Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Preparing for St. Dominic's Feast Day

Happy Feast of St. Dominic!  August 8th.   Aren’t we blessed to be Catholics?  Not only do we celebrate special holy days, like St. Dominic’s, but every Sunday, when we attend a liturgical celebration of the Eucharist.
To help put you into a celebratory mood, let’s see what you’re going to do on August 8th.

Dominic is our inspiration and role model.  Which aspect of Dominic is closest to you, and what prayers appeal to you?

  1.  What picture of Dominic do you like best?
a.       Holding Lily
b.      Studying
c.       Walking
d.      Receiving Rosary

  1.  When do you pray for Dominic’s intercession?
a.       Before giving Talks
b.      Before explaining the church’s position
c.       When in doubt
d.      Before Bible Study

  1.  My favorite story about Dominic is
a.       Converting the inn keeper
b.      Selling his books
c.       Meeting St. Francis
d.      Seeing the Blessed Mother

  1.  Excepting Dominic, who is your favorite Dominic saint
a.       Pius V
b.      Thomas Aquinas
c.       Martin de Pores
d.      Catherine of Siena

  1. My favorite Dominican prayer
a.       Litany of St. Dominic
b.      Dominican Litany of Saints
c.       Rosary
d.      Salve Regina

If you chose mostly (a), you feel the most comfortable with Dominic as Master.  You identify with authority, and are a loyal and faithful Dominican.  Spend August 8th enjoying a lecture http://www.ordopraedicatorum.org/preaching/video/

(b) You identify with Dominic’s combining the intellect with the spiritual.  You love to read theology and argue.  You are a born Dominican.  Spend August 8th at the library.

(c) You identify with Dominic’s preaching love and concern: “What will happen to the sinners?”  Dominic was a gentle, compassionate soul and you love him for this.  Celebrate St. Dominic’s feast by visiting those in prison, or read about our newly beatified, Pere Lataste, who was a true son of Dominic: http://www.3op.org/eLumenate_Spring_2012.pdf

(d)  You like Dominic’s contemplative and mystical side.  You find Lectio Divina easy.  St. Dominic is a strong intercessor for you.  Spend some time with Jesus on St. Dominic’s Day, and go to Adoration. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Do Clothes Make the Woman?

The blog 1964 has an article about why young women are attracted to a religious order.  The author, Nicole Cornell attributes the attraction to be community.  I see what she's saying.  I agree with a codicil.  First, (and which Ms. Cornell probably just takes for granted), is that the young lady has to be in love.  That's madly in love with Jesus.  She has to be so in love that she wants nothing else except to get as close to Jesus as she can.  She wants to spend her life with Him.

Next, she looks around to find like minded people. She can't help but notice nuns in habit.  So she approaches them.  It's that simple.  Why would she approach a religious sister who doesn't wear a habit?  How would she know that that lady was a religious sister?

Even if somehow someone told her that certain people dressed like regular people were religious sisters,   why would she want to become a religious that looked like, and acted like, and worked just like, a Lay Dominican, a Secular Franciscan, a Third Order Carmelite, etc.?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Seacoast Boulevard

Seacoast Boulevard

My prayer place is at the end,
where steps of stone just fade away
into eternal depths of sea and sun.

Sailboats reverence, bow, and genuflect.
The nun buoys bob and ring, antiphonally.
The wind intones a canticle, a psalm.

And I announce the glory due today.

Friday, July 27, 2012


"a cloistered brother"

Why my Lord?
Why must I commit these sins,
The more I pray for strength,
The more the Demon grins,
I can hear the demons laughter
as I say I'm not afraid,
Jesus can you hear me
can you hear me when I pray?
Worthy I am not of Love
Oh Shepherd I hold so dear,
How dare I ask for guidance
through this valley soaked in tears,
self inflicted penance
Who are men to say where saved?
No more demons laughing
now they know I'm not afraid,
Angel prayers and secrets
no sorrow, guilt or shame
The Saints and I
know El Shaddai
and Jesus are the same,
fallen angels tremble
Horrified in darkness lost,
Satan lost his battle
when they put Christ on the cross.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Outdoor Mass

Final Blessing at St. Rocco's Festa

Below is an article I clipped from today's Zenit about a priest in Damascus trying to celebrate Mass in the midst of a battle.  I can't imagine.  
I've been to Masses outside.  I'm not a fan.  I know that God is in nature, but in the summer, when I've been to these outdoor Masses, it's too distracting.  I usually can't hear above the traffic noise, or air traffic noise.  It's too hot/cool/windy/damp or buggy.  I get mosquito bites.  I watch the bees hover.  It's an effort to stay focused.
So I simply can't imagine trying to celebrate Mass hearing gun fights, grenades exploding, people running and screaming.  I think I'd just cry, "Father, Father, your blessing and absolution, please."

ROME, JULY 25, 2012 (Zenit.org).- "God alone knows how difficult it is for me to find words to encourage the people not to give up hope," wrote a priest from Damascus, referring to the state of the city as rebel fighters advance in their efforts to bring down the Syrian president.
The priest, who preferred not to be named for security reasons, spoke by phone from Damascus to Aid to the Church in Need.
He told how he celebrated Mass last Sunday to the sound of shooting and explosives.
"It was the first time in my life that I celebrated the Mass … against the sound of gunfire and explosions. It was very difficult.
"We prayed intensely for peace. Afterwards, the faithful embraced me with emotion. Although they were still afraid, they went home strengthened."
People are trying to get by without bread and other foodstuffs, gas and electricity, the priest explained, all in temperatures of more than 43 degrees Celsius (110 degrees Fahrenheit).
The pastor described the city as eerily quiet now.
Despite stressing the city’s huge problems, he stated: “I will not leave. I am a priest in good and bad times. This means I am a ‘father’ and must now remain with my people.”
In a letter to relatives and friends, he wrote: “God alone knows how difficult it is for me to find words to encourage the people not to give up hope.”
"Please pray for us. Pray for our present and for our future. Pray so that [the violence] stops and that somebody saves what can still be saved.”

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Blessing of Hermits

“I, Brother Benedict Joseph Connelly 
vow to Almighty God, and into your 
hands, Sean Patrick Cardinal 
O’Malley, O.F.M. Cap., to live 
poverty, chastity and obedience for 
life, according to my personal rule as 
a hermit.  May the grace of the Holy 
Spirit and the intercession of Holy 
Mary, Mother of God, St. Joseph, St. 
Bruno, and all the angels and saints 
be my help all the days of my life.  
With joy I seal this covenant of 
solitude, prayer and penance, in the 
Name of the Father, the Son, and the 
Holy Spirit.” 

This morning at Mass, I noticed a Dominican friar.  But I was mistaken.  There was no capuce.  I examined his habit piece by piece.  It was a Trappist's monks habit, but the scapular was white, not black.  Maybe that's what novices wear?  He also wore a wide white leather belt.  The Trappist's belt is black or brown.  Whatever, I was satisfied with my conclusion that he was a Trappist novice.
    However, going up for Communion, he had those loopy things that Carthusians have.  So that's what he was.
   All my speculation was wrong.
   We walked out together, after Terce.  I asked him if he were a Carthusian and he said "No, I'm an ordained hermit."
   Needless to say, that statement opened up our conversation.  He was very approachable and affable--not what I would expect a hermit to be.  But didn't someone once say that you have to love your fellow man and his community, to become a good hermit?  I'm saying it now, if no one did.  What sacrifice would it be, if you preferred to be alone?
    His name is Benedict Joseph and the best was yet to come.  He lives in the parish where I grew up, went to school, received all my sacraments, and probably prays in my pew!
    I felt very blessed to meet him.  This post began with Brother Benedict's Joseph's Profession of Vows.  

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Jonathan Wayne Nobles

     The Story of Jonathan Nobles by Simon Roche OP -- 

·         Father Simon Roche, O.P. is the Promoter of Lay Dominicans in Cork, Ireland.  He relates the story of a “cloistered brother.”  This is the story of one of them, Jonathan Wayne Nobles.  On the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, 7th of October 1998, Jonathan was executed by lethal injection at Huntsville prison, Texas. Jon was a Lay Dominican trying to follow Jesus in the spirit of St Dominic. In 1986, high on drugs Jonathan, then 25 years of age, stabbed two young women to death and seriously injured Ron Ross; a horrific crime for which he was sentenced to death. He was convicted almost entirely on the strength of his own confession. He never took the stand during his trial. He sat impassively as the guilty verdict was read out and only flinched slightly when the judge sentenced him to death. When he arrived at the prison he quickly alienated himself from the guards and most of the prisoners.
·            Somehow, in what is among the most inhumane environments in the civilised world Jonathan began to change. In Huntsville prison, Jonathan underwent a conversion and entered the Church. A group of eleven young men present at the time of his admission to the Church were members of the St Martin de Porres Lay Dominican Chapter. Through them he became interested in the Dominicans and was received into their Chapter in 1989. In 1991 he made his final commitment and was instrumental in introducing other prisoners to the Lay Dominicans. He developed a deep devotion to the Rosary and to St Catherine of Siena. For eight years Jonathan was a spiritual leader on death row bringing the Good News to those who themselves faced the same sentence.
·            He stood as godfather at the baptism of Cliff Boggess, a fellow inmate. He later helped officiate at the Mass celebrated the night before Cliff Boggess was executed. He encouraged his companions to experience God's word in the Scriptures and invited others to attend the celebration of the Eucharist. He loved the Eucharist and taught non-Catholics to present themselves to receive a blessing at the time of Communion.
·            He accompanied all who wished, asking them if they would like him to pray with them, talking with them through his own brokenness, his conversion, his coming to the faith. Isn't it amazing that Jonathan could be missioned out of that brokenness. He was free, interiorly to do this.
·           For ten years Steve Earle, the country musician, corresponded with Jon who asked him to be a witness at his execution. Ten days before [He spoke of] his fire ‘for preaching and work for the conversion of others. When asked what he would like for his last meal he said he would like the Eucharist. Steve came to visit Jonathan. Jonathan sought forgiveness and reconciliation with those he had injured and whose lives he had taken. He suffered the pain of not being able to be reconciled to all.
·             Three months before his death he appeared on Tv and donated his kidneys: 'I want to do something good before I die.' Five days before his execution fr Chris Eggleton visited Jonathan. 'He came out in shackles but was not the slightest bit upset about it. He seemed so at peace.' They prayed and talked together for several hours. Jonathan told his story and shared some of his poetry, spoke of his love of Mary, the Rosary and St Dominic, his 'fire' for preaching and work for the conversion of others. He was so grateful that he could preach like Dominic. 'Look at this I can accompany others maybe help them to change their lives, letting them know about Christ. It wasn't always successful but I felt that if someone was going to be executed God could work through whatever relationship we had.'
·             'Jonathan was a very positive guy. There was no superficiality about this man.'' Jonathan placed his hands flat up against the Plexiglas divide which separated us and I placed my hands up against his ... He helped me to pray. Then alternating we prayed. I was so grateful that he accepted me to visit.
·             'Jonathan met Bishop Carmody when he celebrated Mass for the inmates. He asked the bishop to be one of the witnesses at his execution.' I said I would be there with him, and a promise made is a debt unpaid... I made sure I would keep my promise.' He fasted on his last day. When asked what he would like for his last meal he said he would like the Eucharist. He called it 'spiritual food for the journey home.
·            ‘The funeral Mass was held at St. Thomas an hour after Jonathan was pronounced dead. He was laid out in the Dominican habit; Bishop Carmody celebrated the Mass with others. Jonathan had chosen the readings and the hymns. A few days after his death Chris Eggleton received a letter Jon wrote the night before he died:' I pray that Our Lord bless you that his Spirit rest upon you; filling you with true peace and joy. I am very sorry that I do not have the ability to share in greater length with you here on earth or even in this letter. However be assured that I shall pray for you in heaven with Dominic, Mary and all of our Dominican Family. 'Jonathan had great devotion to Saint Catherine of Siena, famously known for befriending a young man, who like himself, had been condemned to death. His name was Nicolo di Toldo. Catherine describes what happened :(continued on p.30)Spirituality... Men and women cry out for an experience of hope in a world which has lost direction ..."Stay with me and do not leave me and then I cannot but be well and will die content. "... We can be largely unaware that he actually loves each of us personally. ..Women cry out for an experience of hope in a world which has lost direction- in the teaching of Duns Scotus, Franciscan Spirituality has within its hand that hope-filled experience and the end of that longing. For if God willed the Incarnation from all eternity, then it was always his intention to become part of sinful creation - sin determines the manner of that becoming, but it does not determine the fact that it was going to be. The Incarnational thought of Duns Scotus needs a broader hearing, for it is pertinent to all Christians and the world, not just the Catholic tradition. The Incarnation is of God, not man. Scotus is indeed in the tradition of Francis and his Incarnational theology is not complex- it is utterly simple: God is love and all that has been, is and ever will be is because God is love and is among us in Jesus who is ever present.*****(continued from p.9)
·             'I went to visit him ...he was consoled and made his confession ... He made me promise that for the love of God I would be with him at the time of his execution. In the morning before the bell tolled I went to him .. .I took him to Mass and he received the Eucharist ... there remained a fear that he would not be brave at the last moment ... "Stay with me and do not leave me and then I cannot but be well and will die content." I will wait for you at the place of execution and I think his heart lost all fear ... I waited at the place of execution in continual prayer ... seeing me he laughed and asked me to make the sign of the cross over him ... He knelt and stretched out his neck and I bent down over him ... he kept repeating 'Jesus and Catherine' and as he said the words I received his head into my hands ... '*****(continued from p.19)
·           It is possible to see Jesus as an utterly loving person who has done wonderful things for us and for all people, and yet be largely unaware that he actually loves each of us personally, and dearly wants to be loved by each of us. Our experience of deep and faithful love inhuman relationships in the course of our lives gives us a glimpse of what the love of Jesus is like. Meditating prayerfully on the Eucharist we may recognise that love. St Albert experienced it. He wrote about the Eucharist: 'It is as if Christ said: "I have loved them so greatly, and they me, that I desire to be eaten by them: they have desired to receive me within them, to be embodied in me as my members. In no deeper way, or one more consonant to nature, can they be in me and I in them." 'What Jesus began on Holy Thursday, he continues into our own day: in every celebration of the Eucharist he shows the full extent of his love.

This story is a true story published in "Spirituality" magazine of Ireland January -February, 2012.

Country musician, Steve Earle corresponded with Jonathan Nobles and was a witness to his execution.  His story is riveting.  http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2001/jan/22/features11.g2 

The victim's mother meets with Jonathan.  http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-18559_162-31506.html

Why is this story important to me?  It is because when my prison chapter was trying to be admitted as a bona fide  Lay Dominican Chapter, we were having a hard time, until the President of LFSD, Laurie Biszko read about Jonathan Wayne Nobles.  

Mr. Jonathan Wayne Nobles, O.P., wasn't the only one who was changed.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


A distant sailboat
learning to scoop the east wind
main sail stiff with salt

dips into the sea and
bounces back
again and again.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Fenway Park

Green Monster

A couple of days I went on one of the tours Fenway Park is offering, to celebrate being 100 years old. These are some of the things that impressed me:

The Yawkey Family is one of my new heroes.

  •  Tom Yawkey's favorite saying was  "Be patient, take the bad with the good and never look back."  My very best favorite hero, Fr. Lataste would agree.  The frame of reference is of course, different, Yawkey's baseball, and Lataste's prisoners.  But still.
  • When Tom Yawkey turned 30 he inherited his trust fund and immediately bought the Red Sox.
  • Jean Yawkey mixed the green for the green monster and copyrighted the shade.
  • Tom Yawkey spent good money on the Red Sox and never saw them win a World Series.  He did all he could.  I love the man because it was the game he loved.  He treated all fairly.  Even Ted Williams, who wasn't known for his kindness said of Yawkey, when Yawkey died, "I feel so badly, I don't know what to say.  He had a heart as big as a watermelon.  I loved the man from the bottom of my heart...."
  • Fenway is the oldest park in baseball.
  • The longest ball hit was in Fenway.  The seat where it landed is painted red.
Happy Birthday Fenway Park!

Longest Hit Ball in Red Seat
Faith at Fenway Park
Statue of Ted Williams

Thursday, July 19, 2012

My Bucket List

National Geographic Traveler, August/Sept edition, had an advertisement for travel.  I read and appreciated Andrew Evans' Ultimate To-Do List.  It inspired me to think of my own. 

My biggest dream is to perfect the Eight Beatitudes Matthew 5: 3-10:

1.  Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Well, didn't I carry the cross in the Los Angeles Catholic Worker's Way of the Cross, on a Good Friday?  More to do.
2.  Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land.  Aren't I best friends with the anawim?  Trying anyway.
3.  Blessed are they who mourn: for they shall be comforted.  Sometimes in prayer, I am brought to tears over man's inhumanity to man.  There is much to mourn over.
4.  Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill.  Aren't I trying to correct injustices?  I'm trying.  I'm trying.
5.  Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.  I pray for mercy for all those in prisons and bondage of all kinds.
6.  Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God.  My heart is clean after the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  I am for a pure conscience.
7.  Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.  How many times have the opposing sides turned on me, trying to reconcile their differences?  But I don't give up.  
8.  Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  I have to work to obey your Ten Commandments.  Sometimes it's very difficult, but I keep at it.

After the Big Eight, I have my Family Bucket List:

1.  Instill a love of God in all my family.
2.  Teach that kindness is one of the highest virtues.
3.  Teach how important commitment is.
4.  Have a family that prays together.
5.  Introduce nature walks and an appreciation of nature.
6.  Instill a love of reading.
7.  Make sure everyone knows how to swim.
8.  Make sure everyone knows how to drive.

Next is my Lay Dominican To Do List:

1.  Walk the Steps of St. Dominic.
2.  Visit Father Tom's Kids
3.  Visit Fanjeaux and Prouhille
4.  Visit Cadillac prison
5.  Visit Toulouse
6.  Visit Siena
7.  Visit Santa Sabina
8.  Go on a retreat at the Resurrection Community in Caso, ME

Last, and least, is what I kinda wish I could do:

1.  Go on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land
2.  Visit Korea to see the places my Korean students told me about
3.  Visit Lithuania to soak up ancestral history
4.  Walk the Wall in China
5.  Visit all the lighthouses along the coast of New England
6.  Ride a pink jeep over the sand dunes in "P town"
7.  Learn another language
8.  Walk El Camino de Santiago

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Prison Blessings

My "cloistered brothers" and I were discussing blessings tonight.  We were impressed how many blessings there are all around us.  But one needs "eyes that see, and ears that hear." Proverbs 20:12.  Even events, that we once perceived as tragedies, and the worst days of our lives, in retrospect were a necessary part of what we needed to get closer to God.  We see that now.

Even prison.  One "cloistered brother" said he doesn't regret a minute of being in prison.  He found God.  He loves God.  He wants to spend the rest of his life learning about God, praying to Him, and serving Him.  And if he weren't in prison, he doesn't know if he'd be able to do that.  The prison is his monastery.  

Monday, July 16, 2012


Peg's Yes
This morning the homily was about Mary's Annunciation.  Father related the story of talking to children about Mary saying "Yes," to becoming the Mother of God.  The children were asked if they would say "yes."  They responded with a resounding "Yes."

Father then turned to the nuns and asked them if they would say "Yes."  Their response was YES.

Father then turned to us laity in the pews, and we said "Yes" -- sorta.

I admit, I didn't.  I wanted to, but hesitated.  I wanted to know the implications of my "Yes."  After all, the God of the Old Testament is vengeful, and mean.  Sometimes, I wonder about the view of God given by Jesus.


I was thinking of when I'd be the elder son in the Prodigal Son (Matt 21: 28-32, or the poor slob who was suckered into slaving all the day in the field Matt 20: 1-16), or the timid honest one who buried his master talents ( Matt 25: 14-30), etc.

I would want a guarantee that I'd be loved and cared for, and that God would never abandon me. Luckily, I recalled Romans 8:31-39 "What shall we then say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He that didn't spare his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, will he not also give us, with him, all things freely?... For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to be, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."  

So when Mass was finished, and Father again asked us, "Would you say 'yes' to God?"

I shouted, "YES"! 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha

Catherine Tekakwitha 
By Eliza Allen Starr
The sweet-briar rose of summer glades
We lay upon another shrine;*
The lily of the Mohawk woods,
O dusky maiden! shall be thine.

One pendent flower, upon a stem
With leaves enfolded, pearly white;
Itself, its eaves, its very stalk
Like frost-work set in summer light.

Though swaying to the lightest breeze,
No fibre gives it earthly hold;
A miracle of beauty, seen
Upspringing from the forest mould.**

And thus, in innocence of soul,
A Mohawk maiden, orphaned, shy,
Grew up within a cabin’s shade,
Almost apart from human eye.

Left at her birth to warlike kin,
A stranger to all gentle care,
Death gave to her an unseen shield-
Her Christian mother’s dying prayer.

The April airs, though long delayed,
Are not so welcome to the fir,
Nor through the wind-flower’s slender stem
So swift a sense of gladness stir,
As Heaven’s full message, sent, at length,
Through Christian teachers to the maid;
Which found her, waiting still, within
A Mohawk cabin’s humble shade.
Thenceforth the Bread, thenceforth the Wine
“Which springs forth virgins” was her food
“Oh! who will show me,” still she cried,
“The perfect way, the highest good?”

As new-fledged eagles seek the sun,
Her soul to joys mysterious soared;
the Sovereign Beauty claimed His spouse;
She loved where she had first adored.

The lonely cross which marks her grave,
The Old World’s pilgrim oft has stayed;
Still pauses here to ask her aid.

The foaming torrents hoarsely chant
Her virgin praises, year by year;
And Indian maidens love to bring
Their griefs their joys, their wishes, here.

Then, let the rose of summer glades
Be laid upon another shrine;
The lily of the Mohawk woods;
O dusky maiden! shall be thine.
 NOTE: Eliza Allen Starr was a convert and a prominent Catholic poet in 19th century America.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

This is the place, where I'm giving a Talk, tomorrow.  It's not the inside of Mary Immaculate of Lourdes; it's one of the parish buildings.  I'm speaking to the St. Dominic Chapter of Lay Dominicans, there.  The topic is the beatification of Blessed John Joseph Lataste, O.P.

It's going to be a lot of give and take.  I'm going to ask them more questions, than they're going to ask me.

What's the process of canonization?
Where are beatifications held?
What do you think of our new Dominican Blessed?

Then I'll ask them to pray for his canonization.

pictures  Of course, you've seen those.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Prophets of Doom

Drought stretches across America


Catholic Schism: Diarmaid MacCulloch, Influential Church Historian, Predicts Major Division In 'Silence In Christian History'

What do you think when you read headlines like the above?  Does the "end of the world," come to mind?  The Second Coming is near.

Let me put your mind to rest.  In today's Midday Prayer, Psalm 60 is introduced with these calming words, "You will suffer in the world, but have confidence: I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)  

O God, you have rejected us and broken us.
You have been angry; come back to us.

God is not vengeful. God does not take His anger out on His people.  Think about it.  Think.  Do you think that the God who came as a helpless babe, among the poor, would do that?  Think.  Destruction, wrath, war, natural disasters, etc., just isn't the way He operates.

It's not the way He responds.  Think of the indignities Jesus went through.  Think of Jesus' crucifixion.

It's not God's way.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Badda Bing, Badda Boom

Saint Monica   and    St. Augustine
My "cloistered brothers" and I were discussing Augustine's Confessions, Book 8, in Dominican Study Group, tonight.   Attention was called on Augustine's process of conversion.  He resisted.  He wrestled with himself.  He even came to the conclusion that the Church was true, but hesitated about joining.  He dragged his feet about converting.  He suffered from inertia.
You know the rest of the story.  The child's voice telling him to "Take up and read."
badda bingbadda boom
Although, the child's voice was the impetus to get Augustine up off his duff, his conversion process is not that unusual.    One of my "cloistered brothers" pointed out that most of us move into a deeper spiritual direction, in much the same way.  We don't look for a bolt of lightning, or a voice, but something moves us.  We're open.  We know the Church is true.  But we're too content with our own life styles to think too much about how, or whether we should, commit ourselves into a closer relationship with God.
Maybe we're too busy with our teen age lives.  Maybe we're just beginning our careers.  Our young families keep us very busy.  Whatever...we know the Church is there...but we put it on hold.
Then one day, we have an empty nest, and it's quiet.  It's quiet enough to hear the voice of God.
badda bingbadda boom
Maybe one day a friend takes us to a Life in the Spirit Seminar.
badda bingbadda boom
Maybe a relative takes us to a Cursillo.
badda bingbadda boom
Perhaps, curiosity takes us to a charismatic healing service.
badda bingbadda boom
We go to Medjugorje to see what all the hoopla is about.
badda bingbadda boom
A bolt of lightning could knock you off your donkey.
badda bingbadda boom
And then again, a child could tell you, "Take up and read."


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Catholic Writers Conference

M E D I A   R E L E A S E

Ann Margaret Lewis
Phone:  (317) 755-2693
e-mail: cwglivecon@catholicwritersguild.com 

For Immediate Release

Catholic Writers to Hold Conference in Arlington, Texas

Arlington, TX--The fourth annual Catholic Writers’ Conference LIVE will take place August 29-31, 2012, at the Arlington Convention Center in Arlington, TX. Sponsored by the Catholic Writer’s Guild and the Catholic Marketing Network (CMN), and held in conjunction with CMN’s annual retailer trade show, the Catholic Writers Conference LIVE provides Catholic authors with a prime opportunity to meet and share their faith with editors, publishers, fellow writers, and bookstore owners from across the globe.

The conference will offer “pitch sessions,” allowing authors an opportunity to meet personally with publishing professionals and pitch their writing projects. In addition, attendees have the opportunity to sign up for critique with professional editors and writers. Some participating publishers are Ignatius Press, Ave Maria Press, Christus Publishing, Tuscany Press, Ascension Press and Servant Books. Information for this event can be found on the conference web site.

This year's conference will focus on “Writing and the New Evangelization.” Speakers include EWTN personalities Teresa Tomeo and Father Andrew Apostoli, CFR, authors Ellen Hrkach (In NAME ONLY) and Patti Armstrong (STORIES FOR THE HOMESCHOOL HEART), Ann Margaret Lewis (MURDER IN THE VATICAN: THE CHURCH MYSTERIES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES), and author and blogger Sarah Reinhard (A CATHOLIC MOTHER’S COMPANION TO PREGNANCY: WALKING WITH MARY FROM CONCEPTION TO BAPTISM). More excellent speakers are still being confirmed.

In partnership with the Catholic New Media Conference, also taking place in the convention center, conference attendees will be able to attend a special track on blogging for $25. Information on this opportunity will be made to attendees upon registration.

“It's not just writing, it's not just fellowship, it's inspiration, too!” says 2011 Conference presenter Sarah Reinhard. “It was great to share the Eucharist and evening meals in person with writers who inspire me, encourage me, and motivate me the rest of the year.”

The Catholic Writers Guild, a religious non-profit organization affiliated with the Archdiocese of Indianapolis sponsors both this live conference in August and an online conference in February to further its mission of promoting Catholic literature. Says CWG President Ann Lewis, “These events are integral to our mission of ‘creating a rebirth of Catholic arts and letters.”

Registration costs $70 for CWG members, $75 for non-members and $40 for students. There's also a discounted combined membership. To register or for more information, go to http://www.catholicwritersconference.com.
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Graphics, interviews and further information available upon request.

Ann Lewis talks about #Catholic #Writers #Conference on Catholic Connection with Teresa Tomeo Mon 9:30 AM http://avemariaradio.net/christian-radio-host.php/Teresa-Tomeo/

Catholic Writers! #Catholic #Writers #Conference LIVE in #Arlington, TX 8/29-31 http://www.catholicwritersconference.com/

Theme for CWCL—the new evangelization

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Past Does Not Define You

I've heard the Gospel for the Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, three times: Mass, a Communion Service, and again tonight at Mass for my "cloistered brothers."  This means that I've heard three different homilies for Mark 6: 1-6.  Not one homilist has my take on the scripture.

I can see very well how the people of Jesus' hometown saw Him.  Isn't this the bratty kid I beat up in Kindergarten?  Isn't this the kid we called "Snots" because his nose was always running?

Seeing Jesus from that perspective, who would believe that he was the Messiah?

Some people are locked in their own perspectives of certain people.  Some don't believe people can change.  Some can't get over what once was, or what once was done.

Can criminals change?  Can convicts be good people?

No.  I'm not surprised at people's reactions to Jesus, at all.  Nope; not one bit.

"God does not look at what we have been; God sees only what we are."  (Words of Fr. Jean Joseph Lataste OP - from a retreat given to the women at Cadillac Prison, France 1864)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Dominican Litany of Saints

You thought the Litany was long before.  Blessed Lataste has been added.  He's the friar in the middle of this picture. Sorry it's so poor.  It's a picture of a holy card, one of my "cloistered brothers" drew it.  That's Pere Lataste in the center.  Mother Henri Dominique is last, in the second row, right.  An anonymous "cloistered brother" is in front--the only one not in habit.  He's just wearing the Dominican Laity's scapular for those who are Final Promised.  Oh! There's one other not in habit.  First row right, the last  lady, is in 1860 French prison garb, representing a prisoner from Cadillac prison.  To understand this cast of holy people, please read the Spring edition of eLumenate.

As I was saying, the Litany of Dominican saints is not an ejaculatory prayer.   It's very long.   It's not said often.  One reason is because it's so long, but also, it's potent.  It's a powerful prayer.  Over the weekend, the President of the LFSD was requested by our Provincial, to start praying the Litany.  It seems that Archbishop Augustine Di Noia, O.P. has requested that the Dominican Litany be prayed for the success of full reconciliation of the Society of Pius X with Rome.  Archbishop Di Noia has been made vice president of the commission charged with bringing the SSPX back home.

The last time the Dominican Litany was prayed by the Dominican Family was to pray for a satisfactory solution to bring back those Anglicans who wish to come back to Rome.  Archbishop DiNoia helped set up the personal ordinoriates to accommodate all those Anglicans.  The Dominican Litany was successful then, and will be again.  You are welcome to join us.

Litany of Dominican Saints and Blesseds
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
Christ, hear us .Christ, graciously hear us.

God, the heavenly Father, have mercy on us.
God, the heavenly Father, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the World, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the World, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us. God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us. Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, Pray for us.
Holy Mother of God,
Holy Virgin of Virgins,

Saint Michael,
Saint Gabriel,
Saint Raphael,
Saint Joseph,
Saint John the Baptist,

All you holy angels and archangels,
All you holy patriarchs and prophets,
All you holy apostles and evangelists,
All you holy martyrs,
All you holy virgins and widows,
All you holy men and women,
Saint Mary Magdalene,
Saint Catherine of Alexandria,
Saint Augustine,
Holy Father Francis,
Blessed Jane of Aza,
Blessed Reginald of Orleans,
Holy Father Dominic,
Holy Father Dominic,
Blessed Bertrand,
Blessed Mannes,
Blessed Diana,
Blessed Jordan of Saxony,
Blessed John of Salerno,
Blessed William and Companions,
Blessed Ceslaus,
 Blessed Isnard,
 Blessed Guala,
Blessed Peter Gonzalez,
Saint Zdîslava,
Saint Peter of Verona,
Blessed Nicholas of Paglia,
Saint Hyacinth,
Blessed Gonsalvo,
Blessed Sadoc and Companions,
Blessed Giles,
Saint Margaret of Hungary,
Blessed Bartholomew of Vicenza,
Saint Thomas Aquinas,
Saint Raymond of Penyãfort,
Blessed Innocent,
Blessed Albert of Bergamo,
Saint Albert the Great,
Blessed John of Vercelli,
Blessed Ambrose,
Blessed Cecilia,
Blessed Benvenuta,

Blessed James of Varazze
Blessed James of Bevagna,
Blessed Benedict,
Blessed Jane of Orvieto,
Blessed Jordan of Pisa,
Blessed Emily,
Blessed James Salomonio,
Saint Agnes of Montepulciano,
Blessed Simon,
Blessed Margaret of Castello,
Blessed Augustine Kazotic,
Blessed James Benefatti,
Blessed Imelda,
Blessed Dalmatius,
Blessed Margaret Ebner,
Blessed Villana,
Blessed Peter of Ruffia,
Blessed Henry Suso,
Blessed Sibyllina,
Blessed Anthony of Pavonio,
Saint Catherine of Siena,
Blessed Marcolino,
Blessed Raymond of Capua,
Blessed Andrew Franchi,
Saint Vincent Ferrer,
Blessed Clara,
Blessed John Dominic,
Blessed Alvarez,
Blessed Maria Mancini,
Blessed Peter of Castello,
Blessed Andrew Abellon,
Blessed Stephen,
Blessed Peter of Geremia
Blessed John of Fiesole,
Blessed Lawrence of Ripafratta,
Blessed Anthony della Chiesa,
Saint Antoninus,
Blessed Anthony Neyrot,
Blessed Margaret of Savoy,
Blessed Bartholomew of Cerverio,
Blessed Matthew,
Blessed Constantius,
Blessed Christopher,
Blessed Damian,
Blessed Andrew of Peschiera,
Blessed Bernard,
Blessed Jane of Portugal,
Blessed James of Ulm,
Blessed Augustine of Biella,
Blessed Aimo,
Blessed Sebastian,
Blessed Mark,
Blessed Columba,
Blessed Magdalen,
Blessed Osanna of Mantua,
Blessed John Liccio,
Blessed Dominic Spadafora,
Blessed Stephana,
Blessed Adrian,
Blessed Lucy of Narni,
Blessed Catherine of Racconigi,
Blessed Osanna of Kotor,
Saint Pius,
Saint John of Cologne and Companions,
Blessed Maria Bartholomew,
Saint Louis Bertrand,
Saint Catherine de Ricci,
Blessed Robert Nutter,
Blessed Alfonsus and Companions,
Saint Rose of Lima,
Saint Dominic Ibáñez and Companions,
Blessed Agnes of Jesus,
Saint Lawrence Ruiz and Companions,
Saint Martin de Porres,
Blessed Peter Higgins,
Saint Francis de Capillas and Companions,
Saint Juan Macias,
Blessed Terence O’Brien,
Blessed Ann of the Angels,
Blessed Francis de Posadas,
Saint Louis de Montfort,
Saint Francis Gil,
Saint Matteo Alonso,
Blessed Peter Sanz and Companions,
Saint Vincent Liem,
Saint Hyacinth Castañeda,
Blessed Marie Poussepin,
Blessed George,
Blessed Catherine Jarrige,
Saint Ignatius Delgado and Companions,
Saint Joseph Diaz and Companions,
Saint Dominic An-Kham,
Saint Valentine Berrio-Ochoa and Companions,
Blessed Jean-Joseph Lataste,
Saint Francis Coll,
Saint Arnold Janssen,
Blessed Hyacinthe Cormier,
Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati,
Blessed Bartolo Longo,
Blessed Maria Alfonsina Danil Ghattas,
Blessed Josefina Sauleda Paulis and Companions,
Blessed Buenaventura García Paredes and Companions,
Blessed Celestino José Alonso Villar and Companions,
Blessed Enrique Izquierdo Palacios and Companions,
Blessed Maria Ascension of the Heart of Jesus,
Blessed Michael Czartorysky,
Blessed Julia Rodzinska,
All you holy Dominicans,
Pray for us.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

Let us pray
God, source of all holiness, you have enriched your Church with many gifts in the saints of the Order of Preachers. By following the example of our brothers and sisters, may we come to enjoy their company for ever in the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

The Third Death

Today as I was praying and walking through the cemetery , I came across a gravestone that I couldn't see due to the overgrown bush ...