Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from August, 2014

7 Quick Takes!

--- 1 --- The youngest moved into the dorm this week! The house is eerily quiet and food is staying in the refrigerator for an amazing amount of time! --- 2 --- The youngest moved into the dorm this week! The 85 pound Lab/German Shepherd mix who shared his bed at night has decided he is lonely and wants to sleep with Mom, Dad, and the 65 pound Lab/Springer Spaniel mix who has already claimed a spot in Mom & Dad's bed.
--- 3 --- The youngest moved into the dorm this week! Apparently so did my laundry baskets and laundry detergent. I guess I wanted new ones anyway.
--- 4 --- The youngest moved into the dorm this week! But he is only 20 minutes or so down the road. And guess what?! I just got a job as an adjunct professor at the same university. I think I will be reclaiming some laundry baskets.
--- 5 --- The youngest moved into the dorm this week! It is so hard to cook for just two people. I think it is time to invite the other empty nesters in the neighborhood to dinner.
--- 6 --- The you…

Assisted Suicide is not Authentic Compassion

My latest article is up at Zenit.org. I address a bill being considered by the British Parliament to authorize physician assisted suicide. The article is being passed around a bit and the phrase that seems to be catching the attention is : "In every other instance, suicide is viewed as a tragedy...Why should it be any different for the disabled and dying?"  I wrote and submitted this article before Robin Williams committed suicide. However, after the very public and passionate discussions of depression and suicide that followed his death, the publication of my article and that particular phrase has struck a chord with some. Here is an excerpt, but do go over to Zenit and read the whole article. It is mental anguish, not physical suffering, that is the impetus for most patients requesting physician-assisted suicide. The legalization of assisted suicide suggests these fears are reasonable and hastening death is a viable solution. There is nothing compassionate about legalizing…

A Blessed Feast of the Assumption of Mary to All!

The Assumption of Mary by Pietro Perugino (1513)

Today is the Solemn Feast of the Assumption of Mary. This is a glorious day. Mary is the first to experience the resurrection of body and soul and join in the eternal joy of Heaven. But this is experience is promised to each of us who is saved through Christ. 
This feast day can be confusing for those who are not Catholic. The dogma of the Assumption does not make Mary a deity. It is not a new dogma that was invented by Pope Pius XII in 1950. The dogma of Assumption was promulgated in the Papal Apostolic ConstitutionMUNIFICENTISSIMUS DEUS on November 1, 1950 but it has been part of the Church teachings since the early centuries. It is part of the dogma of both the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church. The wonderful folks over at Aquinas and More Catholic Bookstore have a nice, concise recap of both the dogma and the history of the celebration of this feast.
I would also recommend the reflections of  Fr. Dwight Longenecker on 10 …

TBT: Sacramentals for college students...and college grads

It has become all the rage on Facebook to post TBT (Throw-back Thursday) items. These are usually old photos or accounts from "back in the day". I thought I would do something similar on my blog today. Back in 2006 I did a post on sacramentals for college students. As many college students are in the process of packing I thought I would re-share these thoughts from sending a son off to college:

As I reviewed his final round of packing I made sure he had a good supply of sacramentals. He received a small desk-top crucifix for graduation. He has at least one Rosary. I kept pressing holy cards on him. St. Michael, St. Monica, St. Augustine, St. Benedict. He had already packed his Bible.He is very patient with me as I fret about his spiritual well-being. I really am not worried. He seems to be pretty grounded in his faith. I was also interested in his take on all the Catholic paraphernalia I was sending with him. He told me appreciated it but he would let his Catholicism publicl…

School Daze for us Martha types

In just over a week it will be back to school for me. Of course it is a different sort of back to school when you are the teacher instead of the student. Once again I will be teaching Anatomy & Physiology at the local community college. However, I am also adding George Mason University to my teaching venues. I will be teaching three sections of the Anatomy & Physiology lab.

In addition to the teaching I have added Catholic Stand to my regular writing gigs. And I am hoping to revitalize this blog a bit. I still have a monthly column at Zenit.org and I still contribute to the HLI Truth & Charity Forum.

A few days ago I blogged about my empty nest. I guess this is what happens when you no longer have soccer practice, Scouts, high school science projects and college applications to oversee. I am one of those who has a problem sitting still.

So my struggle during these upcoming months of empty nesting is to face the quiet time. I will force myself to look away from the compute…

When LIfe Begins and Why it Matters

Head on over to Catholic Stand and read my latest article about when life begins and why it matters. 

Gratitude in Public

Saying Grace by Norman Rockwell
Recently, Mary's Gourmet Diner in Winston-Salem, NC was in the news because the staff often offered a 15% discount to patrons who publicly offer a prayer before eating. Even a simple silent bow of the head before chowing down could earn the discount. It was just a feel good story.

Apparently, not everyone felt good about this practice. The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) has forced the restaurant to discontinue the discount on the allegation that it is illegal and discriminatory. Rather than become embroiled in a lawsuit, the restaurant has discontinued the discount.

Well, patrons may not get a discount, but they should still feel free to take time to bow their heads and thank God for the food in front of them. I say grace any time I sit down to a meal. It doesn't matter if I am by myself at the kitchen island, with my family around the table, or at a public restaurant. When we are in public we merely take a moment to bow our heads and q…

The case against oral contraceptives continue to grow!

My opinion is that oral contraceptives are following a path parallel to tobacco products. Initially they were presented as something healthy and enjoyable. The government endorsed it. Corporate interests churned out the propaganda and suppressed reports that something might be amiss.

But the case against oral contraceptives is growing quickly. In my latest article at the HLI Truth & Charity Forum I take a look at the latest study that links hormonal contraceptives and breast cancer. This is a large, well designed study and its results need to be widely disseminated. Women have a right to know that the little pill they take every morning may be doubling or even tripling their risk for the more aggressive pre-menopausal form of breast cancer. I found it interesting that the pill that was most dangerous was the triphasic pill that tries to mimic the natural rhythm of estrogen and progesterone of a woman's reproductive cycle. Man cannot replicate what God has created so perfectly…

End of an Era

Today marks the last day I will be the mother of a teenager. My youngest turns twenty tomorrow. My oldest turned 13 in 1999 so I have been doing this teenage thing for a while. I don't have any great words of wisdom or profound reflections. I survived and my kids survived the teenage years so it is very doable.

Looking back, I guess our teenage years were relatively tame. We didn't have a lot of drama. I don't remember a lot of sulking or pouting. There was never any arguments about going to Mass. I didn't even have any issues with what they wore. Time spent on the computer and video games probably created the most tension but it wasn't that significant. I do remember a lot of praying, at least on my part. You think you are going to get more sleep once your babies get older. But then they get a social life and then they learn to drive. I cannot count the number of candles I lit and the Hail Mary's I said for their safety and for them to use good judgment.

My k…

St. Alphonsus and the virtue of diligence

Today is the Memorial Feast of St. Alphonsus Liguori, founder of the Redemptorist Order of priests and brothers. St. Alphonsus was a prodigy who could master almost any subject placed before him. By the age of sixteen he was a lawyer. However, after ten years without losing a case he made a mistake and lost a significant legal dispute. He had an epiphany and realized that the accolades of men were meaningless compared to the Glory of God. He left the practice of law to become a priest. He was a prolific writer and was eventually declared a doctor of the Church.

Of course, many virtues can be attributed to this brilliant saint. However, the one that struck me today was diligence. St. Alphonsus Liguori could not stand the thought of a moment being wasted. Every free moment was put to good use praying, writing, reading, or teaching. I think I need a picture of St. Alphonsus to place near my computer as a reminder to think before I plug in. Am I being productive or am I just whiling away…