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Showing posts from November, 2008

technical difficulties

I am typing this using the hunt and peck method with my left hand. I took a tumble last night when I hit a frosty patch of grass. I suffered a very nasty break to my right forearm. I will find out Tuesday if the manipulation of the bone pieces is stable or if surgery will be needed to keep everything lined up. Needless to say, blog posts will be brief for a while.

Good news is that all the preparation for Thanksgiving I did yesterday will make it easy for my husband and kids to get dinner on the table with a little (okay, maybe a lot) of supervision by me. Nothing can spoil my joy at having the entire brood back in the nest. God is truly good.

Thanksgiving Blessings to All!

So far today I have baked one pumpkin pie and one pecan pie. I have boiled and mashed the sweet potatoes for tomorrow. I have baked one batch of cornbread for dressing. The turkey neck and giblets have been simmering with onions, celery and seasonings all day so that I have plenty of broth for dressing and gravy. A few last minute cleaning details to go. I will set the table for tonight.

Then I will go to the airport to pick up my daughter, second son, and oldest son's fiancee from one flight and my oldest son from another flight. We will have everyone home by midnight if all is on schedule.

Tomorrow it will be up for Mass (A Mommy Day of Obligation!) then the feast begins around 1pm. I really don't know when I will get back to the computer to blog. Therefore:

May your Thanksgiving Day be filled with blessings. You will be in my prayers. I will certainly be saying a prayer of thanksgiving for the readers of my blog. May God keep you and bless you always.

Feast of Christ the King

On Monday I will speaking to seventh grade CCD students and their parents about living the liturgical calendar. As I wrote here, learning to live the rhythms of the liturgical calendar are an excellent way to work catechesis into your family life.

Tomorrow is the last Sunday of our liturgical year. It is the Feast of Christ the King. I was surprised to learn that this is a rather new addition to the Church year. Pope Pius XI proclaimed its celebration in 1925. From the Catholic Culture web site:

The Feast of Christ the King was established by Pope Pius XI in 1925 as an antidote to secularism, a way of life which leaves God out of man's thinking and living and organizes his life as if God did not exist. The feast is intended to proclaim in a striking and effective manner Christ's royalty over individuals, families, society, governments, and nations.

Today's Mass establishes the titles for Christ's royalty over men: 1) Christ is God, the Creator of the universe and hence …

Links Aplenty!

Some days the blogosphere echos with a common theme. Consider these links:

Start off with Karen Hall's explanation of why we should worry about the creeping socialism offered by Obama.

Then take a look at Fr. Z's stirring video and commentary.

Finally, pay heed to Fr. Neuhaus at First Things.

Then when you are done with all that, get to your knees in prayer, put on the armor of God,and follow St. Michael into battle.

Praying for and supporting those who pray for us

Today, November 21, is the Feast of the Presentation of the Virgin Mary. As Pope Benedict mentioned in his Wednesday address, this is a day to remember in prayer our cloistered religious communities.

After leading the Angelus, the Pope called the attention of his audience to the approaching feast of the Presentation, celebrated on November 21. He reminded the faithful that the feast day is traditionally marked for special prayers for cloistered religious communities. The faithful should recognize the constant support provided by the prayerful witness of these religious, he said. "Let us in our turn pray for them and for new vocations, and undertake to support the material needs of monasteries," the Pope said.

May I make another suggestion? In addition to praying for them, consider supporting the many cottage industries that support their communities. Taking a cue from the Anchoress, I would like to make some suggestions:

The Holy Transfiguration Skete is a Catholic Monastery of…

"Obedience Delayed is Disobedience"

As many of you know, I absolutely love the game of soccer. I knew nothing about the game until my oldest started playing nearly twenty years ago. Now I am a committed fan. That is why this intersection of two of my passions--the Catholic Church and soccer—sets my heart aflutter. Read the whole article. (registration is required, but worth it!). Think about this article being the headline story on the front page of the sports section of the Washington Post. There is not a single derogatory or snide comment about the Church. It is an extremely well written piece that really captures the essence of being called to the priesthood. The writer lets Chase Hilgenbrinck tell the story of how his call to the priesthood was stronger than his call to be a professional soccer player.

With more free time on his hands than he knew what to do with, Hilgenbrinck set a goal of reading the entire Bible. He read books on Catholicism, particularly those by Scott Hahn and Karl Keating that his parents gave …

The Serenity and Fortitude of Angels

Today we mark the memorial of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini. She was born in Italy in 1850 but eventually traveled to the United States as a missionary. She became a citizen of the United States and was the first United States citizen to be canonized. Today’s Magnificat offers a poignant reflection from St. Frances Xavier Cabrini:

What shall we not do for the love of such a loving God, so generous that he has called us to follow him so closely and to continue the mission of Jesus on earth? Let us correspond to so great a love. Let us be generous, and remember that the salvation of the world is entrusted to our charity. We can do nothing because we are poor and weak, but let us have a lively faith and trust in him who strengthens us. Let us expand our hearts to help so many souls lying under the yoke of the king of darkness. With the fire of our love, let us break the heavy chains keeping them bound in the terrible service of the devil.

When we see our efforts are unsuccessful, let us throw…

A Veteran's Day Encore Presentation--Mother of a Soldier

I published the following last November. It seems fitting to publish it again. The picture is my oldest son whose engagement I celebrated in my last post. He will be deploying to Afghanistan in just a few months. Please keep him and all our military in your prayers. Consider adding this Rosary to your devotions.

Using the sorrowful mysteries:
Agony in the garden: for deployed soldiers and their safety
Scourging at the pillar: for wounded soldiers and for their healing
Crowning with thorns: for deceased soldiers and repose of their souls
Carrying of the cross: for families of deployed, wounded and deceased soldiers, and for strength and comfort.
Crucifixion: for our nation, for the victims of war and for peace in the world. And now for an encore presentation of Mother of a Soldier:

Yesterday evening I received this picture from my son. He is a senior at Texas A&M and in the
Corps of Cadets. If all goes as planned he will be commissioned as an officer in the United States Army. Just last…

He Popped The Question!!!!

I am one bubbly mom today. My oldest son asked his girlfriend to marry him and she said yes!!!!! I am so excited. If it is possible, I am just as happy as my son. You may remember he brought her home to visit this past spring.

I knew it was coming since I have been doing all the legwork to get the ring. The Army doesn't give you a lot of time off for this sort of thing. It has been so much fun to help out like this. But I have had to keep it a secret since he wanted to surprise her. I have been about to burst with the news. It will probably be a fairly long engagement since she has to finish school and my son will most likely be deploying to Afghanistan in early 2009. The wait will make the wedding all the more sweet.

And take a look at this ring. It is a princess cut diamond set in white gold. Beneath the diamond is a sapphire. The picture doesn't do it justice. In person it will take your breath away.

UPDATE: For those with Texas A&M connections, he took her on a walk aft…

More Thoughts and a Question About the Collection Basket

In light of my post on an alternative way of giving, you might be interested in these words from Fr. Neuhaus:

The Campaign for Human Development (CHD) is an annual collection in parishes, usually on one of the last two Sundays in November. It used to be called the Catholic Campaign for Human Development but the Catholic was dropped, which is just as well since it has nothing to do with Catholicism, except that Catholics are asked to pay for it. Some bishops no longer allow the CHD collection in their dioceses, and more should not allow it. In fact, CHD, misbegotten in concept and corrupt in practice, should, at long last, be terminated.

Ten years ago, CHD was exposed as using the Catholic Church as a milk cow to fund organizations that frequently were actively working against the Church’s mission, especially in their support of pro-abortion activities and politicians. Now it turns out that CHD has long been a major funder of ACORN, a national community agitation organization in support …

Marriage is not the same thing as hiring a general contractor!

The main point of this article is to illustrate the disappointment of gay couples over the rejection of gay marriage in so many states, most notably California. It also tries to paint gay couples as just like their heterosexual counterparts. Most of the article is very forgettable. However, this quote sums up the problem with our culture’s modern view of “marriage”.

"We're out shopping for our renovated kitchen," says Jeff Van Luyn, with his partner, Jim Stanko. They're not being segregated. They're not being denied entrance to public places. "So how much can we complain?" They buy a juicer, a cutting board, some hand towels.

Van Luyn thinks that the problem is the religious undertones that have become associated with marriage. "When it's just a contract. Like the contract we had with the guy who remodeled our apartment."

I hate to break it to these guys but religious undertones didn’t just recently get associated with marriage. From the begi…

Praying for the Dead

Sometimes people think the “social justice” movement within the Church is a new thing. Actually, it dates all the way back to Christ:

Then the king will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.' Then the righteous will answer him and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?' And the king will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.' Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared fo…

Loving Lost Sheep

Dale Price writes what I want to feel, but just don’t.

This is not a call for quietism, as the Church states in the Catechism (2234-2243). Section 2242 sets out in black and white the limits of what any state can command from its Catholic citizenry. However, the Magisterium is equally clear that we have to listen to what Wordsworth memorably called the "Stern Daughter of the Voice of God" -- duty:

It is the duty of citizens to contribute along with the civil authorities to the good of society in a spirit of truth, justice, solidarity, and freedom. The love and service of one's country follow from the duty of gratitude and belong to the order of charity. Submission to legitimate authorities and service of the common good require citizens to fulfill their roles in the life of the political community (2239).

Please note that the emphasis here is in the original. As you can see, corrosive partisanship is not on the list of duties. As Catholics, we are held to a higher standard,…

Alternative Ways to Give

The USCCB collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development is coming up in a couple of weeks. There will be no check in the collection basket from me.

Washington DC, Nov 5, 2008 (CNA).- The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has begun investigating the more than $1 million in church grants given to the voter registration group ACORN. Fearing the grants may have been used in partisan or fraudulent ways which could threaten the Church’s tax-exempt status, they have hired forensic accounting experts.

Workers with the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) are being questioned by state officials and the FBI about voter registration forms they submitted with signatures from Mickey Mouse and members of the Dallas Cowboys football team, the Washington Times reports.

ACORN’s registration efforts target low-income neighborhoods believed to favor the Democrats. Presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama himself once worked with ACORN as a community organizer and la…

Words of Wisdom for November 5, 2008

There is a lot of wisdom from Catholic bloggers today:

Greg Sisk captures my sentiments exactly

Jay Anderson gives us the next steps

Julie D sounds the call to soldier on.

The priest who celebrated Mass this morning is from Kenya. He said look at the media. The world is celebrating the election of another president of the United States. They would have celebrated, no matter who won. They are celebrating the success of American democracy. That said, he continued that there are many Americans who are very confused. People who seem to be very smart with advanced education and powerful positions do not see the stark reality of the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death. They cannot see that marriage is only between one man and one woman. They cannot see that children are gifts from God and are to be welcomed into our families. Therefore, we must not despair. We must be joyful so that we can be people of the Gospel, the Good News. We must be a light to shine on Truth and disp…

St. Michael: Ora Pro Nobis

This just seemed like the perfect prayer to start today.

St. Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen..

Bishop Loverde: What Are You Going To Do?

As I said earlier, I hope the bishops keep talking. Now I have a question for my own bishop: Bishop Loverde, what are you going to do about Gerry Connolly? He claims to be Catholic. Yet he approved anti-Catholic smears aimed at his opponent, Keith Fimian. He supports abortion. He also has some problems with the Church’s stand on women’s ordination. In a reader survey about the role of women in the Church, he wrote the following to the liberal publication, U.S. Catholic :

The good women are ignored. The good men are silenced.
--Gerry Connolly

Bishop Loverde, I love that you are out there praying at the abortion facilities, blessing our pro-life pharmacy, and writing great columns in the Arlington Herald. But now you have your very own “Pelosi problem”. Gerry Connolly is now a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. What are you going to do?

Will the Bishops Keep Speaking?

I go to daily Mass most days. Today, on Election Day, there were far more people than usual. The group praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet and the Rosary after Mass was larger as well. Churches around the country are opening their doors for people to come and pray. Many parishes are offering Eucharistic Adoration and prayer vigils for the election. For the last two weeks I have received dozens of emails recommending various novenas, Rosaries, and intercessory saints for the election. I’ve been a voter for thirty years. I have never seen such a recourse to prayer. What is different today? The stakes for people of faith are higher than they have ever been before.

I am not the only one who recognizes the difference. The bishops are worried. Over one hundred bishops have spoken out about the primacy of life issues and the moral obligation to oppose abortion. With every passing day the statements grow louder and stronger. Bishop Finn gave his sharpest statement yet when he asserted that the fa…

A Psalm for Election Day


1 Listen to my prayer, O God,
do not ignore my plea; 2 hear me and answer me.
My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught 3 at the voice of the enemy,
at the stares of the wicked;
for they bring down suffering upon me
and revile me in their anger. 4 My heart is in anguish within me;
the terrors of death assail me. 5 Fear and trembling have beset me;
horror has overwhelmed me. 6 I said, "Oh, that I had the wings of a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest- 7 I would flee far away
and stay in the desert;
Selah 8 I would hurry to my place of shelter,
far from the tempest and storm." 9 Confuse the wicked, O Lord, confound their speech,
for I see violence and strife in the city. 10 Day and night they prowl about on its walls;
malice and abuse are within it. 11 Destructive forces are at work in the city;
threats and lies never leave its streets. 12 If an enemy were insulting me,
I could endure it;

John Paul II: Evangelium Vitae

Evangelium Vitae, The Gospel of Life was issued as an Encyclical by Pope John Paul II in 1995. The entire document is well worth our study, but for the purposes of our election tomorrow, please read and reflect on this selected passage:

72. The doctrine on the necessary conformity of civil law with the moral law is in continuity with the whole tradition of the Church. This is clear once more from John XXIII's Encyclical: "Authority is a postulate of the moral order and derives from God. Consequently, laws and decrees enacted in contravention of the moral order, and hence of the divine will, can have no binding force in conscience...; indeed, the passing of such laws undermines the very nature of authority and results in shameful abuse".95 This is the clear teaching of Saint Thomas Aquinas, who writes that "human law is law inasmuch as it is in conformity with right reason and thus derives from the eternal law. But when a law is contrary to reason, it is called an unj…

Solid Doctrinal Catechesis From the Pulpit. Wow!

I wonder if our young priest reads NLM:

Heaven, Hell and Purgatory: the Reality of Sin

At times, the argument is made that the use of black is contrary to our Christian belief in the resurrection. While Christians are indeed a people of hope who believe in the resurrection of the dead this should in no way be understood as contrary to the use of black. While we are a people of hope, we are also called to be a people aware of the reality of sin, death and judgment. Our salvation, and that of our loved one's, while we hope for it -- and in our own case, work to attain it -- is not a foregone conclusion. Pretending it is so does neither us nor our loved one's any substantial good. If we obscure these realities, or presume the heavenly bliss of the faithful departed (what some refer to as "instant canonizations"), we really are being rather devoid of charity in point of fact -- like presuming a sick family member is not so sick as to need care and tending and therefore go …