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Friday, August 30, 2019

Peacemakers Are Not Pacifists

Peacemakers are not pacifists, at least in the beatitudes, they're not.  When Jesus gave us the beatitudes, there wasn't a war going on, not in Pax Romana.  And no threat of war, either.  So, pacifism wasn't intended, at all.

The interpretation is a blessing on the people who work towards harmony in the community.  Now, this is something to chew on in today's times, where division is rife in our politics and religion.

Peace to you means "God's peace" means keep harmonious relations with one another.


Thursday, August 29, 2019

So What?

It's a  struggle to get the kids out to school in the morning.  But I've been there before and these children are my grandchildren.  It's the same job but without the demanding angst.

So what if one of them doesn't eat any breakfast?  She's not going to starve.
So what if the youngest insisted that she did brush her witch's hair?  Let her go to school like that and suffer the consequential comments.
So what if the temperature is in the 60's and the oldest walks out without a jacket?  It's only 7:00 AM and it'll warm up later.

Why was it so important to me the first time around to force them to obey?  I remember too many times my children left for school in tears.  This time it's important to have no tears.  They grow up regardless.  Parents grow up too.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019


I guess the times don’t change much.  Here is a poem by Johannes Huber.

To dream in the twilight
The dreams of their love
Through the times of the roses
Return as of yore--
That loving and dreaming
Bloom once, and no more.

Each springtime awakens
All nature anew;
To youth and its beauty
Comes only one May.
The swallows that wander
Leave not, to remain,

But man, when he parteth,
Returns not again.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Social Media Piques.

The internet magazine, "US Catholic" has an article by Molly Jo Rose that could have been written by me if I were smart.  I agree wholeheartedly!  The author sings the praises of the internet and social media.     

You can find people who agree with you, so you don't feel so alone.  You can learn and learn and learn.  For example, this morning I signed up for a free course at the Thomistic Institute.  You can stay up to date with your diocesan news, the United State Council of Catholic Bishops, and the pope.
You just feel connected.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

New Found Poet

Look what I found. While picnicking on the Heber Homestead I found these plaques that give some background and sometimes the story is enhanced by Johannes Heber’s poetry.

Friday, August 16, 2019

On the Run

It's hard to believe that The Autobiography of a Hunted Priest was written in Latin in 1597.  This is the breath-holding story of Father John Gerard, S. J.  The entire situation is hard to believe. 

The setting is England during the reign of King James.  Catholicism is outlawed so certainly being a priest was dangerous.  This didn't stop priests from ministering to the people, especially the Jesuits.

I also cringed at the tortures that were inflicted. How can people be so cruel?  What kind of people think up such cruel, inhuman ways of punishment? 

I was surprised that gentlemen prisoners were treated better than poor ones.  I was also surprised that Father Gerard seemed to only ingratiate himself with the rich.  He wasn't hiding in huts, barns, sheds, or in the woods.  Even so, his hardships were great.

He survived!  And thrived!  He was tortured and escaped. 

Another surprise was the bravery of Catholics.  They sought martyrdom.  They looked forward to it.

Could I be a martyr?  Maybe.  If I was killed quick.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

2019-2020 Reading List

Argonauta has chosen its book selections for this year.

Argonauta Book Club    2019-20  

September 12          Where The crawdads Sing     Delia Owens  

October  10      Jerusalem Maid   Talia Carner
November 14      Becoming   Michelle Obama    

December  12    Waiting On The Word     Malcolm  Guite
January 9        A Gentleman In Moscow    Amor Towles 
February 13      Educated   Tara Westover  

March 12           Orhan's Inheritance   Aline Ohanesian

April 9                The Beantown Girls     Jane Healey

May  21              Lost Girls Of Paris     Pam Jenoff          

June   11               An exciting book we don't know about yet!!

Monday, August 12, 2019

Princes Don't Pay Tax

Monsignor Moran had an interesting insight pertaining to paying taxes, referring to Matt 17: 22-27.  In this gospel, the temple tax collectors wanted Jesus to pay the temple tax and Jesus has Peter catch a fish and take the coin out of the fish's mouth to pay the tax.

But do princes of a kingdom pay tax?  No, their subjects do.  The people pay taxes to the king, but the sons of the king aren't expected to pay. They're exempt.

Well...isn't Jesus a prince?  Isn't His Father a King?

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Pope of Convicts


"One person's trash is another's treasure" is certainly true in this case. I am teaching my RCIA class about Clement I.  We are going through the popes, one by one.  Through google research I came across an article in Hyperallergic by Zachary Small, First Century Pope Found in London Trash.  The article is talking about Clement I, our fourth pope.

Evidently, a reliquary containing the bones of Clement was found by sanitation workers.  The reliquary was eventually turned over to the church.  But it's interesting that this is a bone fragment from a pope who was martyred by being strapped to an anchor and thrown into the Black Sea, surfaced now.  Clement also spent time in prison by doing hard time in a mine.  Christianity was against the law at that time.  While in prison Clement's kindness and teaching his fellow prisoners earned him the title of Pope of Convicts. 

His body was retrieved and when a church was built, it was placed inside.  Over time the church became submerged by the sea.  But at certain times during low tide, the church is still visible.  Before nature took the little church, St. Cyril brought the bones of Clement to the basilica St. Clement in Rome.  Other relics of St. Clement, including his head, are claimed by the Kiev Monastery of the Caves in Ukraine.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Prayer to St. Rocco

Heavenly Father, we gather in prayer
to seek Your blessing on our sick in
mind, body or spirit.

We thank You for blessings You
have bestowed upon us in
the past.

In order for our efforts to bear fruit,
we need Your children to be fire up
with the zeal of St. Rocco.

Bless and guide us so that all our
undertakings will reflect complete
trust in You, our Creator.

At this Mass and service, we pray
especially for the healing of our
brothers and sisters who are
suffering physical, emotional,
and psychological pain, and
for the spiritual healing of each
one of us.

Help us to follow St. Rocco as a model
of patience and charity.

We ask Your blessings on all that
we do in the name of Jesus Christ,
our Savior.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Cardinal O'Malley issues statement on El Paso, Dayton Shootings

Cardinal O'Malley issues statement on El Paso, Dayton Shootings: Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley issued the following statement Monday, Aug. 5, 2019:

The mass murder of 31 innocent people in a 24 hour period, fueled by hate and disregard for human life, is unacceptable. 

As published in the Pilot.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Beer Club

Last night instead of going to prayer group I went with hubby to Beer Club.  It was an experience.  Beer Club was held at East Street Ale House in North Attleboro, MA, so we ate dinner, first.  Afterward, little cups were given to us to try the different beers. The demonstrator, Bryan White was very knowledgeable and entertaining.

I learned that New England IPA's are famous around the world.  They're the rage in Europe.  New England IPA isn't bitter, so it's more palatable.  BTW, IPA stands for India Pale Ale.  And the history of IPA is arguable. 

 This is what I was told. Back around the 1800's England was trading with its colonies and everyone drank beer.  The water wasn't to be trusted.  Everyone drank beer.  Even Plymouth and Jamestown had their own breweries.  Anyway, the voyage from England to India was long.  BTW, the transporters were the East India Company traders (Yes.  the same East India company that Bostonians threw their tea into Boston Harbor.)  The beer to England often went bad.  So the recipe was adjusted producing a paler ale.  Hence a pale ale was developed for India.
However, beer connoisseurs say that most of the beer didn't spoil going to India. But rather the fact that the breweries which shipped to India made pale ale and eventually that's what the market demanded.

As I was saying, we tasted various beers.  The first beers were citrusy.  They smelled like grapefruit and were mild tasting.  Then we had a couple of sour-tasting beers.  The worst one was one made from oysters and coriander.  First off, no one could drink it if they had an allergy to shellfish.  Only one of us did.  It smelled like low tide!  Nevermind the sour taste!

The sweetest one was the one in the top picture.  It tasted of marshmallows and graham crackers. My favorites were the stouts.  After a couple of hours of tastings and eatting, it was over.

The entire night was interesting.  I met many nice people.  I learned a lot and enjoyed some new beer.  I had much to thank God for.

God is good.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

The Bloody Question

Another tidbit from The Autobiography of a Hunted Priest by John Gerard, sj, is "The Bloody Question."  Remember this is 1583 when it was illegal and lethally dangerous to be a Catholic, nevermind a priest, in England.

from Mick Hartley's blog, but I can't find where the picture originated.  I will credit when I find out.
This question was posed to Father Gerard:

     What would you do if the Pope were to send over an army and declare that his only
      object was to bring the kingdom back to its Catholic allegiance? And if he stated at
      the same time that there was no other way of re-establishing the Catholic faith, and
      commanded everyone by his apostolic authority to support him? Whose side would
      you be on then-----the Pope's or the Queen's?

He was damned whether he agreed or not!

This is how Father Gerard responded:

     I am a loyal Catholic and I am a loyal subject of the Queen. If this were to happen, 
     and I do not think it at all likely, I would behave as a loyal Catholic and as a loyal

This was not considered a satisfactory answer, so he was tortured.  But I noticed the modifier, "...his apostolic authority...".  So Father Gerard's interrogator recognized that the authority the pope has comes from the Apostles, themselves. So why wasn't he Catholic?  Why isn't everyone Catholic?

Monday, August 5, 2019

Peine Forte et Dure

Peine Forte Et Dure is French for strong and hard punishment.  What kind of person would think of punishments?

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, it started in 1406 when other punishments weren't yielding the results that were wanted.  It consists of adding heavy weights on top of a person until they are crushed to death.  Here is a description of the sentence Jane Wiseman received.  She was accused of being Roman Catholic and hiding priests in 1598.  She never admitted to this because if she did the property of the guilty would be transmitted to the crown. Otherwise, if she stayed mute, her property went to her children.  She was silent.

The sentence is that the said Jane Wiseman shall be led to the prison of the Marshalsea of the Queen's Bench, and there naked, except for a linen cloth about the lower part of her body, be laid upon the ground, lying directly on her back: and a hollow shall be made under her head and her head placed in the same; and upon her body in every part let there be placed as much of stones and iron as she can bear and more; and as long as she shall live, she shall have of the worst bread and water of the prison next her; and on the day she eats, she shall not drink, and on the day she drinks she shall not eat, so living until she die. *

This heinous practice was brought to our American colonies and used during the Salem witch trials, 1692. 

 One of the accused, 80-year-old Giles Corey, decided not to stand trial rather than forfeit his family’s goods. He was ordered to undergo peine forte et dure and was pressed to death by interrogators using stone weights. **

 Why am I posting Peine Forte Et Dure?  I am reading The Autobiography of a Hunted Priest by John Gerard, sj, and am absolutely appalled at the excruciating tortures people can create.  Who would think of such things?  What kind of people are they?

* Fortunately, Jane Wiseman was pardoned by King James when it was the custom for a monarch to pardon prisoners upon the celebration of the monarch's coronation.

** Cases such as these later helped to prompt the constitutional prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.
England abolished the peine forte et dure in 1772, when “standing mute” was made equivalent to conviction. By an act of 1827 a plea of “not guilty” was to be entered against any prisoner refusing to plead, a rule that was adopted in many legal systems.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

An Odd Dichotomy

Today is the traditional feast day of St. Dominic.  My chapter celebrated today.  One of the discussions we had was the dichotomy the Dominicans have of being out in the world but not of the world. Also, the strange dichotomy of being excited about a confrere being sent out on mission.  How can one be happy about the possibility of never seeing a confrere, again?

This was compared to the feeling my "cloistered brothers" have when one of us is leaving the prison.  We are happy and excited, even though we know we may never leave.  We are stuck here.  Yet, we are happy and excited,
not unlike our Dominican brothers and sisters being sent out on mission.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Letter from the Pope

Monsignor Borgia
A couple of years ago, my granddaughter's CCD class wrote letters to Pope Francis.  They were about to make their First Communion.  I remember she drew a picture of Pope Francis and enclosed it.

She received a letter back!  A year and a half late, but still.

It is signed by Monsignor Paolo Borgia, Assessor.  The Assessor for General Affairs is similar to a secretary in the Curia.  A medal blessed by the pope was included.

This is something special.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

All is Vanity


Ecclesiastes 1:2; 2:21-23

Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth,it
vanity of vanities!  All things are vanity!

Here is one who has labored with wisdom and knowledge
and skill,
and yet to another who has not labored over it,
he must leave his property.
This also is vanity and a great misfortune.
For what profit comes to man from all the toil and
anxiety of heart
with which he has labored under the sun?
All his days sorrow and grief are his occupation;
even at night his mind is not at rest.
This also is vanity.


Qoheleth is the narrator, the unknown author of Ecclesiastes. He writes as Solomon, to assume authority.  It was written around 300 B.C. Not in this short passage but in the Book of Ecclesiastes, vanity is used about forty times.  So, of course, that's the message.
    What are we working so hard for?  Death comes to all and you can't take it with you.
     I think of the china I bought to complete my dinner set.  It really is too expensive for my lifestyle, so why did I skimp and save to buy it.  I added a piece, a year. Especially since none of my children want it.  Vanity!!!!


The only concern we really should have is the state of our soul.  It shouldn't be to have any status symbols like a big house or car or a trophy wife.  They don't bring happiness, anyway.  We all die and having our lives in order should be our concern.


I know all will be well if I keep my eyes on the Lord.  He should come first, husband next, family after.  Everything else will be what it should be.


All things are vanity!  Only You, Lord are most hight.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.


Stop worrying.  Turn everything over to God.

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&#...