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Showing posts from March, 2008

Prayers for Sister Mary Martha

Sister Mary Martha has charmed us for months with her incredible wit and her no holds barred faithful catechesis. Please offer your prayers now for the repose of her father's soul as well as the consolation of Sister Mary Martha and her mother.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O LORD, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen.

Divine Mercy and The Apostles

We are continuing our study of The Apostles by Pope Benedict. This has been an interesting exercise. I expected to be fascinated by Peter and Paul. However, the one Apostle I cannot get out of my head is Matthias. I wrote about him a month ago when we first covered his chapter in the book. However, he is brought back to mind as we offer the Divine Mercy Novena this week. Just as Matthias was called to make atonement for the transgression of Judas, we are called to offer prayer and sacrifices for the sins of others. It is not enough to just atone for our own sins. We must seek to bring Christ’s Mercy to the souls of all sinners.

Perhaps this is the most significant lesson to be learned from the Apostles. They are so much more than a collection of individuals with individual conversion stories. They formed the Church. It is a unique communal body that cannot be separated into independent individuals. It is the Mystical Body of Christ. It is wounded by the vice of sinners and healed by th…

An Evil Use of Tax Dollars

I finally filed my income tax return. Ugh! I guess I would feel better if I thought the government was putting my money to good use. But then I read an analysis like this one in the Washington Times:

Americans may be surprised to learn that Planned Parenthood has plenty of money, and taxpayers are contributing a large part of it. In 2005-06 it took in nearly $1 billion and boasted a surplus of $55 million. More than one-third of its income — $305 million — came from government subsidies. Its president receives an annual compensation of almost $1 million.

Do read the entire essay. It outlines the way Planned Parenthood ignores requirements to report suspected sexual abuse, targets minorities, and plays strongly partisan politics. As the authors state in their final paragraph:

One must wonder, then, whether taxpayers should continue to support an organization that is flush with money, has been willing to skirt or ignore laws intended to protect the people it claims to serve and may be targ…

Pro-Life Message in the Sports Section

Even in March I am not much of a basketball fan. I do follow the March Madness brackets especially when schools to which I have some connection are advancing, but I don’t think I have watched five minutes of a basketball game in years. So it was not the outcome of a game that brought me to tears as I read this morning’s sports section in the Washington Post. Rather it was this story:

Max Bass looks up to Flowers because the Wisconsin guard represents everything that has defined the Gaithersburg child's life -- tribulation, perseverance, diligence, triumph. Michael wears No. 22, just like Max.

Flowers, though, says Max and his family have done more for his personal growth and maturity than he could ever dream of doing for them. When you discover you are the idol of a kindergartner who has battled leukemia since he was 2 1/2 , Flowers says, you grow up in a hurry.

Read the whole story and make sure you have a box of Kleenex handy.

Now as heartwarming as this story is just based on the f…

She Can't Afford the Right Shoes

Yesterday I found my way to the local strip mall beauty salon. Since it was the day after Easter Sunday and most folks did their primping last week I was the only customer. As my stylist set about giving me a trim I listened to the conversation around me. One stylist looked like she was in her early thirties. She talked about her two children one of whom is a teenager. It became obvious that she is unmarried but now seeing someone. She stated clearly that she was not about to have any more children. If her new beau wanted children he was going to have to look elsewhere. She had a boy and a girl. Why did she need any more children? Another beautician chimed in how it was better to have one “good” child than a house full of children for whom you could not provide everything. After all, children want a new pair of name brand shoes every week. You can’t do that when you have a lot of children.

I was very silent during this exchange. It was so sad to hear children spoken of as acquisitions …

Aleleuia! Christ is Risen

He is Risen Indeed. Aleleuia!

The Heart of the Liturgical Year

I will be focused on the Easter Triduum and away from the computer until Monday. I leave you with the words of our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The Easter Triduum, which the Church now prepares to celebrate, invites us to share in the mystery of Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection. These days are the heart of the liturgical year. On Holy Thursday the Church recalls the Last Supper. At the Chrism Mass, the Bishop and his priests renew their priestly promises and the sacramental oils are blessed. The Mass of the Lord’s Supper commemorates Jesus’ institution of the sacrament of his Body and Blood and his commandment that we should love one another. On Good Friday, we ponder the mystery of sin as we listen to the account of the Lord’s passion and venerate the wood of his Cross. Holy Saturday, a day of silence and prayer, prepares for the joy of the Easter Vigil, when the light of Christ dispels all darkness, and the saving power of his Paschal Mystery is …

Holy Week Catholic Carnival Aggie Style

As many of you know, my oldest is a senior at Texas A&M. Therefore, I am happy to usher you over to Mary's Aggies for the Holy Week Catholic Carnival. Say "Howdy!" then indulge in the many wonderful posts to help you appreciate Holy Week and more.

Look What I Found!

Who knew?!! The Diocese of Arlington has an online library of its Theology on Tap presentations. Looking through both the topics and the presenters, this looks like a treasure trove of solid catechesis. These presentations are geared for young adults but I think anyone high school age or older will enjoy them. I especially liked Dawn Eden’s January 21, 2008 presentation on chastity and Fr. Leo Patalinghug’s (of Grace Before Meals fame) May 21, 2007 presentation “X Marks the Spot” that teaches the significance and the power of the sign of the Cross. Take a look and pass along this super resource.

Enjoying the Visit--thanks for asking!

For those who are asking, this week’s visit with my son and his girlfriend is going great. Don’t expect any big announcements. They still have a lot of growing to do but they are obviously very fond of each other. Time will tell.

She is a lovely young woman who definitely has my son’s attention. She’s been a real trooper when it comes to her visit. The flight up here was her first time on an airplane and it was a bit bumpy landing in a Baltimore rainstorm. After a little over an hour drive home she was greeted by a very excited labradinger puppy. Soon afterwards she was greeted by a very smelly couple of folks—my husband and younger son returning from the Boy Scout mulch delivery project. Then the high winds took out our power for the next six hours. Through it all she smiled unfailingly. We went to 7:30 AM Mass in the morning since my younger son was an altar server. Upon our return she and my son volunteered to fix a pancake breakfast for the family. I know my son is smitten because …

A New License For Teens--And It Is Not For Driving!

The musings of Professor Dan Markel have not moved from his blog to the legislature—yet. However, the fact that there are intelligent folks who really think like this is enough to send you to your knees in prayer. I would not call Professor Markel a fringe lunatic. He is a respected law professor at Florida State University. Yet he is proposing that we develop a teen sex license analogous to the driver’s license.

I described the sex-ed license quite quickly: minors above a certain age (e.g., above 14, 15, or 16?) wishing to have consensual sexual relations with other minors above that age or with adults should have to take a sex-ed course whose completion gives them a license to have sexual relations and possession of the license would, in conjunction with other conditions, work as an affirmative defense against prosecutions for statutory rape. This sex-ed license would cover information about safe sex, the risks of pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and genetic defects arising …

Family Meals in Your Domestic Church

Three decades ago when I headed off to college, dinner was still served family style at Rice University. At six o’clock, all university activities stopped. Rice operates on a college system (think Hogwarts) so each college had its own routine for serving the evening meal, but the general procedure was to sit eight to a table, pass around serving dishes of mystery meat and overcooked vegetables, and enjoy lively conversation. The food was lousy. The fellowship was priceless.

My son is now at Rice and the college system still thrives there. However, family style meals have given way to the food court style servery. There are lots of choices and the food is definitely tastier than when I was a student.There is no set dining time. Unfortunately, such a dining style is not a new experience for most of the students. They did not grow up in homes where you turn off the television and the computer, close the books, and gather at the table for a meal. Catching a meal on the run is the only way…

Mind Your Manners

Bishop Loverde’s column in this week’s Arlington Herald really struck a chord with me. The column’s title is Courtesy and Civility: A Path to Communion. From there Bishop Loverde muses on how all of our technological advances have taken the time for silence out of our lives. Cell phones, computers, and televisions that are supposed to keep us so connected, too often actually make us more disconnected. We ignore the person standing in front of us to respond to a ringing cell phone. We read on the internet about events in Africa yet ignore the events within our own family. Ponder these words from Bishop Loverde:

Lent can remind us to, “Be still and know that I am God” (Ps 46:10). What a gift we have in Christ’s Eucharistic presence! We experience a profound and fruitful stillness at every celebration of the Mass. In our struggles with stillness, Our Lord comes to us. In a world which causes our lives to be fragmented, Christ is always the source of communion, orienting us in proper r…

A bit distracted

I know I haven't posted much in the last few days. I guess I am a bit distracted. In fact I am almost giddy! My Texas A&M senior will be home for spring break on Saturday. I am not sure when he will be home again. He gets commissioned as an Army Second Lieutenant in early May and heads directly to his first assignment. However, what has me feeling bubbly is that he is not coming home alone. He is bringing home his sweetheart! (Is my little guy who was so brave when Daddy went off to war really old enough for this? For that matter, am I old enough for this?) I've never met her. I guess that is part of the downside of sending your child 1500 miles away to college. I just want to make this introduction as warm, welcoming and relaxed as I can. Do keep us in your prayers. Blessed Mother, St. Monica, St. Ann, and all other mother saints, please pray for us!