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Showing posts from February, 2011

More on those trying to undermine the role of parents

In my last post I linked to Rob Vischer's Mirror of Justice post in which he offers the work of Jeffrey Shulman for consideration. Mr. Shulman believes it is important for the law to protect children from the social values of their parents. Naturally, there were quite a few objections to this point of view in the comment section. However, the ninth comment sends shivers up my spine as I think of people with this mindset deciding public policy for my children and grandchildren:

Most parents agree with the parents who have posted in this thread. The conflict of interest itself is sufficient to judge that reaction as unworthy of consideration. It is not at all interesting that the group whose control over other persons is at stake takes the position that the control should remain not only undiminished, but completely free from outside review. I hate to be harsh, but those of you taking the view that the public school system and/or the medical system shouldn't interfere wit…

Parents beware!

Rob Vischer at Mirror of Justice offers an example of what current secular cultural elites think of the family. It is frightening. Those who embraced Hillary Clinton's concept of the state as the village to raise your child will embrace Jeffrey Shulman's new book. He writes:

Physically and intellectually transporting the child across the boundaries of home and community, a public education can bring its students a much needed respite from the ideological solipsism of the enclosed family. Of course, public education comes at a cost. It disrupts the intramural transmission of values from parent to child. It threatens to dismantle a familiar world by introducing the child to multiple sources of authority - and to the possibility that a choice must be made among them. Indeed, the open world of the public school should challenge the transmission of any closed set of values. Unless children are to live under "a perpetual childhood of prescription," they must be ex…

Keeping my feet on the ground and my heart in Heaven

Yesterday Pope Benedict XVI offered these words in his Angelus address:

"Clearly this teaching of Jesus, while it remains true and valid for everyone, is practiced in different ways depending on our different vocations: A Franciscan friar may follow it more radically, while a family man will have to take account of his duties towards his wife and children. Yet in all cases Christians stand out for their absolute faith in the heavenly Father, just like Jesus" Who "showed us what it means to live with our feet firmly planted on the ground, attentive to the real situation of our neighbours and, at the same time, with our hearts in heaven, immersed in God's mercy".
I love the image of our feet firmly planted on the ground but our hearts in heaven. This is important as each of us considers our vocation. Our calling by God requires certain practical considerations. As a mother, the care of my children means meeting my children's physical, emotional, and spiritual n…

A three-step approach to Lent

Lent is around the corner (March 9) and the blogosphere is filling up with recommended devotions, readings, and sacrifices. Rather than offering a specific reading list or a specific prayer plan, I would like to propose an approach to the Lenten triad of almsgiving, prayer, and fasting. I am a firm believer in the Pizza Dough Spirituality approach. Just as pizza dough cannot be stretched across the pan too quickly, growth in our spiritual life must be undertaken in small increments. Therefore, when looking at your Lenten practices, carefully assess what you are doing and where you can realistically expect to improve. I recommend a three-step process.

First, decide one thing that you can do with a pretty sure chance of success. For example, perhaps you are perpetually late for Mass. How about this Lent offering the effort required to get you and your family in the pew every Sunday ( or Saturday evening) on time? Think about what changes you need to make to your Saturday evening and Sund…

Thinking about Baptism during Lent

On December 26, the day after Christmas, my husband and I along with my oldest son, his wife, their newborn daughter, and my three other children gathered at my mother and father's home. We went to my parents' church to witness the baptism of my granddaughter, Trinity. This Baptism was so important to my mother. She knew that my oldest son was deploying to Afghanistan and it was important that the entire family stand in support of his family. So she made it clear to the parish staff that this Baptism had to happen during this very busy time of the year when everyone could be present. Once my mother made up her mind, few could resist her. It did happen and it was beautiful. My second son was the godfather. The young woman who was my daughter-in-law's sponsor when she entered the Church was now my granddaughter's godmother. The deacon offered excellent catechesis about the Sacrament of Baptism as he conducted the liturgy. The ceremony was followed by a joyous reception …

A different sort of TSA story

I will be returning home soon. We had my mother's funeral this past Friday and I am needed back at my own home front. I will be back here before too long. I cannot begin to thank everyone who offered prayers, logistical help, food, prayers, etc. The generosity of everyone has been overwhelming.

However, I must share one episode of kindness. Upon hearing the news of my mother's death I was consumed with making the arrangements to get all my children and my husband to the funeral. Once I found myself actually at the airport I had time to absorb the reality of the situation and was feeling a little teary eyed. I handed my ID to the TSA agent at the entrance to the security screening line. He asked how I was doing. I am not sure why I didn't just say "fine". I said, "I've been better." He looked up and asked what was wrong. I told I was on my way to my mother's funeral. He said, "I am so sorry." Then he handed me my ID and said, "God …

Requiéscant in pace

Delia Sanchez Jackson

Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon her.
May she rest in peace. Amen.

Catholic In the Name Is No Guarantee

My father, my siblings, and I are facing a difficult time right now. My mother became ill the day after Christmas as her chronic leukemia transformed into an acute leukemia. Within days she was intubated in the ICU of MD Anderson. She has remained hospitalized though no longer requires intubation. Initially, it was felt that if we could just support her through the chemotherapy, she could recover. There were complications with one organ system after another, but each was dealt with and the ultimate goal remained recovery. However, in the last week all systems crashed. There is kidney failure, heart failure, respiratory distress, and probably a stroke. In addition, her response to chemotherapy has been less than ideal. We understand that recovery is no longer the goal. Comfort and preparation for death is. So it is time to seek out hospice in the Houston area.

Let me be clear that not all hospice organizations are the same. Some truly seek to care for the patient and provide a dignified…

Vocations and Discipleship

This essay on vocations by Fr. Damian J. Ference hits all the right notes. First of all, Fr. Ference does not isolate the religious vocations. He includes marriage and chaste single life in his discussion. He understands that all vocations are the fruit of discipleship.

Millions of dollars have been spent by vocation offices on prayer cards, lesson plans, vocation week activities, homily helpers, discernment brochures, websites, and an array of other vocation promotion materials, but have these approaches really made a significant impact on our young people? Sadly, the answer is no. For all the effort that has been put into vocation awareness in recent history, our returns have not been very good, but it is not for lack of effort. Bishops, vocation directors, DREs, catechists and parents, have been working diligently to address the lack of vocations in the Church, but very little has changed. Sure, there are some orders and some diocesan seminaries that are doing better than others, bu…

Bargain hunting to make Mom proud

My mother is still critically ill and in the ICU at MD Anderson. She has been hospitalized with acute leukemia since December 26. For over a month now her condition has been tenuous. As I mentioned here, I feel empty since I can no longer just pick up the phone and share a moment with her.

Yesterday I found a great deal on Craigslist. It is the perfect cabinet for a small space I have off my kitchen. It is sort of a mud room since it is the entrance off the garage. However, there is no door separating it from the kitchen so everything that gets tossed in there is clearly visible. Now I have a cabinet to hold dog food, dog dishes, first aid supplies, soft drinks, etc. I so wanted to call Mom and tell her about my find.

My mom loves a bargain. It must be genetic. Both my daughter and I love the thrill of a treasure hunt at the local garage sale or thrift shop. And we have found treasures: her prom dress; my china; a couple of paintings; lots of handy household items; and more than a few r…