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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Brood of Vipers

In group Lectio Divina, we were discussing John the Baptist calling the Pharisees and Saducees "Brood of Vipers."  Vipers meaning poisonous snakes.  This led to Father Rocco telling us a story of when he went to visit his mother's birthplace of Cuocollo, Italy.  The town is in the mountains of northern Italy.  In fact, it was one of the last holdouts to fall to the Romans and then one of the last to fall to the barbarian hordes.  In fact, there is still a mix of pagan and Christian customs and traditions.  The higher up the mountains you go, the more you leave the Christians.  Whether high or low, the place has a lot of snakes, and they are a mix of poisonous and non.  They're pretty big, too.

A perfect example of the mix of the pagan and Christian, or the profane with the sacred, is the Festival of the Snakes.  In pagan times, the pagans worshipped the goddess Angizia.  She offered protection from the snake bites. 

When the Christians came the snakes were still there and the people still wanted protection.  The village priest, Dominic Abate offered Masses and devotions for protection.  After he died and became a saint, the festival began.  A statue of San Dominico Abate of Cuoculo is carried through the village covered with snakes.  Before the festival, the villagers capture the nonvenomous snakes to be carried in the festival.  The snakes are freed back into the wild, after the festival.  

New Books

 Announcements of New lay Dominican Books

Books from Barnes & Noble Press

The Courage and Will to Preach: Lay Dominicans at the Edge of the World”

“Now is the acceptable time,” the General Chapter of Quezon City, 1977 begins, “for the Dominican family to achieve true equality and complementarity among its different branches.”

To achieve true equality, the laity of the Order of Preachers must accept co-responsibility for the doctrinal mission – preaching. Since 1971 the General Chapters of the Order – the ruling body – have made calls such as this conjuring a vision of the laity, which none of us have. The Acta of the Order since 1971 has added step-by-step an understanding that the culture is becoming increasingly secularized and relativistic and sliding wholly toward the abyss. With a significant drop in friar vocations since 1975, the General Chapters are calling for those members of the Order of Preachers who live and work in the secular places where this is happening. The laity.

This book draws together all of the Acta, presents a postmodern worldview model for us to understand the problems, delivers us a brief view of theology that the General Chapters have called upon us to study. In addition the book covers how lay Dominicans prepare to face the secular world from a preaching standpoint, how to study the Social Doctrine of the Church as a guidebook for preaching, how to discover and engage the “signs of the times”, a practical program for learning social and cultural issues, gives us a way forward, and introduces the Institute for lay Dominican Preaching, a virtual Institute in its infancy.

This is a revolutionary book for those who feel called to take their rightful place in the Order.

Now, is the acceptable time.







“Theological Principles for lay Dominican’s Preaching”

A picture containing shape

Description automatically generatedThe Acta of the General Chapters – the ruling body of the Order – and letters from the Masters of the Order, make it clear that it is necessary for lay Dominicans to study basic theology, or the science of God.

These theological principles cover such things as Faith and Reason, the Objective the Existence of God, Jesus, God as Trinity, the Nature of the Church, Mary, Sacramental Life, and Eschatology, all in a specific learning format that can be delivered as a year-long ongoing formation course for all lay Dominican chapters.

This book is the first of its kind.


“Handbook for Ongoing lay Dominican Formation”

For all these years, Ongoing Formation has had no specific course or plan. Lay chapters decide if they want to study devotional subjects such as Catherine’s Dialogues, writings by other Dominicans, or more histories, never understanding that the Acta of the General Chapters have outlined specific things for lay Dominican chapters to study for the purpose of educating and developing lay Dominican preachers, destined to step into the darkness and relativism of the secular world. Subjects include basic theology for preaching, Social Doctrine of the Church, the study of important and necessary documents of the Church teaching allowing lay Dominicans to thoroughly understand, in a practical way, church teaching for the purpose of delivering the Gospels, the Good News, and the Word of Hope to a despairing world.

This book is the first of its kind.


Note: Review copies are available for LPC leadership, write:

Note: print and delivery times will vary; we will send an email to confirm



A new, exciting book is beginning, titled, “Devotional to Preaching: Nudging Devotional Lay Dominicans into the 21st Century”

In this book, we will discuss the history, background, and methodologies for lay Dominican preaching in the many places in the secular world where it is needed. We are hoping for unique preaching stories. For example: “Preaching in Norfolk” is the story of a lay Chapter in Massachusetts that holds its chapters meetings inside the Norfolk Prison. Master of the Order, Timothy Radcliffe called this, his “favorite lay chapter.”

If you know of keenly unique preaching missions – not the same as apostolates – that required use of theology, Social Doctrine of the Church, Catechism (not catechesis or apologetics), and other documents of the Church in an immersive way, forward them for consideration. This could be a lasting testament to lay Dominicans taking up the mantle of co-responsibility for the doctrinal Mission of the Order, as the General Chapters – the ruling body of the Order – have established since 1971 in Tallaght, Ireland.

Send all stories to

Be part of the new reality, the new understanding of lay Dominican vocation!

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Father Aniello Salicone, sx

Finally, after two years, a headstone was put on Father Aniello's grave.  The epitaph reads: As the Father loved me, so I have loved you. Remain in my love. John 15: 9

This is perfect for Aniello.  His famous saying was "Thank you Jesus for loving me.  Help me to love You." Later he added, "...and my neighbor as You love them."

Saturday, November 26, 2022

My First Book

 See me.  That's my selfie, under Bob's picture.  I helped Mr. Robert Curtis, O.P. write this book.  Chapter IX was my contribution.  Now, we just have to promote the book.  

Title:     The Handbook for Ongoing Lay Dominican Formation
Author:  Mr. Robert Curtis, O.P., M.F.A.
Publisher: Barnes & Noble Press
Contact for Information:  Institute for Lay Dominican Preaching

Gregorian Masses

 Back around the fifth and sixth centuries, when a monk died, his confreres celebrated Masses for his soul for 30 consecutive days.  Legend has it that 30 days after a certain monk died, his friend received a vision of the deceased, thanking everyone for praying for him.  He was in a better place because of their Masses.  It is important to note that this vision occurred after the 30th Mass was celebrated.  This is the start of the tradition of having Gregorian Masses for a deceased person.  

The Catholic Encyclopedia explains this ancient tradition as follows:  “Gregorian Masses consist of a series of thirty Masses offered on consecutive days for the soul of a deceased person.  They receive their name because of a story written by Gregory the Great (died 604) in the DIALOGUES (4:55; PL 77: 416-421) about a Monk who obtained release from Purgatory after thirty Masses were offered on his behalf.  On two occasions, the Sacred Congregation on Indulgences (March 15, 1884; August 24, 1888) declared the confidence of the faithful in the efficacy to God’s mercy and good pleasure, and asserted their approval by the Church.”

picture from

Friday, November 25, 2022

Advent Wreaths

 Hubby and I try to create memorable moments for our grandchildren.  Christmas is the perfect season to do so.

For months up until a few weeks ago, we were deluged with political advertisements.  Now that that’s gone, we get pleas for money.  Our mailboxes are full, with Christmas cards, but rather organizations begging for money.  Oh, and did you know there’s  war going on?  And I’m not necessarily talking about the Ukrainian/Russian War, but about 40 conflicts ongoing in the world, today.  We are bombarded on all sides with politics, begging, and conflicts.  I need a reprieve.

I don’t want to think about the world and its problems.  I want to think of family—my personal world. I want to enjoy my life by enjoying my family and memories.

On this particular day, I put away my phone.  The grandkids and I were going to make Advent wreaths.  Advent wreaths mark the four weeks before Christmas. That’s a month—too early to put up the Christmas tree.  I used to make a wreath with my own children and now I’m continuing the tradition with my two granddaughters.  I plan to make two: one for their house and one for mine.

Off we went to the dollar store, or as my youngest granddaughter reminds me, it’s the $ 1.25 store, now.  A word to the wise, always begin your crafting projects at the dollar store. Most probably you’ll find what you need much cheaper.  We found the foam rings, they were smaller than what I wanted but they would do.  So far $ 2.50.

We needed four candles to mark the 4 weeks before Christmas--$ 1.25 each. I was making two wreaths, so I needed 8 candles.  My total so far was $ 12.50.  All that’s left is to go for a walk in the woods to find evergreen, pine cones, and berries.  Do you know those two little heretics wanted to know why we didn’t just buy the plastic greenery for the wreaths?  Oh, what Philistines I have bred!  Look what our public educational system has wrought!  Lord have mercy, they know not what they do.

Alas, after considerable yet gentle coercion, we managed to gather enough greenery in our basket and head home, to hot cocoa. Now the first step in making an Advent wreath is to soak the ring in water.  We don’t want our green pine to dry out.  You treat the wreath like a live plant.  Much to my surprise, when I dropped our rings in the water, they floated to the top. 


They should have soaked up the water.  Oh!  These rings are Styrofoam. That’s not what I wanted.  I need the type of foam florists use. The next day I went to the expensive craft store.  They had the kind of foam I wanted but none of it was shaped like a ring.  BTW, I learned that what I wanted was called a wet florist foam ring.  I went to another craft store; they didn’t have it either.  I also went to two, two mind you, florist shops.  No luck, even they didn’t have it.  I ended up having to use straw wreaths.

Do you believe that these 5 stores didn’t have Advent wreaths?  It’s bad enough that school concerts at this time of year can’t sing Christmas carols, and even call their concerts “Christmas” but rather “Winter Concerts.”  That we can’t wish each other Merry Christmas, without being accused of being a backward, fundamentalist, now people don’t even know what an Advent wreath is.  No wonder my grandchildren balk at traditions. 

Oh, I guess I’m getting old and grouchy.  Back in the good ole days, holidays had names, Christmas, Hanukkah, Easter, etc.  Back then, celebrations brought families together to make Advent wreaths, decorate Christmas trees, sing Christmas carols, and hunt for Easter eggs.  Traditions change and that may not be for the better.  What replaced the Advent wreath?  The Elf on the Shelf, the mensch on the bench? 

Shall we start a new tradition?  Let’s all sit around the fireplace and play with our cell phones.

How’s that?

There just isn’t any replacement for the Advent wreath.

Hurry Up and Wait



Be patient, brothers and sisters,
until the coming of the Lord.
See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth,
being patient with it
until it receives the early and the late rains.
You too must be patient.
Make your hearts firm,
because the coming of the Lord is at hand.
Do not complain, brothers and sisters, about one another,
that you may not be judged.
Behold, the Judge is standing before the gates.
Take as an example of hardship and patience, brothers and sisters,
the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.


Warnings preceded James 5.  Now we are asked to be patient.  For what?  The Second Coming or our personal judgment?  James isn't definite but what does it matter?  We have to wait regardless.  This passage tells us to have the patience of a farmer who has to work and wait for his crops to grow.  Note the word patience is used twice.


I see the word "patience," used twice. I can take the hint but it is hard for me because I have no patience.  How can I cultivate patience in my old age? If I haven't got patience by now, I never will.  Ugh.  I've got to change my attitude.  What's the use of being anxious and upset?  It doesn't bring to fruition whatever I'm waiting for. 


Lord, help me to wait.  Help me to take a deep breath and relax and pray.  


I feel myself relaxing into Jesus arms.  Here, I don't feel anxious, nervous, or upset.  Who cares?  What will be, will be.


I can't forget my mantra: All is passing; only God abiding.

Thursday, November 24, 2022


 The Diary of a Country Priest by George Bernanos is a journal. The diary are entries from day to day. From these entries, the reader becomes familiar with the priest's parish. He does his best. He's alone. He ministers to everyone regardless of status. But the people are hard-hearted. Some are so disrespectful, I'm embarrassed for the priest.
The reader can feel the priest's loneliness. He has no one he can bounce ideas off. He is always "on". It's like living in a fishbowl. To add to the priest's troubles, he is physically sick. Eventually, the reader finds out that he has cancer in the stomach. It will kill him.
He is a good priest. He sees grace everywhere. Even when dying, he is a faithful priest. His last words were "grace is everywhere."

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Fortunate Mistake

 Somewhere I picked up the notion that a good author to read was John O'Neill.  I didn't really find any fiction books that looked interesting, except one, The Fisherman's Tomb.  It promised to be the story of finding Peter's bones under the Vatican.  I pictured an Indian Jones thriller or a mystery.

Much to my surprise, The Fisherman's Tomb by John O'Neill is non-fiction. The book tells the background history of St. Peter. The scene is set by Nero, Diocletian, and Valerian. Constantine settles the climate with his Edict of Milan.  When Peter was crucified, his body was tossed in a trash heap.  Fellow Christians rescued his remains, minus his feet, because the executioners couldn't be bothered to pry the nails out of Peter's feet to take him down from the cross.  So they hacked off his feet.  

The entire project was underwritten by money from George Strake, a Texas oilman.  It is to him, that we owe the success of the project.  Credit also goes to Margherita Guarducci, archeologist extraordinaire.  She found the true bones and truly is the heroine of the project, overcoming the misogynist academia of the time.  God found a way.

The diagrams and photos are a bonus.  They explain what word descriptions can not.  I consider my first inquiry a happy mistake because I learned and reviewed history and enjoyed the story.

                                                                        Papal Necropolis

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Prison is a Perception

 Matt Haig's "The Midnight Library," is about parallel universes. The main protagonist, Nora Seed is depressed. Every career, goal, even a beloved pet, she fails. She doesn't see any reason to keep on living. So she overdoses.

Before she dies, she is in between worlds. Through her favorite librarian, who taught her how to play chess and seemed to be the easiest adult to talk to, she travels to different choices that might have led to Nora being happy and successful. Every book in this Midnight Library takes Nora to a life that might have been.

She tries quite a few. In one of them, Nora is almost killed but she fights valiantly to live. Yes, to live! Ultimately, she decides she really does want to live. She goes back to her former life with a different attitude. She sees things differently. She's kinder and so is her world. She appreciates her life.

"The Midnight Library" was an easy read. The plot was different and simple. There wasn't a complicated list of characters, nor any twists. Life is what you make it and prison is just a perception.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Inventory for Me

 I think copying Dorothy Parker's poem, Inventory would be fun.  I'm going to bring it to my writers' group and see if they think so, too.


 - 1893-1967

Four be the things I am wiser to know:
Idleness, sorrow, a friend, and a foe.

Four be the things I’d been better without:
Love, curiosity, freckles, and doubt.

Three be the things I shall never attain:
Envy, content, and sufficient champagne.

Three be the things I shall have till I die:
Laughter and hope and a sock in the eye.

My Inventory

Four be the things I am wiser to know:
Religion, friends, grandchildren, Fra Angelico.

Four be the things I'd be better without:
Cynicism, shyness, freckles, doubt.

Four be the things I shall never attain:
Fame, fortune, sainthood, and a chatelaine.

Three be the things I shall have till I die:
Faith, hope, love, and God's eye.

Friday, November 18, 2022

Act Hopefully


The desert and the parched land will exult;
the steppe will rejoice and bloom.
They will bloom with abundant flowers,
and rejoice with joyful song.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to them,
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
they will see the glory of the LORD,
the splendor of our God.
Strengthen the hands that are feeble,
make firm the knees that are weak,
say to those whose hearts are frightened:
Be strong, fear not!
Here is your God,
he comes with vindication;
with divine recompense
he comes to save you.
Then will the eyes of the blind be opened,
the ears of the deaf be cleared;
then will the lame leap like a stag,
then the tongue of the mute will sing.

Those whom the LORD has ransomed will return
and enter Zion singing,
crowned with everlasting joy;
they will meet with joy and gladness,
sorrow and mourning will flee.


Isaiah was commanded by God to write down the prophecies. Isaiah refers to the writings  as the "scroll of the Lord."  Prophecy predicts and history reveals what has been in God's mind for all time.  Here Isaiah's message is one of judgment on Israel and Judah for rejecting God.  There have been glimpses of relief by the remnant of the faithful, the wrath and fury of destruction are overwhelming.  But here Isaiah gives us a beautiful prophecy.  It's full of hope and encouragement.  God loves all He has created.  What God creates is good.  Why don't we just trust Him?


I prefer a God of forgiveness and mercy to a God of judgment.  Who doesn't?  But looking through history, I see the hand of God at work.  All things work out for the best, ultimately.  I will just have to look towards the light and always remain hopeful.  I know how our story ends and God wins.  Have faith, and act hopefully.


O Lord, people need to change their attitude.  Help them not to despair.  give them hope.  A Christian should be hopeful. Enlighten those who live in the dark.


If people would only pray (talk) to you, they would have their questions answered. Christian faith as a belief in Jesus is the same, but theology varies.  But you know the answers that each of us needs.  You give different answers to the same questions, but they are always what we need.  We need to talk to you and trust.  Help me, Lord.


I resolve to be silent before God, more.  I need more prayer time.  I must listen and not do all the talking.

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Eucharist Adoration

 It’s 7:00 AM, and the Blessed Sacrament is exposed under a rich canopy; during the night, the women took turns in adoration.  The year is 1864 and the women are prisoners in Cadillac, France.

They were 397 women, relatively young, their crimes ranging from murder, robbery, and prostitution.  Illiteracy was very common.  A Dominican preacher was requested to begin a retreat in preparation to beginning perpetual Adoration.  In these days, people didn’t receive Communion frequently and Adoration was considered a spiritual communion.

The friar was fairly new.  His name was M. Jean-Joseph Lataste, O.P.* In order not to interfere with the labor of the prisoners, the retreat time had to be taken from the inmates’ sleep.  Imagine the trembling, young friar presenting himself at the prison door. Imagine him looking over the sleepy congregation, kerchiefed heads bowed down.  Would they not listen to him, fall asleep, be disrespectful, or even mock him out loud?  Here is how Father Lataste described his state of mind:

They were there, almost four hundred of them, dressed in shabby clothes, a handkerchief tightly wound their temples, giving them a very unusual appearance which somehow was offensive to me.  The point is I was prejudice. In fact, I had a horror of them.

At the beginning of the first sermon, the preacher went beyond his personal repulsion, and raised his eyes to his audience.  His first words, his greeting, landed like a bomb.

My dear sisters,…

He didn’t call them sinners, and rant about their crimes and scream at them to repent. Rather, he spoke of God’s love.  As he talked about the mercy of God, he heard them sobbing.  Gradually, their handkerchief heads rose, with eyes wet with tears.

He was the first one to be converted.

They brightened at the story of Jesus exorcising the demons from Mary Magdalene.  They asked about the love of Mary Magdalene for Jesus.  Could Jesus love them?

I spoke to them of God’s great mercy, of God’s great love, of God’s preferential love for sincerely repentant souls who want to love like Magdalene.  You would have seen them gently raise their heads, like flowers after a storm when the sun comes out to touch them.  Their faces lit up little by little; it seemed that they breathed more easily and that the walls of the prison, heavy as they were, had become light.

He told them when they knelt in front of the monstrance, to give Jesus their love like Mary Magdalene did--to speak to Him from their hearts.  God loved them and would forgive them for their transgressions.  The mercy of God respects the basic dignity of every human being, who is called to holiness whatever their past.

The women looked at the Blessed Sacrament in awe.  It was a mystery.  They wondered if it were true that Jesus could love them.  He loved Mary Magdalene.  He loved Dismas.  He was God; His mercy was endless; His forgiveness was given; His love was for them.  They could feel it.  Finally, they were free to love Jesus.  They would be like Mary Magdalene and love Him, forever.  Their hearts beat in unison with the pulsating joy and happiness emanating from the Monstrance.

*Blessed M. Jean-Joseph Lataste, O.P. founded the Dominican Sisters of Bethany, with some of these same inmates.  His cause for canonization is being considered. He is known as the Apostle to Prisoners.

Quotes from My Dear Sisters, Fr. Jean-Marie Guellette, O.P., New Hope Publications, 2018.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

All God's Chillun Got Shoes

 Today started off disasteredly. First  I. Didn’t sleep well resulting in not waking until 8:40 and I had a 10 o’clock meeting.

I jumped out of bed.  My hair was a fright but I didn't have time to do any fixin'.  I even skipped washing up, never mind a shower!  I brushed my teeth.  Out the door, I grabbed coffee and a biscotti.  I made it to the Senior Center in time.  I parked my car, got out, and the first step I took, my shoe collapsed.  

The entire sole of my shoe fell off.  The shoe on the right is the shoe.  The sole is on the left that fell off the middle picture of the shoe.  

I didn't have time to do anything about it.  I walked lopsided in.

After the meeting, I went to lunch, like that.

After lunch, I played cribbage, like that.

I left early to pick up the grandkids, like that. 

After that, I went to Urgent Care to get help for a UTI.  Why do I always get UTI's when life is crazy busy?  I still have a broken shoe because I didn't have time to go home.

Once I got my prescription, I went to the drugstore and picked it the prescription--like a limping old lady.

Finally, I limped home.  

I got shoes,
You got shoes,
All of God's children got shoes!
When I get to Heaven gonna put on my shoes;
I'm gonna walk all over God's Heaven,
Heaven, Heaven.

But when I get to heaven my shoes will be perfect.

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Ten Models of the Eucharist

Models of the Eucharist by Kevin Irwin outlines 10 views of the Liturgy of the Eucharist. In my quest to understand the 

Eucharist, this book added background information and clear succinct explanations of the Eucharistic rite. I read it slowly because this book is a work for academics. I enjoyed my daily readings and often looked forward to my reading time.
Model One--Our meals are related to the Eucharistic meal. From the Last Supper to the present.
Model Two--Everyone has a role in the Eucharist
Model Three--Tieing the Liturgy of the Word to the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
Model Four--Exegesis of "Do this in memory of me."
Model Five--Blood of the sacrificial lambs relates to Jesus
Model Six--History of the laity participation.
Model Seven--The Offertory is examined.
Model Eight--Theology of sacrifice.
Model Nine--Jesus is truly present.
Model Ten--The work of the Holy Spirit in all the people.
Conclusion--Historical and Theological explanation.

Friday, November 11, 2022

Recognizing Sacrifice

Cultural opinion changes.  I was a young adult during the Vietnam War.  I remember our military coming home and people spitting on them.  They were called baby killers.  I remember the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign War's halls being empty because the soldiers were embarrassed for their service.  None of my friends joined up voluntarily.  They were drafted.  And those who came home were pot heads or drunks.
Thank God, times have changed.  The children of those who served in Vietnam are proud of their parents, and so they should be.  They interrupted their lives--education, business, family, loves, to serve their country.  

You get that.  They offered their lives.  Let that sink in.  


Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Prayer for Inmates

 While Cardinal Pell was in prison he met a few inmates who he thought were unjustly imprisoned.  Sadly, one, in particular, had been in prison since he was nineteen.  What were you doing at age 19?  Hei felt moved to compose this prayer that reminds me of my own "cloistered brothers."

God the Father, one of our foremost consolations is the knowledge that you are just, that in the after life the scales of justice are balanced accurately.  We know you are a God of love and mercy, that your Son's sufferings and death weigh the balance in our favour, and that you are never unjust, never punish sinners beyond what we deserve.

We ask you, through your Son, to bless those who work for justice in this life and to take particular care of all those who are imprisoned unjustly, especially those wrongly jailed for years and those who do not have the support of family and friends, or enough money and good lawyers as they struggle for justice.

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Champion of Humility

 Remember when I won this tournament?  Well last night and today I haven't won a game.  Last night, I played six games and won a string of pearls--"0".  Today, I play two games and lost both.

Cribbage is mostly luck.  I'm proof.  So now my plaque is an embarrassment.  How can a champion be such a looser?  I'm keeping this plaque in a place of honor, not to show off, but to keep me humble.


 One time after an Interfaith service, we were going downstairs for a collation.  As I was leaving the churc h, I dipped my fingers in the holy water font and blessed myself.  I heard a little voice behind me ask his mother, "why is she doing that?"  The mother said, "Why don't you ask her?"  I turned around and explained, "I do that to remind me of my baptism."  

Don't ask me where I got that answer.  It's true; it does remind me of my baptism.  Today, I read Luke 21: 14-15.

Settle it therefore in your minds, not to meditate beforehand how to answer; for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict.

I rememered this occasion when I read this, today.  Thank you, Jesus.

Sunday, November 6, 2022

Eucharist as Reconciliation

He's correct.  It is.Well, I learned something new.  I was reading my nephew's Facebook page and in commenting on this picture, he said " He’s often depicted with a dog, a cat, and a mouse drinking milk from the same bowl; a Eucharistic image of the reconciliation of natural enemies. "

He's correct.  It is.

Saturday, November 5, 2022


 This article in the New York Times is about the prices prisoners have to pay in their store.  You might ask what are they buying?  Don't they have what they need provided?  The basics are, i.e., soap and toilet paper but there are other things like shaving cream, shampoo, deodorant, and even snack food.  There are some clothing items, too.  Usually, families will send money but more than likely inmates have jobs.  No one earns more than $ 2 an hour.  

Inmates have to pay for telephone calls, too.  Well, there's one vendor who supplies the prison store. The vendors bid for it but one vendor wins.  So the prisoners have to buy from that one vendor--no comparison shopping.  Anyway, this article will explain this.

Friday, November 4, 2022

You Can't Celebrate the Eucharist and Rape the Earth

 You can't celebrate the Eucharist with stolen bread nor can you celebrate and rape the earth.  These adages sound like liberation theology.  Now they're obvious.  Just look at melting glaciers and disappearing rivers.  

This is our beautiful earth.  Jesus came to our earth.  Our Eucharistic gifts of bread and wine come from the earth.  Of course, we need to care for our home, the earth.  The document, Sacrosanctum Concilum teaches us that Christ is always present in the Mass.  The congregation of the people, the Mass celebrant, the sacramental gifts, all reflect God's creation.

The Second Vatican Council's dogmatic constitution on the liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilum, reminds us that Christ is "always present in His Church" and that during the celebration of the Mass, Christ is present in the presider, the assembly of the baptized, the holy Scriptures proclaimed and the Eucharistic species of bread and wine shared. Whether we consider the presence of Christ in our neighbor or the sacramental presence of Christ in the gifts of the altar, both reflect God's continued self-offering and closeness to all creation.

Pope Francis' Encyclical, Laudato Si, reminds us of the ecological imperative we people have to care for the earth.  This morning I read where the Catholic Churches in Cuba are running out of communion wafers.     There is a scarcity of wheat to make the flour to make bread.  

Not taking care of our planet, in a sense, is raping the earth.  Likewise, not caring and feeding our poor people is stealing food from them.  You can't celebrate Mass, when people are thinking only of themselves.  Sin is sin.

Features of the Eucharist

 All three circles attempt to explain the important features of the Eucharist.  This conception is not my idea.  Kevin W. Irwin explains the Eucharist in three circles in the conclusion of his book, Models of the Eucharist, (which I will review some day). Father Irwin has the Liturgy the smallest of the circles, yet in the center.  Since prayer, to me, is liturgy, I make it smaller than liturgy.  Prayer make up the liturgy but liturgy includes more than that.

The center, of course, is the rite of the Eucharist, in the Catholic Mass. Our spirituality colors the words, music, gestures, and even the emotions that build on the prayers in the liturgical rite of the Eucharist.

The biggest circle is spirituality.  Picture this as the way Catholics think and view the world expressed in their worship.  It's Trinitarian, meaning we see the world through a Christian lens. We see life as grace with divine providence.

The smallest circle is how we Catholics communicate with God.  There are various ways--something for everybody.  Even our lives can be offered in prayer.  So can music and other forms of art.  Obviously, prayer is how we express our praise and thanks to our creator.

All three circles lead to the Eucharist.  Our Eucharistic spirituality views our lives as God's image.  Our prayer-- thanks and praise to God for His many graces and particularly for giving us His Body and His Blood in the Eucharist.

Thursday, November 3, 2022

The King


Brothers and sisters:
Let us give thanks to the Father,
who has made you fit to share
in the inheritance of the holy ones in light.
He delivered us from the power of darkness
and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,
in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

He is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn of all creation.
For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth,
the visible and the invisible,
whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers;
all things were created through him and for him.
He is before all things,
and in him, all things hold together.
He is the head of the body, the church.
He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead,
that in all things he himself might be preeminent.
For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell,
and through him to reconcile all things for him,
making peace by the blood of his cross
through him, whether those on earth or those in heaven.


This section is loaded with assertions about our wonderful God.  It echoes our beliefs.  God is the creator. He created all things.  He existed before all things.  Verses 15-20 are an ancient hymn that praises Christ's deity.  
    Note the mention of the highest divisions of angels: thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers.  God created them and is above them.  Christ reigns supreme.


This order of the universe is in chaos.  Jesus came to put the universe back on track.  I think it has gone off-kilter, again.  I wonder what God's plan is?


Lord, I trust in You but I wish I had a hint of what You are doing.  Increase my faith, Lord.


Peace is what the world needs.  Let it begin with me.


This time is election time.  I won't fret about which party has the majority.  Jesus is King.  

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