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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Halloween Night

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Halloween Night
William Wyllie

Halloween night is here.
Ghosts and goblins will be near.
Some look creepy, some look cute.
Kids dressed up in Halloween suits.
You give them treats,
You give them candy.
To a cute little girl named Mandy.
They paint their pretty little heads
Like the Walk of the Living Dead.
They gross themselves out.
Till they make you scream and shout.
They dress like angels,
They dress like devils.
But believe me folks, they're on the level.
The living dead will rise when
the fall of night arrives.
They'll walk amongst the living.
They take without giving.
So friends don't drop out of sight
on this Halloween night.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The End


Solemnity of All Saints
Lectionary: 667

Reading 1RV 7:2-4, 9-14

I, John, saw another angel come up from the East,
holding the seal of the living God.
He cried out in a loud voice to the four angels
who were given power to damage the land and the sea,
"Do not damage the land or the sea or the trees
until we put the seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God."
I heard the number of those who had been marked with the seal,
one hundred and forty-four thousand marked
from every tribe of the children of Israel.

After this I had a vision of a great multitude,
which no one could count,
from every nation, race, people, and tongue.
They stood before the throne and before the Lamb,
wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.
They cried out in a loud voice:

"Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne,
and from the Lamb."

All the angels stood around the throne
and around the elders and the four living creatures.
They prostrated themselves before the throne,
worshiped God, and exclaimed:

"Amen. Blessing and glory, wisdom and thanksgiving,
honor, power, and might
be to our God forever and ever. Amen."

Then one of the elders spoke up and said to me,
"Who are these wearing white robes, and where did they come from?"
I said to him, "My lord, you are the one who knows."
He said to me,
"These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress;
they have washed their robes
and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb."

This is John's revelation of the end-time.  It starts in the East because that's where Jesus is supposed to return.  In Genesis 2:8, the east is considered the entry point of light and the site of paradise.  
The seal marks believers and are protected.  Their number is perfect--the twelve tribes of Israel squared.  The second crowd of innumerable people is everyone else.  The long white robes are a sign of their resurrected status.  The palm branches are a symbol of victory.  The martyrs are the ones who washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb.
The ultimate triumph is our faithfulness.  I long to be in this parade of martyrs, the chosen, the persevering, holding palms and crying out "Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne, and from the Lamb."
You are the One.  You are my Beloved.  You, O Lord is my reason for being.  I owe everything to you and long to be with You.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Wrong Way

MUTCD One Way Signs, One Way, Diamond Grade Reflective Aluminum Sign, 18"x6"

I guess I'm a linear thinker.  I guess I take things too literally.  I know I'm an idiot.

I was watching Bishop Baron's video on the Youth Synod and he introduces his topic by saying, "the couple on the road to Emmaus were going the wrong way..." 

They were?  You mean they were going south when Emmaus is north?  I didn't know what he meant.  I vaguely heard the rest of the video because I was stuck on "the wrong direction." 

Not until a friend explained to me that the Bishop didn't mean a physical direction.  He meant that the couple shouldn't have left Jerusalem.  That's where all the action was.  They were going away from the apostles when they should have stayed.


Sunday, October 28, 2018

Red Sox Fans Define the Church Militant

Today I was teaching the Church Triumphant, the Church Militant, and the Church Suffering.  The Church Triumphant represents the souls in heaven.  We who are still battling evil represent the Church Militant.  And lastly, the souls in purgatory represent the Church Suffering.

I think I did a good job because as the class was leaving, Luis said that tonight he would represent the Church suffering because he was going to watch the Red Sox play the Dodgers.

You see the Red Sox are the local team in Boston.  The Dodgers are from Los Angeles.  They are playing each other in the World Series.  The past few games have been played in Los Angeles which means to us on the east coast that we are staying up very late to watch them, because of the four hour time change.  One of their games broke the record for the longest innings played--18!  It didn't end for us until 3 AM, and the Red Sox lost that one.  But in the World Series, the winner is the one with four wins out of six.

So Luis was inferring that he would be suffering staying up late worrying if the Red Sox would win.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Find Me, Lord

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 149


Reading 1JER 31:7-9

Thus says the LORD:
Shout with joy for Jacob,
exult at the head of the nations;
proclaim your praise and say:
The LORD has delivered his people,
the remnant of Israel.
Behold, I will bring them back
from the land of the north;
I will gather them from the ends of the world,
with the blind and the lame in their midst,
the mothers and those with child;
they shall return as an immense throng.
They departed in tears,
but I will console them and guide them; 
I will lead them to brooks of water,
on a level road, so that none shall stumble.
For I am a father to Israel,
Ephraim is my first-born.


Jeremiah is prophesying the future.  The remnant of Israel is in Egypt, but they will be brought back to their homeland.  All of them, scattered, will throng back home.
  Jacob is the second born son who tricked his father into giving him the blessing belonging to the first son.  And referenced here is, Joseph bringing his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim to his father, Jacob,  for a blessing.  Manasseh and Ephraim were Joseph's sons born in Egypt.  Manasseh is the firstborn, but he doesn't get the blessing belonging to the first son because Jacob crosses his hands, so that his right hand rests on the second son's head.  This was done on purpose so that Ephraim will get the firstborn son's blessing.  Joseph speaks up, "No, no Father, put your right hand on the firstborn." 
 But his father refused, and said: "I know, my son, I know. He, too, will become a nation; he, too, will be great. But his younger brother shall be even greater than he." (Genesis 48:14-19)
 Ephraim represents the exiles who physically and spiritually return.


I guess Lord, like a strong father, you take us back into the fold no matter how far we stray from you.  It doesn't matter where or who, we will all return.


Father, deliver us from the evil that tempts us.  We need to come home to rest.  And only in You do we find peace.


Thy Kingdom come.  Thy will be done.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Loving Creation

Why does Bree Jo'ann's poem make me think of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's "How do I Love Thee (Sonnet 43)"?


Bree Jo'ann

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Apples and apples and apples and apples and apples and apples and apples and apples ad infinitum.

Robert Frost's poem about being tired of picking apples brought back memories.  He's tired of it.  Once he thought he'd love apple trees.  How nice!  But it was too much!

When I was newly married, we lived in a tenement.  We saved and saved to buy our own house.  When we finally had enough money we bought an old WWII bungalow.  It was a four-room house with half a dirt cellar, a crawl space for an attic, and one closet.  We thought we had died and gone to heaven.

Best of all was the backyard.  The garden was full of tulips, even black ones.  They were a deep purple that gave the appearance of being black.  There was a cherry tree that was so beautiful that the children in the school across the street were brought over to our yard to view it when it blossomed.  But my favorite jewel in this paradise was a crab apple tree.

Imagine.  I could make apple pies with my own homegrown apples.

I made apple pies for all the five years we lived there.  I picked the apples, most of them fell on the ground.  They were small and misshapen and some were insect-ridden but I thought I had hit the jackpot (for the first few years).  They were so small that it took forever to peel them.  Sometimes I wondered if it were worth peeling because all I would get is a couple of slices.  But when you're young with eyes full of the glory of homemaking you don't see the wormholes but rather the apple pie.  You don't smell the vinegar but rather the freshly baked aroma.

When we outgrew our little bungalow I said goodbye to peeling crab apples.  I now use just a few apples to make a pie, and to think of the hundreds I used to wash, peel and slice to make just one pie! The memories of those halcyon days are cherished but like Robert Frost's After Apple Picking, I got tired of it.

After Apple-Picking

My long two-pointed ladder's sticking through a tree 
Toward heaven still, 
And there's a barrel that I didn't fill 
Beside it, and there may be two or three 
Apples I didn't pick upon some bough. 
But I am done with apple-picking now. 
Essence of winter sleep is on the night, 
The scent of apples: I am drowsing off. 
I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight 
I got from looking through a pane of glass 
I skimmed this morning from the drinking trough 
And held against the world of hoary grass. 
It melted, and I let it fall and break. 
But I was well 
Upon my way to sleep before it fell, 
And I could tell 
What form my dreaming was about to take. 
Magnified apples appear and disappear, 
Stem end and blossom end, 
And every fleck of russet showing clear. 
My instep arch not only keeps the ache, 
It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round. 
I feel the ladder sway as the boughs bend. 
And I keep hearing from the cellar bin 
The rumbling sound 
Of load on load of apples coming in. 
For I have had too much 
Of apple-picking: I am overtired 
Of the great harvest I myself desired. 
There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch, 
Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall. 
For all 
That struck the earth, 
No matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble, 
Went surely to the cider-apple heap 
As of no worth. 
One can see what will trouble 
This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is. 
Were he not gone, 
The woodchuck could say whether it's like his 
Long sleep, as I describe its coming on, 
Or just some human sleep. 

Friday, October 19, 2018

My First Dance

Image result for image dancing

My First Dance by William Wyllie

We listen to the oldies as we sit. A song by the Flamingos comes on, that was a hit.
You ask me to dance as you hear this play. "I can't dance, never could" is what I say.
You answer "If I knew that I would have asked you a long time ago."
I get up and try it, not knowing where to go.
I put my head on your shoulder and my arms around your wait.  I do it without haste.
You let me take the lead, I move my feet around.
Who knows where this is going or where we are bound.
Too soon the music ends, this feels so good.  If she asks me again, you know I would.
Another Flamingos song come on not long after the last.  Again we dance, it ends too fast.
Happy I feel, our first dance has come.  Memories are made, with my very special one.
A very special lady, this you sure are.  With you by my side, I know we'll go far.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Catechesis Lesson

Ok! Ok!  I guess I am a religious nut.  Hubby and I were walking and this blue spruce caught my eye. Note that it is one tree—see one trunk. But look at the top — three tops.

One God yet three persons!!!!!     Catechesis in nature. 

 He is everywhere.   

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Cabbage or Church

What do you think?  I'm teaching Lectio Divina and I'm trying to have my students remember the steps.  I'm using the Dominican steps: lectio, studium, meditatio, oratio, contemplatio. 

I'm trying to think of an acrostic arrangement to help learn the steps.  I have

L  --  Lets

S  --  Study

M  --  More

O --  Of

C --  Cabbage or Church  ??????????????

The funny word cabbage might help the students to remember better.  I'm leaning more towards that.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Lamenting a Loss

I can see my Magnificat lying on the seat in the first pew.
No use praying to St. Anthony for my lost MagnificatMagnificat is a monthly magazine that has the readings for the daily masses for the month--plus much more of interest to the devout and pious person. I know where I lost it and I am never going back to that place again.  Besides, I'll get a new Magnificat, for next month.

So it's not the magazine, itself, that I'm lamenting.  It's the pictures and holy cards that I use as bookmarks.  There's a postcard of a Lithuanian shrine that I will never see again.  I know because I asked the clerk in the Lithuanian bookstore and he said he didn't have anymore and couldn't get anymore. 

I lost it at Holy Apostle Seminary's Chapel in Cromwell, Connecticut.  I was there Saturday for a Lay Dominican regional meeting.

I guess I'll have to start marking the November Magnificat with brand new holy cards and pictures.  

Friday, October 12, 2018

The First Catechism

One of the candidates in RCIA inadvertently told a joke.  Well, not so inadvertently, but it will make you think.  We were discussing how the catechism came about.  Someone noticed that in the book of Sirach, in the Bible, the introduction states that the

                       book was used to teach moral teachings to catechumens and the faithful.

So should Sirach be considered the first catechism?

When you think of it, most people couldn't read so there was no written catechism.  People taught orally.  Hence, statues, stained glass windows, and paintings.

But the educated must have written for instructions for others.  St. Augustin wrote the Enchiriodon
Should that be considered the first catechism?

One of the first things Martin Luther did was write a catechism--but that was the sixteenth century!  Luther prompted the Council of Trent to write a Catholic catechism.  Still, sixteenth century.


That's when the class' smart aleck suggested, "Mary."
Why do you say, Mary?
Because she said, "Do as he tells you."   
                                          John 2:5

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Led by the Spirit

An acquaintance of mine wrote a book.  His mention of his book has come up an uncomfortable mention of times.  (You know what I mean?)  So I looked it up.  It is published by Westbow Press:  They publish religious-themed books.  I ordered the cheapest, an ebook.  I'm used to kindle so I expected it to appear there.  It didn't.  Looking back to see what I did wrong I saw it wasn't for kindle but you download it on your computer.  I did.

The book is entitled Where Will You Plant Your Seed and it's by Robert LeBlanc.  It really is his biography, spiritually.  Rob's life has been spirit led since he was a teen.  The title asks each of us where we will follow the Holy Spirit.

It's not a large book.  I read it in one sitting.  Rob's early years sound idyllic but I can't identify.  I have been to California enough to recognize what Rob's talking about. I've even stood under the same California Red Pepper tree, he mentions.  And of course, I live where he lives and can identify with charismatic Catholics.

Monday, October 8, 2018



WIS 7:7-11
I prayed, and prudence was given me;
I pleaded, and the spirit of wisdom came to me.
I preferred her to scepter and throne,                                                                                   
and deemed riches nothing in comparison with her,
nor did I liken any priceless gem to her;
because all gold, in view of her, is a little sand,
and before her, silver is to be accounted mire.
Beyond health and comeliness I loved her,
and I chose to have her rather than the light,
because the splendor of her never yields to sleep.
Yet all good things together came to me in her company,
and countless riches at her hands.
The "I" is King Solomon.  He prayed for wisdom in his inaugural prayers as sovereign.  Solomon recognized wisdom as evidence of God's personal involvement.
It's the first sentence that I'm interested in, because I'm trying to teach my RCIA candidates how to pray.  It's funny.  The first thing one needs to learn when learning to pray is to ask God to teach you to pray, just as Solomon asked God for wisdom.  Of course, the Lord's Prayer is the answer, but I'm interested in the askingWisdom is wisdom but Solomon had to ask.
Lord, Solomon didn't receive wisdom as a birthright.  He asked and You gave.  May Your generosity be granted to Your people's prayers.
Lord, grant us the gift of wisdom.

A Good Mystery

  Chances Richard Russo is about three friends vacationing on Martha's Vineyard.  Lincoln, Teddy, and Mickey met in college. Fo...