come, God sent His Son, born of a woman,...

Mary's pregnancy must have been like most women's--long, with much praying, worrisome, and with a lot of planning ahead. Finally, a baby is born. Jesus is born.

Isn't this how people convert? I use "convert" very broadly. I mean changing from non-believing to believing, not caring to caring, not understanding to understanding.

Coming to believe, to understand, to accept, or even to go deeper, doesn't happen instantaneously. It takes time. One has to be open, to accept (like Mary did). Then one day, after a period of gestation, epiphany! Thanks be to God.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

In Reference to Our Part of the Story

You know that post I blogged about yesterday. The one where Bishop Anthony Fisher put a kangaroo in the creche. Well, my granddaughter must have listen to him preach. Do you think?

Christmas Hokku

There is a missing Christmas card, a disorientation, a feeling of something amiss.
Your absence is felt.

Cold aching grief lies within
Christmas has arrived
A warmth lights a way to hope

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Our Part in the Story

Bishop Anthony Fisher, O.P. from Parramatta, Australia, in his homily for Christmas, explains that he once sent a statue of a kangaroo to fit in the nativity scene in Berlin, Germany. At that time, the Dominican Priory in Berlin was just emerging from being a communist nation, and had set up a nativity scene with many animals, and characters--from all walks of life. Thus, a kangaroo would be fitting. The idea was to show that everybody is part of the story.

Everybody? Sure.

Even the caganer?


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Special Day

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Not only were we celebrating the Anniversary of the Order of Preachers, but also the Jubilee of Father Anthony Prakash Lohale, O.P. Father celebrated Mass with his "cloistered brothers" in Our Lady of Hope Chapter and spent some time with them. Father enjoyed himself and was blessed.

Afterwards, we went to the House of Hope where some of our Dominican brothers live. We had a good supper and discussion. This slide show depict some of the fun.

Archbishop Thomas Cajetan Kelly, O.P.

I so wish the video showed his Dominican brothers saying "good-bye." The Dominican Salve is impressive.

Thank you Holy Father

From this morning's Zenit:


Embassy Marks Benedict XVI's 60th Anniversary With a Drawing Competition

VATICAN CITY, DEC. 21, 2011 ( Three Korean children today represented their peers in thanking Benedict XVI for his love for their people, and his service to humanity.
The threesome at today's general audience gave the Pope a file containing letters and drawings by 33 of their peers, prize-winners in a competition organized by the Korean embassy to the Holy See and published in the Korean Catholic daily "Pyeonghwa Shinmun."
More than 1,200 children from all over the country participated in the competition, which was organized to coincide with the Holy Father's 60th anniversary as a priest.
According to a communique published today by the embassy of the Republic of Korea to the Holy See, the aim of the competition was "to thank the Holy Father for his tireless service to humankind and for his great affection for the people of Korea. ... This event will help the Church and society in Korea to promote the Catholic vocation, increasing the 'sensus fidei' of Korean Catholics."
During Midnight Mass, one of the children will read a Prayer of the Faithful, two will participate in the offertory, two will carry flowers to the nativity scene and two more will receive Communion from the hands of the Holy Father.

Now that's a reciprocal Christmas present.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Thrice Blessed in Confession

Not only did the good Monsignor give me Absolution,tonight, but he also gave me new insight. No matter how old you are, you can always learn something new.
I never realized that my faults were abuses of my God given gifts.

Who knew?

And hubby is going to like the Penance I was given. ;-)

And also, I met my friend, Sister Lisette there. Sister Lisette is the Religious Education Coordinator for the parish. I was telling her about my planned trip to the Beatification of Pere Marie Jean-Joseph Lataste, O.P., and how I need to learn French. She suggested one of the sisters from the Religious of Jesus and Mary as a French, tutor.

Mais bien sûr!

The Religious of Jesus and Mary is my great aunt's order. And she use to teach French.

Qu'est-ce un cancre que je suis!

Hoping for Cheap Grace

The Light Is On For You - 2011 from Archdiocese of Boston on Vimeo.

Since I'm giving myself a Christmas present by going to Confession, tonight, I listened to Bishop Robert Hennessey explain the importance of Confession, at this time of year. The good Bishop said he gets a kick out of people rushing around, especially Christmas Eve, trying to prepare for Christmas. Think about it--Christmas is the same date, every year.

I see his point. I also see that he doesn't have to worry about money. Some of us have to wait for sales. The best bargains are Christmas Eve. This is when to buy a Christmas tree, for example.

So the good bishop segued into being spiritually prepared for Christmas, and don't wait until it's too late to meet your Maker. Don't put Confession off.

I can segue into that line of thinking, too. Don't wait for the sale; cheap grace isn't going to do it. Better to go to Confession.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Liturgical Dance in Prison

It seems that dancing is exercise and as such is considered appropriate to do in prison. This prison is Cebu Provincial Detention & Rehabilitation Center in Cebu Province in the Philippines. This is a maximum security prison. Since this is a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Ricardo Vidal I'd call it liturgical dance, wouldn't you?

Anyway, good luck to CPDRC. There are quite a number of You Tube Videos of the inmates dancing, but the program has been put on hold because they don't know what to do with the donations.

I have a few suggestions. I bet you do, too.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Slave Market Prayer

Father Nic told us the most captivating story today. I've tried to verify the information, but google wasn't definitive. Fr. Nic was teaching us to chant Salve Regina. He asked us if we knew the origin of the prayer.

The term "Valley of Tears," can be applied to many situations. In fact, this prayer is my favorite because of this expression, "Valley of Tears." But I always associated the phrase with my personal situation. Fr. Nic told us that the phrase was given to the slave market in Alexandria. So this prayer, was a prayer to Our Lady from the slaves in Alexandria.

I can imagine it being prayed throughout history, whenever mankind felt that he was in a "Valley of Tears."

Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.


Gabriel words to Mary about God choosing her, have always made me "gulp." Part of me says, "Thank God, I wasn't chosen. Who'd want to see their child tortured to death before their eyes." (OK, a big part of me, thinks like that.) (I'm not a saint, yet.) (Working on it)

I understand that Jesus redeemed us through His suffering and death. But why He'd bother with such ingrates as us, is beyond me (literally). (I'm not a saint, yet.) (Working on it)

Thinking deeper (Working on it), the point is "trust." Mary trusted God and said "Thy will be done." But it is more amazing to me,(I'm not a saint, yet.) (Working on it) that she trusted God through Jesus' Passion and Crucifixion.

I wish Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John, would have written about what Mary's thoughts were. Of course, it's not about Mary. Still, she could have questioned how blessed she was to witness her Son's dying.

(I'm not a saint, yet.) (Working on it) Maybe, she focused on our redemption. Maybe, she understood Jesus' teachings and knew and understood the purpose of the Crucifixion.

I'm the one that questions being "blessed" to be the Mother of God. Mary never questioned; she trusted God. (I'm not a saint, yet.) (Working on it) I need to work on trusting God to become a saint. I get it.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Vegetable Christmas Tree

This centerpiece is made out of vegetables. I just came from a party that used this Christmas Tree as a centerpiece. The inside is a Styrofoam cone, but everything else is a vegetable. The tree itself is broccoli crowns. The star was something I never heard of. But the decorations on the tree are cauliflower, carrots, cherry tomatoes, and lemon zest, or skin, for garland.

Very nice. Clever. Too pretty to eat.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Community Life

You know that often used verse in weddings, from 1Corinthians 13:4-7. I don't think it's meant for espoused relationships. I think it's referring to community life.

In Discussion Group, tonight, we were discussing how hard it is to live in community, especially a celibate one. It is especially so in a male celibate community. If you're competitive, and feel the need to present a certain persona, it is very hard to love your confreres. The verse tells us basically to be humble enough to forget ourselves--our needs, our ego, and consider the other person's needs. We need to see Christ in them, and one can't if you're maintaining the persona of an alpha male.

Love is patient, is kind; love does not envy, is not pretentious, is not puffed up, is not ambitious, is not self-seeking, is not provoked; thinks no evil, does not rejoice over wickedness, but rejoices with the truth; bears with all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Read this verse again, thinking of a couple making their marriage vows. Between two people in love there naturally is this mutual give and take. What bride is more ambitious than her husband? Self-seeking? Unkind? Thinks evil? Come'on! They're just getting married! This verse is wasted on them.

Now read this verse again, thinking of a Lay Dominican Chapter.

Oh boy!

Those that live in community need to forget all pretense, ego, ambition, and look for the best in their brothers and sisters. That's where God abides.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Augustine's Confessions, 10.27.38

Wrongly thinking that beauty lay without,
blindly I cast about.
How late did I begin
to realize your beauty lay within.

To one bereft of sight
you said Let there be light.
Thus to my deafened ear
you called, you cried! hoping that I might hear.
I thirsted, hungered, yearned.
You touched me, and I burned.
How late I came to you,
to beauty ever ancient, ever new.
How late I came to you.
Tim Murphy --October 2008

Monday, December 12, 2011

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Click to Mix and Solve
This is Our Lady of Weight Loss puzzle. Think I'm kidding. Go to the Kick in the Tush site and you'll see Our Lady of Weight Loss.

I don't think she compares to Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Managing Stress

Oh no! I can feel that I'm stressing. That makes me stress that I'm going to get stressed, and that might affect by health and the ability to be happy and live a productive life. I've already had one stress related disease. So I know it can happen.

OK. What's happening? I'm baking these tiny loaves of bread for Christmas presents, for people at work. Since they're gifts, I want them to look nice and taste good. And it looks like that's not happening. Some dough spilled out of one of them already. Messes dropped on the oven floor stink up the whole house and make me worry. I've already burnt my index finger on the oven rack. Santa better bring me some new oven mits because these are getting too thin.

They're still not done. It's taking these small loaves longer to bake than large loaves!

As soon as these are out of the oven, I'm destressing. How?

This is how to manage stress according to the Book of Faith.

1. Blog Yes, get on my computer and rant. I didn't even mention how I got stuck going to the children's Mass, this morning. It was the only time I could make it. Almost an occasion of sin. Then when I went to go to Chapter, I wasn't allowed in. It seems there was a mix-up of times. And now, my Christmas baking is testing me. So it's good when no one wants to listen to me (Hubby's watching the football game.) that I can blog.

2. Go outside and walk around the block.

3. Telephone someone and chat.

4. Eat an apple. Yes, I'm a stress eater and I'll eat something unhealthy unless I can eat something more readily available. Always have a fruit bowl.

5. Go to the movies. Today that wasn't practical.

6. Drink. Tea or wine is relaxing. Yesterday at a Christmas party I drank a Reisling called Relax. I think it's better than a Blue Nun.

7. Change your clothes. Take an inventory of your closet and see what you need. Get on line and do some shopping. When I don't have the money, I make a list of what I want to buy for when I do have the money--some day.

8. Plan something. Plan how to decorate the house for the next holiday. Plan what to do for someone's birthday.

9. Think of someone in a nursing home and think of something nice to do for them.

10. Pray a Rosary. It's particularly relaxing to listen to a CD of the Rosary. The ones I have are very calming.

The important thing is to take my mind off myself. I have to enjoy and not stress. Life is too short. Nothing matters except saving my soul and taking along a few others. Focus. Focus. Focus.

All is passing. God alone sustaining. God alone abiding.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Alphabet Game

The answers follow the letters of the alphabet from A to Z with the answer to # 1 starting with an A and # 26 starting with a Z.

1. They herald the miracle of Christmas.
2. Heard in churches on Christmas day.
3. Used in both decoration and illumination.
4. What little girls may like to find under the tree.
5. What we all do too much of at Christmas.
6. Where the stockings should be hung.
7. What everyone should have for everyone else.
8. Traditional Christmas decoration.
9. We like real ones outside and artificial ones on the tree.
10. Santa is supposed to be this.
11. What a German child calls Santa Claus.

12. Christmas parcels, when mailed, should always be
13. People kiss under it.
14. They get cracked during the Christmas baking.
15. First word in the song, "O Christmas Tree."
16. St. Nick carries it.
17. When kids are waiting for Santa they are
18. There are supposed to be eight of them.
19. Another name for St. Nick.
20. Meat often eaten at Christmas.
21. At Christmas, it's a lucky child who has a rich
22. Besides, meat, we should make sure we eat a variety of
23. We hang it on our front door.
24. Abbreviation for Christmas
25. In England, people always brought one home for Christmas.
26. The way some folks walk after an overdose of Christmas spirits.

Answers: angels, bells, candles, dolls, eat, fireplace, gifts, holly, icicles, jolly, Kris Kringle, labeled, mistletoe, nuts, O, presents, quiet, reindeer, Santa, turkey, uncle, vegetables, wreath, Xmas, yule log, zig zag These answers aren't open for discussion. They're not up for debate. I'm the mommy, that's why.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Santa Joke

Brother Tonto: I got a job as a substitute Santa at the Mall.
Brother Diotrophes : What's your job title?
Brother Tonto: Subordinate Clause.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

No Women Cantors

Today is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. I'm so disappointed. There are such beautiful songs about Mary: O Sanctissima, Immaculate Mary, Hail Holy Queen enthroned above, Alma Redemptoris Mater, not to mention concluding with Salve Regina Chant. But we didn't sing those. We sang songs most people couldn't sing.


The Cantor was a soprano.

Forget about fighting for women to be priests. That's a waste of time. Fight to ban women from being cantors.

I can prove that my grievance is right. Listen and watch the congregation when you have a woman cantor. Listen and watch the congregation when you have a man cantor.

Aha! See, I told you. Most people can't sing those high notes. When it's a male cantor, everyone sings.

Stop the arguing about womynpriests and girl altar servers. Take up my cause; no woman cantors. At least no sopranos.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas Cards

Writing Christmas Cards is fun. I like to connect to relatives and friends, at least once a year. My address book is a file of index cards. On the front is the name, address and phone numbers. On the back, are notes. Information like their children's names, birth dates, boy/girl friend names, etc. I'll refer to this in the card.

Most of the time, I just sign my name. I just don't have time to write more. It's the card that's the gift. I'm saying, "thinking of you." But it's the outside of the card, that causes me anxiety. I try to match the picture to the receiver. I'm not sending a beautiful Madonna and Child to my Wiccan co-worker. That would be wasted. She'll get a generic Santa, or snowman.

I enjoy sending the religious ones to my friends who would appreciate it. After all, Christmas is religious. I even mail these cards with the Madonna stamps. The other cards are mailed with the pine cone stamps.

It's important to send cards before Christmas. But people who write the newsletters with their cards are always late. Did you ever notice that? I think that's why they do it--write long letters. It's to say, see that's why I'm late; I'm excused; I was writing this letter; Aren't I more special? Not that I don't like the newsletter. I like to see what your family's been up to. But have you ever noticed that the news in these letters is always wonderful. I never read about Daddy got drunk and smashed the car and the police arrested him, and he's in prison for a bit. Suzie was raped. Johnny keeps getting fired from his jobs.

Every thing is always honkey dorey. Well, if everything is so wonderful, and honkey dorey, how come you didn't send me any money with your wonderful, honkey dorey, news?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Intents Intense over Tents

OK! I had to laugh. I couldn't help it. Kudos to Occupy Melbourne. Watch the video and you'll see that the police came to take down the tents. As they approached closer, the people popped out of the center of the tents. They were wearing their tents as clothes! Very clever. An example of non-violent protest, or should I say aggression. HA! This is a new version of passive aggressive behavior. The police didn't know what to do.

I try not to pay attention to any of the Occupy Movements. It reminds me of the 60's and the Peace Movement and these kids aren't protesting a War. Do they know what they're protesting? I'm not sure. Has it been defined yet?

OK. They've got my attention with their humor. I'll pay them serious consideration now.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

More Questions

Still haven't got a grasp on the Eucharist.

Don't worry. It's a mystery. Pray for the grace to understand.

I have lot's of other questions. Let me start at the beginning. Why did you and everybody else, stick your fingers in that dirty water and make the sign of the cross? the first place, it's not dirty water; it's called holy water. We don't drink it. Don't worry. Catholics dip the tips of their fingers in it, and bless themselves by making the sign of the cross, i.e.," In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen" This is a prayer. The holy water is changed often. A drop of bleach may be added for cleaning the font. Sometimes a font will have a liner that is changed often. But in any case, like I said, no one drinks it.
This prayer is called "The sign of the cross." It's so easy to learn and the gestures make a cross to reinforce that it was our Trinitarian God who died on the cross for us.

You may wonder why or what the symbolism is. Water has always been a sign of cleansing. Many Old Testament references a cleansing with water. Other religions also have some sort of cleansing ritual. The Bible is full of them. (Ex 14:15-22, Ex 17:6-7, Josh 3:14-17, Ezek 47: 1-12, Mt 3:13-17, Jn 5:1-9, Jn 19:34, Jn 3:5) So it isn't surprising that in our Baptism, we use water to cleanse ourselves of Original Sin. Hence, when a Catholic enters the Church, you'll see him remind himself of his Baptism, by dipping his hands in holy water, and saying a prayer--the Sign of the Cross.

What makes it holy? The priest boils the hell out of it--just kidding. A priest will bless it. That's it. I've seen people touch their fingers in the holy water, then touch their child's fingers, so the child can then bless himself with holy water.

Some people have small fonts at home, so that they can bless the family as they leave the home. Kinda beautiful, huh?

This holy water is called a "sacramental." The catechism definition of a sacramental is "every baptized person is called to be a blessing and to bless...Sacramentals do not confer the grace of the Holy Spirit in the same way the Sacraments do but by the Church's prayer, they prepare us to receive grace and dispose us to cooperate with it...They include blessings of persons, meals, objects and places." (Catechism verse 1669-71).

IOW, a sacramental is a reminder of something important. You've seen TV Healers put oil on people's hands to heal them. This would be considered a sacramental. A prayer shawl one puts on to pray, too. See--something to remind you of something important.

Ah! You got it.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Fifty Dollars is Fifty Dollars

Brother Tonto and the Prior enjoyed walking around the fair grounds. Every time they went,they found themselves in front of the airplane ride. Brother Tonto would wistfully read the sign, "Fifty Dollars a ride". The pilot explained that he'd fly over the neighborhood and your home--in their case, the priory. But the prior would say "Fifty Dollars!"

And Brother Tonto would explain, "The experience would be priceless."

The Prior, was aghast. "Fifty Dollars! Do you know what fifty dollars could buy? It would feed us for a week. We could pay a bill. We could help the poor. We could buy some books. Yadayadayadayadayad........"

Every year, the pilot would relive this same scenario.

"Fifty Dollars! Do you know what fifty dollars could by? It would feed us. We could pay some bills. We could help the poor. We could buy some books. We could get the plumbing fixed. We could send money to Father Tom's Kids. Yadayadayadayadayad........"

This year, however, when the pilot saw the friars approaching, he made an offer that the friars, (especially the parsimonious prior), couldn't refuse. "I'll make a bet with you."


The pilot said, "I'll fly you both free, if the prior won't speak--during the entire time."

The friars were sure to win. After all, they lived in silence. Mostly. Some of the time. Well, the prior was sure he could remain silent. Sure. This wasn't even a gamble; the prior would win.

Up they went. Brother Tonto pointed out the priory and the pilot flew all around it. It was awesome. The scenery was spectacular. God is awesome.

But the prior hadn't said a word. He was sitting in back and was silent during the tour of the neighborhood, the priory, and fairgrounds.

The pilot was beginning to worry that he was going to be out Fifty Dollars. So he did some aerobatic maneuvers. He did some spins over the fair. No sound from the back. He looped over the priory. It was quiet. He was rolling over the river when he noticed that Brother Tonto was turning green. Still no word from the prior. The pilot also noticed that he was low on fuel.

The pilot had no choice, but to land. As he was taxiing to a stop, the pilot remarked that he was very surprised that the prior could keep his mouth closed, this long.

"The Prior?" Brother Tonto's voice went up. "Oh, he fell out during your spin over the river."

"What!" The pilot was aghast. "Brother Tonto, why didn't you say something?"

"Well, because..." Brother Tonto spoke from memory. "Fifty dollars is fifty dollars. Do you know what fifty dollars could buy...........................................?"

Friday, December 2, 2011

First Christmas Party

It's a festive gathering, to celebrate Christmas.
The hot buns were delicious.


Hold the dessert. I'll just have the whipped cream.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

St. Andrew's Novena

St. Andrew's Novena is a prayer that is recited fifteen times a day, starting on the Feast of St. Andrew November 30, until Christmas. I know a novena is for nine days, but this one is for 25 days. The prayer is very short, so it's not a hardship.

As Catholics, we know we're praying to God, not St. Andrew. It's called St. Andrew's Novena because it starts on the Feast of St. Andrew, that's why.

It's a good way to focus on Christmas,because of the meaning of the prayer:

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Fr. Chris and the New Translation

It's a good thing Father Chris is Father Chris because my "cloistered brothers" and friends blew him away with our "And with your spirit."

The Mass began, "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." We responded "Amen." Father Chris looked at us and said "The Lord be with you." Then the walls reverberated with our "And with your spirit."

That's the way it was. Everytime we responded with the new translation we prayed loudly. We didn't mess up at all.

One good thing about the new translation is that it made us pay attention to the words in the Mass. And that's a beautiful thing.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Frere Benoit

Frère Benoît from M duf animation on Vimeo.

Look what happened to Brother Tonto's friend, Frere Benoit!

Help Build an Inclusive Playground

The Kennedy School is an elementary school in my town. The school children need an inclusive playground. An inclusive playground is designed for children of all abilities. Everyone will be able to use it. The Building Committee has hooked up with Pepsi Refresh Challenge. Pepsi awards the one with the most votes. So voting won't cost you a cent!!!! I repeat, they're not asking for money. They're asking for you to take the time to vote. Please find it in your heart to do so. Read below.

Help my kids school - PLEASE. It just takes a second to help

PLEASE!! I need more help!! We are #11 in the Pepsi Challenge and need to be in the TOP 10 to win.

As many of you may already know, my children's school is trying to raise money for a new Inclusive Playground. Our current one is deteriorating quickly despite the efforts of our DPW to keep it maintained. In deciding to rebuild we have designed a new Inclusive one, where all children of all abilities can play together.

I am asking for your help - it only takes a few seconds and cost you nothing. I am just asking that you vote for our project in the Pepsi Refresh Challenge. We are in the running for $50,000 and just need to reach the TOP 10 to win. We are currently at #17. We started at 43, moved quickly to 22, then 19, 17 and now we are at 11!! We need more votes and support!!!

Go to the Pepsi Website - If you click on this link it should take you directly to us - - There is a wonderful video that the KennedyKids are in!
ALSO you can vote a 2nd way by Texting in a vote - TEXT 109738 to 73774

Vote EVERYDAY until Nov 30th to help us!

Any and all help would be appreciated. If you could ask friends and family to help too, we would really appreciate it! Anyone 13 and older can vote! Please help my kids school!!! Our website is if you would like to learn more about this project.

Thank you
Sandy Brown
Kennedy Playground Committee

Franklin Matters: Help my kids school - PLEASE. It just takes a seco...: PLEASE!!  I need more help!! We are #11 in the Pepsi Challenge and need to be in the TOP 10 to win. As many of you may already know, ...

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Eucharist

This morning I was blessed with a an encounter with a poem. I say "encounter" because it touched me. I'm still thinking of my conversation, yesterday, on the Eucharist. There's so much I wish I could've said. But how could I, a simple old lady fingering her Rosary ever explain Transubstantiation? This poem says what I wish I could. It's by Monica. That's all I know. She must be a beautiful person to write so poignantly. I found this little gem on the Lay Dominican's site from Raleigh, North Carolina. The site is called Dominican Echoes.

A Single Drop

Just one drop of water
Yet a million believers
Poured into the wine
Tossing and tumbling
Swirling and whirling
Merging and mingling
Dispersed and disseminated
Into this cup

By the mystery of this water
By the mystery of this wine
We ask for what we have been given

Our share in the divinity

Inebriated and intoxicated
Co-mingled and consecrated
Grace filled and grateful
Blessed and beatified

With mere words are we joined
Transformed and transubstantiated
Sacred and sacramental
We are the Body
We are the Blood
We are humanity we are divinity
The flesh made Word
In this mystical mystery

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Questions About the Eucharist

Going to Mass was interesting. I have lots of questions, but first is the one about when everyone went quiet. The atmosphere changed, too. I could hear the old man behind me praying in a whisper, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus….” And then everyone said, “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.”

What was that all about?

This is the part I was telling you about that was so important, it has many names: the Sacrifice of the Mass, Holy Sacrifice, Holy Mass, the Lord’s Supper, the Breaking of the Bread, the Eucharistic assembly, the Memorial of the Lord’s Passion, death, and Resurrection, the Holy and Divine Liturgy, the Sacred Mystery, Communion, Holy Communion. We have so many names and terms because it’s so ineffable. It’s what keeps me Catholic. It’s because you don’t get this, that I told you not to come up and receive it.

Look. I’ll quote the Bible for you, this is from John 6: 53-58. Sorry, I can’t quote from memory, we Catholics don’t memorize verses. “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food, and my blood is real drink. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me. This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.”

There! Right from Jesus’ mouth. Who would dare tell Him that He didn’t mean what He said? Was He lying? Did He say pretend? Reenact? He specifically said, “Do this in memory of me.”

So even though those little round pieces of bread, and the wine, look the same as they did before the priest prayed over them, they’re not the same. Whether you believe this is not depends on the grace of God. If you desire to understand, then pray for understanding. Even Jesus lost disciples because they thought His teachings too hard. John 6: 61.

This is called Transubstantiation. I can’t explain it any more. I can give you books. We can google it, but I still say your best shot at understanding is praying for it.

You know, Transubstantiation is so important that I think that’s enough for you to chew on today. Next time, I’ll answer more than one question. I’ll meet you tomorrow: same place, same time. Your turn to pay.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What do you do at "Mass"?

While we’re on our way to Mass, let me give you a “heads up” on what to expect. I’m explaining now, because during Mass I can’t. I’ll be focused on prayer, and can’t answer your questions satisfactorily. After Mass, we’ll go to Dunkin Donuts for coffee, and you can ask me anything you want.

Let’s go through the front door up the long, wide steps. I’ve heard that every church has five doors, for the five wounds of Christ, but my parish church has seven. It’s a nice symbolism, though.

Every Mass will have two parts: the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist. The Word is first. Let’s choose a pew. Yes, that’s called a kneeler. We Catholics pray with our bodies. (Let me tell you about St. Dominic’s Nine Ways of Prayer, sometime.) We genuflect before entering the pew. Genuflecting is kneeling on one knee—as if you’re meeting Queen Elizabeth. However, when you genuflect to God, and we are, you kneel on the right knee. And when you meet the Queen, you genuflect on the left knee, because God is God, and she’s not.

The Mass begins with a Procession of altar servers, the Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist, the Lectors, and a priest will bring up the rear. One of the altar servers will carry the crucifix. He will lead. The others follow. You’ll see one person processing with a big book, held high. This book is God’s Word; called the Gospel. Without the Gospel we wouldn’t know that God sent His Son to us out of His love for us. It’s very important. In fact, you’ll see the priest kiss the Book of Gospels.

First, the Mass celebrant, the priest, will greet us. After the greeting comes the Penitential Rite. If we are sincere about worshipping our God, then we want to be worthy of Him. So we take a few moments to ask for forgiveness for any wrongdoing.

The Gloria is sung, next. No matter how beautiful the choir sings, or the congregation belts it out, nothing, (nothing!) can compare to the way my “cloistered brothers” do it. It really is a glorious affirmation of the wonder of God.

The Readings are next. Lay people read. One reading will be from the Old Testament, and one from the New Testament. That means one is from before Jesus was born, and one after. Between the two Readings a Psalm will be sung. The last part of the Liturgy of the Word will be the priest, or the deacon, reading a Gospel. (Watch him kiss the Book.) Then he will give a sermon, or a homily.

What can I tell you? Expect the worse; pray for the best. Priests are human. Some give good homilies. The homily should tie in all the Readings together into something that is relevant. I’m sure most homilies do. However, it’s the delivery that doesn’t get the message across. I think all priests should go to Toastmasters. I think they all should have yearly public speaker refresher courses. I think they should constantly strive to be better speakers. I’m not asking to be entertained. I’m asking for a homilist to deliver God’s message in a worthy manner.

Oh well…thank God for our ears to hear what He wants us to hear. I’ll try to listen better.

After the Gospel is proclaimed, we profess our faith with a prayer known as the Nicene Creed. This prayer is followed by the Lector asking us to pray for certain intentions.
When the Lector sits, you’ll notice the altar servers going back and forth with dishes, linens, and a book. You could think of this as the servers setting the table, with dishes, cups, napkins, and a book of recipes. We Catholics call this the preparation of the gifts. The book contains prayers, the dishes and cups are for the bread and wine. The linens will be used like napkins. People from the congregation will carry up to the priest, the bread, and the wine.

OK. The best is yet to come. The high point of this part of the Mass, the Liturgy of the Eucharist, is the Eucharistic Prayer, which is introduced by a Preface, and a prayer called the Sanctus. The priest is doing what he became a priest for. He is not acting as a mere human being; we Catholics believe that the priest, standing at the altar is Christ, Himself. This is known as in persona Christi capitis. This means that priests do not merely act in Christ’s place, or at his command; but are ordained, Christ, Himself. Christ acts through them.

We have many names for what the Mass celebrant is doing: the Sacrifice of the Mass, Holy Sacrifice, Holy Mass, the Lord’s Supper, the Breaking of the Bread, the Eucharistic assembly, the Memorial of the Lord’s Passion, death, and Resurrection, the Holy and Divine Liturgy, the Sacred Mystery, Communion, Holy Communion. We have so many names and terms because this transsubstantiation of ordinary bread and wine into God, is so unfathomable, that we have difficulty giving it a name. Through the actions of the priest, the bread and wine are transformed into the Body and Blood of Jesus.

That’s it. That’s the Sacred Mystery. This is what keeps me Catholic. My belief in this transsubstantiation keeps me Catholic. Thank you Jesus. It is a blessing.

The Eucharistic Prayer concludes with the Doxology, and then the Lord’s Prayer. The Doxology is praising the Trinity. The prayer will begin with “Through Him, with Him, and in Him…” and leads into the Lord ’s Prayer. Following is the Kiss of Peace. Now, you’re not politicking for Mayor, so just nod to those around you. Don’t glad hand everybody in the surrounding pews.

We will pray for peace, and the priest will break the bread, and afterwards, we faithful go up to receive these holy Gifts. Not you, not yet. It doesn’t mean to you, what it means for Catholics. So please don’t offend us by taking what we consider so sacred. It would be like giving a family heirloom to children, who don’t understand its value, to play with. If by the grace of God, you do become Catholic…well, then you’ll understand.

The Mass ends with meditation, thanksgiving, a concluding prayer, and a blessing by the priest.

Thanks be to God.

I’ll answer your questions in the next post.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Stupid Idea

You know what this is? No, whatever you think, it's wrong.

What it is, is...a stupid idea. It's the result of someone not thinking.

You see, we were celebrating my daughter's birthday, and the candles were all covered in cake, and ice cream, and frosting. What's the easiest way to wash them off?

Not the dishwasher!


Friday, November 18, 2011

Glorious just Glorious

Thanks to my sister in community, Mary Snow, I have this wonderful video of the solemn profession of two Dominican nuns. Please pay attention to the shower of roses. Remember these are nuns from Peru, the home of the first saint of the Americas--St. Rose of Lima. She is

pictured with a crown of roses. Roses are the queen of flowers, and as such are befitting for the Madonna (and Dominican nuns).

After the shower of roses, is the ceremony of the wedding ring, because these nuns are espoused to Jesus.

Lastly, look at the expressions on the faces of Sister Yolanda Del Nino Jesus and Sister Victoria de Nuestra a Senora del Rosario. Reminds me of my own wedding. I remember what I felt marrying Dick, a mortal. Imagine marrying the Son of God.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thank you Jesus for Loving Me

Yes, He loves me! He really does. He thinks I'm # 1. He's God and He truly loves me. Didn't He die for me? What more could He possibly do to prove His love?

I learned this more than ten years ago from Father Aniello Salicone, sx, and it was hammered home, again, last night, at Father Aniello's healing service.

Many people were there for many different reasons. I was feeling so helpless and sad when I saw these people so desperate for relief from their illnesses. Father Aniello explained to them that Jesus always answers prayers, and if you don't get what you want, he gives you something better. Spiritual healing is better than physical. God's ways are not our ways and His time is infinite, not according to our schedule. So we prayed to be touched according to God's Will, and the understanding to know and accept God's Will.

Thank you Jesus for loving me, is Father Aniello's favorite prayer, and has become his trademark. It's so easy; yet it says it all. I pray it every time I receive Communion.

Thank you Jesus, for bringing Father Aniello into my life.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

St. Albert and Alchemy

One of the mottoes of the Order of Preachers is Veritas, or Truth. St. Albert the Great, whose feast we celebrate today, exemplifies that Dominican search for Truth. There is a plethora of subjects, one could focus on, when posting about Albert Magnus, e.i., theology, chemistry, teacher of St. Thomas Aquinas, translator of Aristotle, medicine, botany, geography, astrology, general science, philosophy, and really so-so much more. He was the quintessential searcher for the truth.
But what interests me is his work with "alchemy." I had associated the word alchemy with magic. But that's not accurate. Alchemy is embryonic chemistry. By this I mean that it was chemistry before chemistry was organized into a separate science. In the early stage of alchemy, the experiments alchemists conducted were probably medicines. Some of which worked better than others. I can readily see where the term "charlatans" could probably have readily been applied to some alchemists. But alchemy continued.

Alchemists seemed to be interested in making precious metals by mixing common ingredients together. Trying to make gold and silver was one objective. There were other aspects of alchemy. Making an elixir to prolong life was another objective of many alchemists. Combine the ideas of making precious metals to prolonging life and you give rise to the notion of the "philosopher's stone." Legend has it that Albert found it. What he probably found was that it was not physical, but a spiritual concept: eternal life, living in sacramental grace, etc. At a time when the typical medieval scientist regularly resorted to magical incantations, St. Albert’s investigations were based on observation and analysis. His writings give some of the earliest evidence of the scientific method: the use of controls in experiments, verification of results by careful repetition, and conclusions drawn from sound hypotheses.

Albert constantly taught the connection between faith and reason. Each is incomplete without the other.

It is important therefore to recall that the truths of faith and of reason never contradict one another. The Church’s mission, in fact, involves her in humanity’s struggle to arrive at truth. In articulating revealed truth she serves all members of society by purifying reason, ensuring that it remains open to the consideration of ultimate truths. (Pope Benedict XVI)

Part of alchemy was philosophical. To Albert and others like minded, this meant spiritual. The search to heal and prolong life was the human desire for God. Searching for the philosopher's stone was the search for eternity--the search for God. Experimenting with common substances to make precious metals was an analogy of transmutation of the soul. Albert constantly strived to comprehend the good in the world around him. His influence was great; hence his name "Magnus."

Alchemy may have morphed into Chemistry, but Albert morphed into sainthood. Albert teaches us to trust in God. May all your work glorify him.

h/t to the Nashville Dominicans

Monday, November 14, 2011

St. Vincent Ferrer

St. Vincent Ferrer was a great preacher. On one occasion, when St. Vincent Ferrer was entering Barcelona, he saw the Angel Guardian of the city. He spoke of this fact, when he gave a sermon to the people. As a consequence, a special devotion sprang up toward the angel, and a monument was erected in his honor. At the hour of St. Vincent's death, a multitude of angels came to
accompany his soul to heaven. The angels filled the house in which he lay dying under the appearance of snow white birds of ravishing beauty, and disappeared at the moment that the Saint breathed his last breath.

St. Vincent is frequently depicted with wings like an Angel because he had a special rapport with the angels.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Hero in Matt. 25: 14-30

Well, well, well. I heard something new today. The parable about the servant burying his talents is the hero. Fr. Frank offered that idea, this morning. That servant didn't invest, or even put the money in the bank. That was what the "world" would do. Cultural, societal pressure tells people to save, invest, make money, and more money. But this little guy, went against the grain. He's a counter-cultural hero. He's not interested in the money. He gave back exactly what he was given.

He was punished for not going along with the common thought. Maybe he "offered up" his punishment (that's nun talk for "suck it up.")

Then again...maybe not. Do you think he knew what he was doing?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Always Praying

Fr. Kevin before Mass said that the first sentence in today's Gospel told us how Jesus wants us to pray. This is Luke 18: 1-8. Jesus told his disciples a prarable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary. Of course, Fr. Kevin is a contempletive monk, so he has the opportunity to pray. But how do we Lay People pray all the time?

There's the famous Jesus Prayer: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God,have mercy on me, a sinner."

There's prayer ejaculations: short prayers.

There's Mass, Rosary, Lectio Divina, Liturgical Dance,fasting, and probably more that I can think of. In fact St. Dominic had nine ways of prayer. Like all Catholics, he knelt, bowed, genuflected, sat, stood--Catholic aerobics.

The first way is bowing. Gentlemen bow to ladies as a sign of respect. Catholics bow to the

altar to reverence it.

The second way is prostrations. This is laying flat out on the ground to make yourself as low

as possible before your God. You'll see priest do this at their ordinations. It really isn't very practical for all the laity to do this in church--how. You could do it at home, if this type of prayer appeals to you.

The third way is penance. This picture is of a friar hitting himself. It's called taking the discipline. I'm not called to do this, and I don't know anyone nowadays who is, but in medieval

times, it was practiced. I would do penance in place of the discipline.

The fourth way is kneeling. This is the common prayer stance.
This is St. Dominic kneeling in Adoration of the Crucifixion.

The fifth way of prayer is supplication.

I picture this as talking to God using hand gestures. Since I'm such a drama queen, I could easily implore, shake my fist, beg, etc..

St. Dominic's sixth way of prayer is the Orans position. This is the position people use to

invite people to pray. The priest will use it and say, "Let us pray." The people use it at Mass to pray the Lord's Prayer.

The seventh way of prayer is stretching up your arms as high as you can. St. Dominic use to

look like an arrow. How's that for shooting your prayers up to heaven?

The eighth way of St. Dominic's prayer is Reading. This is reading and contemplating what you

have read. This may turn into Lectio Divina. There is no prescribed method for this type of reading except to pray beforehand and afterwards talk to God about it.

St. Dominic's last method of praying was probably the one he used most often. This is walking. Since he walked everywhere, he prayed as he walked. I pray when traveling. I may use my iPod,

but Dominic prayed and sang as he journeyed along. What better way to pass the time?

Complex Question Fallacy

 How do you answer a question someone asks you, when the question isn't true?  The question takes for granted an answer that you haven&#...