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Sunday, April 30, 2017

Brotherhood of Hope: What's a Brother?

Brotherhood of Hope: What's a Brother?: What is a brother? Why become a brother? What is the difference between a brother and a priest? Why aren't all brothers priests? These are some of the questions that the Brotherhood of Hope has encountered.


Have you ever wondered why any man would feel called to this vocation.  Read this article.

Steps Towards Loving Your Enemy

MK artwork

My "cloistered brothers" and I were discussing the Gospel of Matthew 5: 43-46.  Here Jesus is asking us to do something very hard--not impossible, but as close to impossible as one can get (sometimes).

(1)  It's natural to hate those who harm you.  Even a baby will slap at a mosquito.  It's not because he wants to hate the mosquito, but rather he wants to stop the pain.  It's as simple as that.  Someone hurts you, you want to stop that hurt.  The knee-jerk reaction to stopping hurt is to hurt back.
      Once one recognizes this fact, then he can see that he may not even know the person who is hurting him, so how can he hate him?  What he hates is what he is doing.

(2)  Another thing to consider is Jesus' command "to love your enemies," itself.  Think of the different kinds of love: agape, eros.  Also, love is translated as "charity."  So how do you love an enemy.  First, think of love not as agape, certainly not eros, but as St. Thomas Aquinas in the Summa Theologica II-II, 26 teaches us, "To love in charity is benevolence: to will the good to a person or God...."
     Hence, don't harm the person you hate.  Think "Do unto others as you want them to do unto you."  So push yourself to do something good to that person.  Some acts of charity my "cloistered brothers" did for their enemies: nursed, made a meal and fed the person, gave them something they wanted, etc.
     It seems that these acts of charity softened the enemies' stance.  It was a visible difference.

(3)  Be open and receptive to your enemies' gestures toward friendliness.  Then talk.  Talk again.  Talk, some more.  Communication should bring understanding.  Understanding will dissolve the hate and soon you will find forgiveness.

That's the method we came up with.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

God Raised Jesus


Third Sunday of Easter
Lectionary: 46

Reading 1ACTS 2:14, 22-33

Then Peter stood up with the Eleven,
raised his voice, and proclaimed:
"You who are Jews, indeed all of you staying in Jerusalem.
Let this be known to you, and listen to my words.
You who are Israelites, hear these words.
Jesus the Nazarene was a man commended to you by God
with mighty deeds, wonders, and signs,
which God worked through him in your midst, as you yourselves know.
This man, delivered up by the set plan and foreknowledge of God,
you killed, using lawless men to crucify him.
But God raised him up, releasing him from the throes of death,
because it was impossible for him to be held by it.
For David says of him:
I saw the Lord ever before me,
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
Therefore my heart has been glad and my tongue has exulted;
my flesh, too, will dwell in hope, 
because you will not abandon my soul to the netherworld,
nor will you suffer your holy one to see corruption.
You have made known to me the paths of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence.

"My brothers, one can confidently say to you
about the patriarch David that he died and was buried,
and his tomb is in our midst to this day.
But since he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn an oath to him
that he would set one of his descendants upon his throne,
he foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ,
that neither was he abandoned to the netherworld
nor did his flesh see corruption.
God raised this Jesus;
of this we are all witnesses.
Exalted at the right hand of God,
he received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father
and poured him forth, as you see and hear."
Acts is written by Luke who was not an eyewitness to the Life, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus.  He is a convert and writing from the oral tradition handed down by the Apostles.  This is why he assures the crowd that they are hearing the Truth, passed down from Peter and the Apostles.  To reassure the people even more, Luke shows that Jesus fulfills David's prophecy.
We believe and we, like Luke, weren't there with Jesus.  We have scriptures, traditions, and magisterium to aid our faith.  We trust in Jesus.
O my God, I believe You are always there.  I believe You sent Your Son, Jesus, to make up for Adam and Eve's sin. I believe Your inspired Word.  I also believe in the Holy Catholic Church, which Jesus founded.  This is my faith.
Thank you, Jesus, for loving me.

Friday, April 28, 2017

The Conclusion to the Peeps Experiment

After the fifth day, this is the result. 

You Can't Run Away from Love

Nec mortem effugere quisquam nec amorem potest.  I translate this as no one is able to flee from death or love.

Think about it.

True isn't it?

This is a maxim from Syrus.  Syrus was a Syrian who was brought to Italy as a slave around 85-43 BC.  His wit and talent earned him fame.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Monday, April 24, 2017

After School Experiment

eggs covered in water

Starting to fizz
My granddaughter and I were experimenting after school today.  The directions said to cover these Peep Easter eggs in water.  So I searched through the house looking for the biggest bottle or jar I could find.  I even considered a large pail.  But when I opened the package, I saw that the eggs were already in their own containers.

Next we wait for the bubbles to stop.  Change the water and watch the eggs hatch and grow.  Stay tuned.

BTW, in the sink you can see the we washed rocks.  That's our next project.  Stay tuned for that, too.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Scattering the Ashes of the Dead

This article in XT3 explains why Catholics don't scatter their ashes.  Father Brian puts emphasis on the dignity of the body.  But to me, the best reason is  Having my ashes scattered means that there's no place where those who remain behind me can come and pray for me, while burying them in a sacred place is continuous with the Christian tradition of showing our remains the deep respect our body deserves as a Temple of the Holy Spirit which one day will rise again.

What is your experience of the Resurrection?

What is your experience of the Resurrection?: During this Easter season, we are reminded again and again about the activity of the early disciples of Jesus. They were witnesses. They spoke about what they had seen and what they had heard.

And we do too. It's an ongoing experience.  Read this article to understand.

New Tees

The  Hope of Bethany Pro-Chapter's apostolate is helping ex-cons.  They support prison programs for prisons and also help the families of prisoners.  A Stitch in Time Textiles is a new business started by two ladies who were once in prison.  The chapter had them make tee-shirts for them.  The emblem is beautiful  It is not stenciled, but rather embroidered.
                             Beautiful, no?

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Patron of Sailors, Bl. Peter Gonzalez Telmo

Bl. Peter Gonzalez Telmo, O.P.
Shrine's altar to hold relic of patron of sailors: Since the earliest days of the Church, relics of martyrs and saints have been venerated by the faithful. In keeping with this tradition, to this day Catholic Churches around the world all have a relic inside their altar.

This new shrine in Boston, Our Lady of Good Voyage Shrine, is a welcome sight.  It is welcome, not only because of it's great vista, but also because it's the first church to be opened in Boston for 60 years! And there is a relic inside its altar from Seville, Spain.

Much to my surprise here is a saint (Blessed) I never heard of.  Shame on me.  Double shame because he's a Dominican.  Bl. Peter Gonzalez Telmo ministered to sailors and their families, in Spain and Portugal.  This article, from The Pilot, says he once was pretty worldly but had a religious experience and not only repented but joined the Dominicans.  (Good choice!)

He is known for his ministry to sailors and their families.

"What's very interesting is that for centuries the reliquary of Blessed Peter has been closed," noted Father Jonathan Gaspar, priest secretary to Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley and Director of the Office of Divine Worship for the Archdiocese of Boston, "but they have agreed to open it and give us a relic for our chapel."

Friday, April 21, 2017


IOW is internet slang for "in other words."  It occurred to me, as I was pray ing, that God and I have our own intimate, personal slang.  I carry on a conversation with God, just as if he were my constant companion, all day.  Well, He is.  And this is my preferred prayer.  I often pray formal prayers, e..i. Rosary.  But I "yak" to Him all day.  Even when doing Lectio Divina, I point out things and ask questions.

I'm comfortable with God and share my thoughts and heart with Him.  Yes, He talks back.  Not audibly, but I sense in my heart, i.e., feelings of consolation, a sense of trust, comfort.   My thoughts shoot out to Him, like internet slang
 I don't even need words.

Think of Jeremiah's conversation with God, "You will be in the right, O Lord, when I lay charges against you; but let me put my case to you." Jeremiah 12: 1.  Even though He's God and knows what I'm going to say before I say, I reiterate it.  It helps me, not Him. In this way, I find myself walking with God, all day.  It makes me continuously conscious of Him. 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Charles River Link Trail

This is a hiker.  It's Don, one of my fellow Trail Hikers.  Today we walked around the Charles River Link Trail, Medfield, MA.  It's on the grounds of the old Medfield State hospital.

I'm amazed when I look around the old hospital grounds.  I try to picture the bustling life that once lived and worked there.  Time marches on.  It started in 1892 as the Medfield Insane Asylum.  It was the state's first facility for dealing with chronic mental patients.  It was built to be a village with little cottages.  The name was changed to Medfield State Hospital in 1914. The property was pretty much self-sufficient.  It raised its own livestock and produce, and generated its own heat, light, and power.  It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1994 and was officially closed in 2003.

It saddens me to see such grand, brick structures abandoned.  The broken windows and decrepit condition speak despair.  I get the same feelings when I look at the canyons of brick factories in Lawrence and Lowell, or the huge building and parking lot that was once General Motors in Framingham.  The people employed there never would have imagined that these strong, stalwart edifices would one day sit abandoned and condemned as unsafe.

But I wasn't there for the buildings.  We were hiking in the woods around the property.  We went to the area known as the Narrows.  Besides seeing the wooded area,  we also saw a deer swimming against the current of the Charles River.  I took about 5 pictures--none of them any good!

We saw a bluebird, not a usual sight. When we ran into some skunk cabbage I had an urge to pick it up and throw some at people.  That's what my friends and I did when we were children.

But I've matured.  Regardless of what Don's antics are in the picture.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

'Second Chance Month'—A Bipartisan National Movement

'Second Chance Month'—A Bipartisan National Movement: Update 3/31/2017–U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) introduced a resolution that would designate April 2017 as 'Second Chance Month.' 'We applaud Sen. Portman for his resolution declaring April as Second Chance Month,' said Craig DeRoche, Prison Fellowship®'s senior vice president of advocacy and public policy. 'As America’s largest outreach to prisoners and their families, Prison Fellowship was founded on the conviction that every person has God-given dignity and potential. We join over 50 organizations in celebrating Second Chance Month this April to unlock brighter futures for the millions of Americans who have repaid their debt to society."

Sen. Portman is the author of the Second Chance Act.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Goat Rock

We went into the Warner Trail near Lakeside Pavillion.  It was a moderate hike but we walked for three hours.  Time flies!

It was hilly and rocky.  This rock formation is called GOAT Rock.  Only a goat could climb them.  I didn't even try.

Beautiful day.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter Morning Rant

It's Easter morning and I'm all set for that bunny to show up.  While waiting, I wanted to post Catholic Easter greeting on my page, Give Faith a Chance.  Every beautiful Easter expression that was Catholic wouldn't let me share it!  I got the message "the privacy settings won't permit sharing."

Listen Catholics, if you want privacy, open a page for family and friends, ONLY.  Set that page to "privacy" settings.  Otherwise, let your Catholic faith be spread.  Jesus commanded us to evangelize, not keep your faith private!!

Well, at least the Holy Father agrees with me.

BTW, rejoice.  He is risen!  Truly, He is risen.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Fighting a Toxic Culture

Fighting a toxic culture: In today's America, as in other countries like it, people of faith are facing a question of critical importance: How should they respond to a dominant secular culture that's not just hostile to their beliefs but hell bent on squashing them.

Russell Shaw says exactly what I wish I could say as well.  I wish I could memorize this article to articulate his thoughts when needed.  He's talking about our current culture, which seems to overrun Catholic principles.

He says that it started in the late 19th century, probably with the influx of immigrants, who were mainly Catholic.  The predominant Anglo-Saxon individual, strong cowboy mentality often clashed with the Catholic community, forgiveness and peace attitude.  But immigrants try to fit in, don't they?  And so they do.

It's a battle that is really noticeable when the sacrament of marriage is attacked.  Nevermind the sanctity of the womb!

Russell Shaw says it so much better than I.  Read the article.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

It's Never Over

Like a rock skipped over water, the rock has not disappeared off the face of the earth.  There were ripples created where the rock hit the water.  The ripples created ripples.  As for the rock itself, it settled down to the bottom--into the bottom.  Who knows what became of it then?  Was it used by a subterranean marine creature?  Did it gradually erode?  Gather sea moss?  Harbor tiny creatures?  The possibilities are endless.

These thoughts came to mind as I read Dr. Ryan Anderson's article on the Heritage Foundation page.  He wrote an organized, clear-cut argument against "physician-assisted suicide."  His reasons summarized into Key Points:

PAS takes advantage of people in their weakest state.

Leaves decision only to the very person who needs the support of family, friends, and trusted care-takers.

"Death with dignity"  is a lying euphemism.  There is no dignity to suicide.

"Aid in dying" is another lie. Physicians cure not kill.  "Aid in dying" corrupts the medical profession.

When someone is terminally ill, weak, and suffering, we should respond with appropriate medical palliative care and human love.  Insurance providers may not want to spend the money to help alleviate suffering and live.  Relatives may want an inheritance, sooner rather than later.  Maybe taking the time and care for the patient is inconvenient?  Perhaps some think that a particular life isn't worth living?

 We should respond to suffering with true compassion and solidarity. Doctors should help their patients to die a dignified death of natural causes, not assist in killing. Physicians are always to care, never to kill.

Dr. Anderson expresses his views more clearly than I.  But he speaks for me.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

A Sign of My Faith

Since my RCIA class was finished early, I dropped by my Protestant friend, Steve's scripture class. They were faith sharing.  The passage was Matt. 20: 1-16, commonly known as the Laborers in the Vineyard.

If you're not using your eyes of faith, but only the eyes of the world, you would slap the owner of the vineyard with an unfair labor practices lawsuit.  But God sees differently and he loves everyone and gives generously.

The parable is meant to give hope.  The believer who professes belief, (like St. Dismas), in his last breath, has every right to be in heaven as the cradle believer.

I added my two cents to the class.  We ended in prayer and I made sure I made the sign of my faith--I blessed myself with the sign of the cross.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Favorite Poem Project

On this day in 1998, Robert Pinsky, the U.S. poet laureate launched an idea that captured the hearts and minds of all poetry lovers.   Mass moments tells of various sundry people reading their favorite poems.  I'm going to suggest that my writing group do this.

Visit the project's website.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Bigger and Better

America has an article on the largest parish in the USA.      They are humongous!  But they seem to be handling it very well.
Does St. Matthew's have cushioned changing tables in the restroom? 

The article leaves some questions.

Is this the only parish in the area?
Do the priests visit the sick or lay volunteers?
Do the priests drop into all the various activities for a few minutes?
Do the priests teach religious ed?  Adult formation?

This church, St. Matthew's, has big screens with the songs' lyrics displayed.  Does this result in more people singing?  Are their children Masses?  How many altar servers do they have?  How many priests have come from St. Matthew's?  How many religious vocations?

The parish sounds wonderful, but for the few unanswered questions.

Monday, April 3, 2017

The Miraculous Image of Our Lady of Las Lajas

Our Lady giving Dominic the Rosary and Jesus giving Francis the cord.

The Miraculous Image of Our Lady of Las Lajas: In 1754, an event took place in Colombia that continues to baffle geologists and other scientists. This event was the miraculous appearance of the image of Our Lady of Las Lajas (Our Lady of the Rocks).

I can't believe the whole world doesn't know about this.  Look at the basilica!!!  Please do yourself a favor and read the article.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Secret Christian

Today at Mass, the celebrant told an interesting story.  I can't verify it, though.  The gospel was the one about Lazarus coming out of the tomb.  The priest was talking about Martha's faith.  Jesus asked her, "Dost thou believe?"   Then the priest tied "faith" to people's beliefs about death.  Martha believed all shall be "resurrected, on the last day."  Well, it turns out, that many believe this, no matter what they say.

Father said that in 1982, Leonid Brezhnev died.  He was the leader of atheistic, communist, Russia.  At his funeral, full of military accolades, accouterments, etc., with his coffin surrounded by soldiers, Leonid's wife, Viktoria, trace the sign of the cross on his chest, just before the lid of the coffin was closed.

Remember, this an atheist, communist country.  She did this in public.  How's that for witnessing?

The Blood of Goats will Shatter Diamonds

                                                                        Greek bronze bust of Aristotle by  Lysippos ,                       ...