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Showing posts from August, 2012
As happens so often when I attend daily Mass, this morning I found just the words my heart needed. The looming election with its consequences for the soul of the country weigh heavily on my thoughts. There are family issues that have furrowed my brow. But this morning, the psalmist eased my anxieties and lifted my heart:

You bring bread from the earth and wine to gladden our hearts. God will provide. I am called to remain faithful. Enjoy the fruits of Providence.

Feast of St. Monica

St. Monica is a patron of this blog and a very special saint to me. She is the mother of the great St. Augustine. Now, I have a tremendous devotion to our Blessed Mother. But, if truth be told, there is a part of me that says, "You know, Mary was full of grace and born without the stain of original sin. That certainly gives her a leg up on the holiness scale." Monica, on the other hand, had a fallen nature,  She had foibles and weaknesses. Yet she was still able to be a great wife and mother. She never gave up on her son when he was careening down the wrong path. She followed him doggedly. He said he was going to Rome so she went to Rome. Of course, he actually went to Milan. So she followed him to Milan. She prayed for him without ceasing. She didn't try to do it alone. She sought the counsel of St. Ambrose. Her son eventually did repent and became one of the greatest minds of the Church.  I look at St. Monica and think, "She was a Catholic mom, just like me. I can…

Is your physician your advocate?

My latest article for HLI America explores the changing attitudes of the medical profession when it comes to the principle of "First, do no harm". An increasing number of physicians are accepting the practices of euthanasia and assisted suicide. Here is a snippet:

For millennia the physician has been charged with being an advocate for the patient. Part of the impetus for the original Hippocratic oath was to ensure that doctors would not be paid by an enemy to give poison instead of medicine. Patients should be able to come to their doctor when they are sick and weakened, and have no fear that their vulnerability will be exploited.


Unfortunately, the sacred trust of the doctor-patient relationship is being strained by a new ethical model. Physicians are being urged to place the “greater good” above the needs of their individual patients. A disregard for the sanctity of human life as well as a utilitarian philosophy that judges the value of a patient to society is becom…

Transitions

I just returned from a quick trip to see my Dad for his birthday. It was a really great visit. It is still hard to grasp that my mother is not there. Her mark on the house is everywhere. Dad is gradually adapting to life alone in the house. Every time I visit we take up a task to make the house more his. This time we cleaned out the pantry. It has been a year and a half since my mother died and there were still boxes of tea and other food items that my father will never use. We tossed out a great deal and loaded up a bit for the food pantry. We gathered 3 boxes of canisters and storage containers for a thrift shop donation. Visiting Dad also is like a little mini retreat since we make it to daily Mass as well as the Divine Mercy devotion.

The home front is also in flux. My youngest moves into his college dorm in a couple of days. I am going to miss all of his daily comings and goings. Once he moves out, the upstairs will be pretty empty. I am glad he will just be up the road and able…

Pro life reflection on Olympics

My latest HLI America article is up:

I am an Olympic blubberer. Whenever I read the news stories or watch the competitions I need a box of tissues nearby. The drama of the competition, the heartbreaking falls, the soaring successes and the inspiring narratives all reduce me to tears. The 2012 Summer Olympics tugged at my heartstrings with so many stories, but none more so than the bronze medal winner in the shot put, Reese Hoffa. When the reporters put the microphones in his face seeking a comment after the medal ceremony, he took advantage of the platform to extol the virtues of adoption. Read the whole thing here.

A reading just in time for the political season

Both parties now have their tickets set for the 2012 presidential election. The campaigns are accelerating. I am sure I will utter a word or two about politics on this blog. I am sure a reader or two will disagree with me. But as we enter in to a discourse over the issues let us remember yesterday's second reading:

Brothers and sisters:
Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God,
with which you were sealed for the day of redemption.
All bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling
must be removed from you, along with all malice.
And be kind to one another, compassionate,
forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.

So be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love,

as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us
as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma. (2 Eph 4:30-5:2)

Having a different opinion and supporting this opinion with facts is important. That is how civil discussions are constructed. Making broad ad hominem attacks is quite another matt…

One day at a time

As of now, all my children are adults. My youngest just celebrated his eighteenth birthday. Amazing! Back when I was responsible for all the school stuff, scout stuff, soccer stuff, youth group stuff, etc, I wanted to minimize my trips to the grocery store. I was all for buying in bulk. And actually, buying 7-8 gallons of milk at a time really only lasted about a week. Now my life is paced a bit differently. I am working more than I did a few years ago, but it is more according to my agenda and less according to the whims of the English teacher or the soccer coach.

I also have fewer knees under my kitchen table at meal times. Often there are three of us, but it is not unusual to just have two. Every now and then we get four or more for dinner. Gone are the days of filling one grocery cart with just milk bread and breakfast cereal.

It really works out easier now to make a couple of small runs to the grocery each week instead of a huge run every two weeks. I am also learning to buy from…

Pray with me...

Right now there are quite a few members of my circle of family and friends who are facing challenges and sorrows. Let me offer a few lines from the Universal Prayer of Thanksgiving After Mass. This is a rather long prayer, but it covers all the bases. I say it after every Mass. The verses that seem to speak the loudest right now are:

Guide me by your wisdom,
Correct me with your justice,
Comfort me with your mercy,
Protect me with your power.

I offer you, Lord, my thoughts: to be fixed on you;
My words: to have you for their theme;
My actions: to reflect my love for you;
My sufferings: to be endured for your greater glory.
May this prayer provide aid for those in need.

Through Christ our Lord we pray.

What's for dinner?

I am trying out this recipe. I've been trying to be a little more organized with my cooking. I am taking full advantage of the local farmer's markets but I need to plan or I will succumb to buying so much of the gorgeous produce that I cannot use it all. I've experimented a bit with some new vegetables and grains as well. This recipe uses quinoa, a very high protein grain. I also made tabbouleh using barley and my abundant supply of mint a couple of weeks ago. You may notice these recipes are meatless. And it's Friday. And it's not Lent!

The Church never took away the requirement for acts of penance on Friday. What she did was remove the specification that the penitential action had to be abstinence from meat. The reality is that once the restrictions on meat were lifted, most Catholics did not replace it with anything else. In fact, I had no idea we were even supposed to offer up some sort of sacrifice on Fridays until about five years ago. So I tried to come up …