Thursday, August 31, 2006

Obese? Infertile? Too bad...

In Britain Thursday, most everybody will probably be talking about one group's call for a ban there on fertility treatments for obese women.

The British Fertility Society wants only women with a body mass index of 35 or less to qualify for fertility treatments.

Health officials say obese women are less likely to get pregnant and more likely to encounter health problems.

The Society also recommended that smokers be barred from receiving fertility treatment.

Is it just me or is this a little... wrong? God said, "Go forth and multiply" ... but I think I missed the part when He said, "unless you're overweight."

Are you KIDDING me? Pro-abortion email sent to me...

via my blog email...

The Wisdom of Abortion:
Its Power, Purpose and Meaning

What people are saying:
* Excellent. Very readable. An intelligent breath of fresh air
in the abortion debate. - M. W.
* A powerful book . . . strong arguments for people who need
facts, not diatribes . . . reveals the reasons for - indeed,
the wisdom of - the abortion choice. - C. A., editor
* If you want to understand the reasons why women chooose abortion,
read this book. - T. A.

You are invited to download a free electronic copy at

Best wishes!

P.S. This is a one-time notice. If you find this
email unwelcome, delete it and forget it. And
accept my apology."
*angry face* Are you KIDDING me?! This was sent to my BLOG email address. How did she get my email? Did she visit my blog? Know I'm pro-life? Think this was funny?

She can expect a response.

UPDATE: Great suggestion on a simple response from IcePrincessKRS...
You should find a really strong pro-life book and mimick her format and e-mail it back!!!!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

my phamily

I'm not sure how many have caught on to my genuine like of the site (If any of you venture over there know that I know how unpleasing it is to the eyes right now.. if you've been there before you know how great it usually looks! But I digress..) It has always proven a great aid to me no matter the situation. I have gained friends there and am thankful to the webmaster, dUSt, for creating it.

Now that I have shared with my phamily my decision to discern the religious life, I know Vocation Station will be of even more help and comfort to me. I have always enjoyed being there among the other young people - even when I thought I would pursue marriage and there seemed to only be religious life discerners there.

One of my favorite things to look at in Vocation Station now is the list of phatmassers who have entered or have a date set to enter. It is beautiful to see the number of phamily members entering the religious life! Many of them who were regular posters have said that phatmass was a great help for them in their discernment. We do not know of every phamily member that has entered but we do know of a good number of them. (We even have parents of phatmassers there who update us on our phamily that has already entered!)

I thought I would share the list of my religious phamily here so that we might all pray for them when we have the time, especially those that are set to enter soon. (I pray in thanksgiving for each of these young people. They are all such beautiful witnesses of Christ's love and mercy!)


1. dspen2005 (Br. David Michael,
Mercedarian Friars, invested July 7, 2006

2. HiddeninHisHeart (Sr. Katie):
Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration, July 16, 2006

3. crusader03 (Sr. Peter Mary, O.P.)
Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, invested: August 5, 2006.

4. Marieteresa (Shernel):
Dominican Contemplative Sisters, aspirancy entrance August 8, 2006.

5. MCIMaGiNaZUN (Br. Mark, OSA):
Augustinian Friars, invested August 15, 2006.

6. and 7. jgirl (Jenny) and Lilllabettt (Betsy):
Sister Servants of the Eternal Word, August 17, 2006

8. and 9. Philosopher (Philip) and DeoOptimoMaximo:
Entering the Pontifical College Josephinum, August 21, 2006

10. and 11. SisterAli (Ali) and greatkid04 (Liz)
School Sisters of Christ the King, August 22, 2006.

12. FutureSoror (Chelsea) and FaustinaVianney (Mis):
Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, August 28, 2006.

Upcoming Entrances:
13. Sadora:
Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matara, September 8, 2006.

14. Incarnate Word Postulant (Helga)
Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament, September 12, 2006.

15. Zunshynn (Jen):
Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration, November 1st, 2006.

Tentative/pending/application stage:
16. passionheart (DonnaMarie):
Dominican Nuns of the Perpetual Rosary, hopefully Fall 2006.

This list does not of course include all those who are discerning! Some have found their order but have not reached the application stage just yet. Some have narrowed the list down to two or three orders. Some, like me, believe they have found their order but are still in the 'baby stages' of discernment.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

a suffering family needs your prayers

After already struggling with a daughter suffering from serious depression (with a whole handful of troubles of her own), MRSannie writes this:
Dear Pham--

Our family has suffered a terrible incident.

Our 13 yr old autistic son was exposed to some horrific pornography this summer.

Without our knowlege, he acted out with his very young cousins (ages 3 & 5) during a visit to our home.

A couple of weeks later the children mentioned it to their mother, who called us.

She is understandably totally upset, had to report it, is devastated (as we are also). She cannot understand our son, who she thinks (and says) is a monster.

Our son is not fully aware of what he did and its impact, and yet knows NOW it was wrong--but he himself was unable to process what he saw, and is mentally not fully capable of socially appropriate behavior. He is a sweet, kind, loving boy, but is mentally younger than his age.

We are so very horrified at it all.

Our son is in counseling, being evaluated by a specialist who deals with child offenders.

another painful part is the mother of the young ones is a)an atheist, b) a survivior herself of an assault as an adult and c) my sister who has stopped all communication with us without explanation (although I do not blame her, I am unable to help her in any way and am so very sorry for all this)

Our hearts are so broken, we are so sad that this has occurred.

Please phamily, pray for us.
This family has definitely been in my prayers since the first request several months ago (regarding their daughter). I feel though that they could use all of the spiritual support they can get. Even one of these situations is so hard on a family and to know that both of these things are going on at the same time... well I just can't even imagine. So please, keep them in your prayers.


+Lord, grant me patience...

If there is one thing that constantly shines light on my strengths and weaknesses in holiness, it's my job. What a trying night! I dislike feeling frustrated, anxious, and nervous but every time I do, I feel so close to God... so then it's not so bad.

I pray that I was of at least some help tonight. It troubles me when our customers have a hard time...

exhausted - plain and simple.

I am, frankly, exhausted. My fault? Probably. I have a hard time leaving people in a grind. Anyway, any prayers y'all could offer between now and midnight would be greatly appreciated. I'm just coming off of a shift and office meeting and have to be back to the property in just under three hours. I'm supposed to be relieved at 11 PM but depending on the relief, even 11:30 sounds good to me. (Who ever leaves on time with shifts like that?)

Also, don't forget the souls in purgatory, the innocent lives being destroyed at this very moment, and the intentions of our Holy Father (to name a few).

Monday, August 28, 2006

Whatever it is, I like it. I like it a lot.

I love attending daily mass (as my body will allow it) - it is simple and so profound. I usually get more from my daily mass experience than the one on Sunday. I still can't tell if our pastor says it differently (perhaps with a little more passion) or if it is the utter stillness there that makes it so different. Perhaps I am more distracted than I realize on Sundays and so I do not appreciate the full beauty of what is happening before me. Perhaps, though, our pastor is more distracted on Sundays, by text messaging, sleepy heads, and whispering...

Whatever it is, I like it. I like it a lot. And today was better than the rest. Not only was it the memorial of Saint Augustine (one of my favorites), it was rainy and so very dreary outside. I love feeling safe from the elements inside those walls. There is a certain feeling of nostalgia in those moments - remembering back to the times I was young and at Mass with my school friends.. perhaps times when we lost electricity and, despite the chatter from anxious young ones, the priest would continue on.

To add to the feelings was a beautiful and most perfect homily (for me in this time). I truly felt the Holy Spirit working in and through our pastor this morning. I knew sitting there that I was being spoken to. I was singled out (though I would not doubt others were as well) and spoken to in a way which would set me on a straight path once more. Our pastor opened with one of his favorite quotes of Saint Augustine (and now certainly one of mine): "The God who created you without your consent will not save you without your cooperation." ((The wording of this quote will of course vary from source to source.)) He went on to talk extensively about living faith not through eyes that see ourselves, but eyes that strive to see Christ in ourselves. He spoke about our duty to live our lives according to Christ's will - that all of our actions be what Christ wants, not what we want. Faith and living is never about us but rather about our God. We do what we do not for the way others see us but the way others see Christ in us. We do not strive to seem pious to others but to have others look at us and praise God.

I certainly could never repeat exactly the words which were used, nor could I come close to portraying the ideas that were portrayed then. Hopefully, though, some sense of what our pastor said came to you in that last paragraph.

Sitting there in the pew I realized something -- something big and small at the same time and in the same way. I wish I could find the words to articulate what it is. I think, though, that it may be too soon. It is still such a big thought that even now I have trouble wrapping my mind around it fully. Maybe after some rest (I worked all night) and quiet contemplation I will be able to express myself. Perhaps I will not. God will surely make known to me whether or not this was meant only to be a private revelation or if it was an experience to be shared and possibly enjoyed by others.

I don't know what it is about daily mass that is so different. Whatever it is, I like it. I like it a lot.

48 Left ...

2,996 is a tribute to the victims of 9/11.

On September 11, 2006,
2,996 volunteer bloggers
will join together for a tribute to the victims of 9/11.
Each person will pay tribute to a single victim.

We will honor them by remembering their lives,
and not by remembering their murderers.

There are only 148 victims left to be assigned to bloggers and the organizer is trying not to assign more than one victim per blogger unless absolutely necessary to reach the goal.

I am proud to say that I will be honoring the life of Deora Frances Bodley, age 20, a passenger on United Airlines Flight 93.

If you'd like to sign up or just read more about this project, go to here.

Thanks to Julie D. for reminding me!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Saints Monica & Augustine - Models for Our Time {a word from Papa Benedict}

Looking back at the saints commemorated in these days, the pope referred to the difficulties faced by mothers and families to communicate the faith to their children. He also mentioned the duty to safeguard creation to help the poor of the earth.

Castel Gandolfo (AsiaNews) – Only Christ, “fullness of Truth and Love”, “can quench the profound desires of the human heart”: this is what Benedict XVI had to say to all youth who “thirsting for happiness, seek it by travelling down wrong roads and get lost in dead ends”. He said this to comfort mothers who suffer “the spiritual labour of prayer and tears” so that their children may come to embrace the Christian faith. Making these remarks during the reflection before today’s Angelus, the pope cited as an example the saints whose feast the Church is celebrating today and tomorrow: St Monica and St Augustine: “Their witness can be of great comfort and help to so many families of our time too.”

The pope presented Monica, a Christian from Tagaste (modern-day Tunisia), who, after the death of her husband, “dedicated herself, with courage, to the care of her three sons, including Augustine who initially caused her to suffer because of his somewhat rebellious temperament. As Augustine himself would say, his mother delivered him twice; the second time called for a long spiritual labour, made of prayer and tears but finally crowned with the joy of seeing him entirely in the service of Christ.” The comparison with current reality is clear: “How many difficulties there are today too in family ties, and how many mothers are anguished because their sons take wrong roads! Monica, a wise woman and firm in her faith, invites them not to get discouraged but to persevere in their mission as spouses and mothers, keeping their faith in God firm and holding onto prayer with perseverance.” While Benedict XVI described these situations, the silence and tacit participation of many women in the public expressed their agreement.

But the life of St Augustine, who became bishop of Hippo after a chaotic youth, is also of comfort. “All his existence was an impassioned search for truth,” said the pope. “At the end, not without prolonged interior torment, he discovered in Christ the ultimate and full meaning of his own life and of the entire history of mankind. In his adolescence, drawn to earthly beauty, ‘he threw himself’ into it – as he himself admits (cfr Confess.10:27-38) – in an egotistical and possessive manner, with behaviour that caused his pious mother no mean sorrow. But by following a tiring path, also thanks to her prayers, Augustine increasingly opened up to the fullness of truth and love, to the point of his onversion, which took place in Milan under the guidance of the bishop, St Ambrose. He thus would remain as a model of the journey towards God, supreme Truth and greatest Good. ‘Late have I loved you,’ he wrote in his renowned book of Confessions, “O Beauty, so ancient and so new, late have I loved you!

And behold, you were within me and I was outside… You were with me, and I was not with you… You called, and cried out to me and broke open my deafness; you shone forth upon me and you scattered my blindness’ (ibid).May St Augustine obtain the gift of a sincere and profound encounter with Christ for all those youth who, thirsting for happiness, seek it by travelling down wrong roads and get lost in dead ends.”

“St Monica and St Augustine invite us to turn to Mary, seat of wisdom, with faith. To her, we entrust Christian parents who, like Monica, accompany by example and prayer their children’s journey. To the Virgin, Mother of God, we commend youth so that, like Augustine, they will lean ever more towards the fullness of Truth and Love that is Christ: He alone can quench the profound desires of the human heart.”

After the Marian prayer, the pope recalled the “Day for safeguarding creation” that the Italian church will mark on 1 September. Creation, this “great gift of God”, said the pontiff, “is exposed to serious risks by choices and lifestyles that may degrade it. Environmental degradation makes unsustainable especially the existence of the poor of the earth. In dialogue with Christians of different denominations, we should commit ourselves to taking care of creation, without depleting its resources and sharing them with solidarity.”


Saturday, August 26, 2006

no pun intended

1. And finally, there was the person who sent ten different puns to his friends, with the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh. No pun in ten did.

Friday, August 25, 2006

no pun intended

(This one ties for my favorite.)

2. Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail, and with his odd diet he suffered from bad breath. This made him a super calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.

Please pray!

A friend of mine had her father-in-law pass away suddenly two or three days ago. He was cleaning a gun and it accidentally went off. (It's one of those things you think will never happen to you. It's shockingly horrific.)

+Lord, remember your son, whom you called from this world into your prescence. In baptism he died with Christ: may he also share his resurrection, when Christ will raise our mortal bodies and make them like his own in glory. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

+Eternal rest, grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.


Thursday, August 24, 2006

no pun intended

3. These friars were behind on their belfry payments, so they opened up a small florist shop to raise funds. Since everyone liked to buy flowers from the men of God, a rival florist across town thought the competition was unfair. He asked the good fathers to close down, but they would not. He went back and begged the friars to close. They ignored him. So the rival florist hired Hugh MacTaggart, the roughest and most vicious thug in town to "persuade" them to close. Hugh beat up the friars and trashed their store, saying he'd be back if they didn't close up shop. Terrified, they did so, thereby proving that only Hugh can prevent florist friars.

investiture in the night...

a super cool investiture of this franciscan community - it's icing on the cake!
July 26, 2005

On August 1st, at Vespers in the midst of our Eucharistic Holy Hour, Alexis Sabo of Los Angeles, California, postulant of our community, will be invested in the Holy Habit of Saint Francis. She will receive the gray tunic, the cord with 3 knots symbolizing the vows, a wooden rosary made by one of the friars, and the white veil of the Novice. Her hair will be cut and she will receive a new name.

This will be a private ceremony for the Sisters and Friars reminiscent of Palm Sunday in the year 1212 when Saint Clare of Assisi left her family home in the dark of night to meet her spiritual father, Saint Francis, and his early followers. They gathered in the little chapel of Our Lady of the Angels where Saint Francis cut Saint Clare’s long hair – an offering to symbolize the life that she was giving up, and where he invested her in the Habit – the poor, rough tunic symbolizing the life she was embracing, the Gospel life, the Way of the Cross.

So, too, our sister Alexis is choosing to give up many things and to embrace a serious living of the Gospel in as close an imitation of Jesus as possible. Investiture will begin her two-year novitiate in preparation for first vows.

Please pray for her as she takes this step! God bless you!

Sr. Clare Marie Matthiass, CFR
...found here...


a little more about the Franciscan way (in the Bronx)...

a recent "friar news"...


August 8, 2006

It was 104º in the shade on August 2nd. Our seven Postulants were scheduled to receive the Holy Habit of Saint Francis, and after a year of preparation, no “heat index” was high enough to warrant a postponement! They were excited—and so were we all! What could be more beautiful, or more inspiring, than seeing these zealous, joyful, radiant young women lay aside their former lives and all that the world could offer them for a closer following of Jesus?

Each part of their Habit was blessed. Their hair was cut. They were vested and they were given a new name to mark the beginning of a new life.

What does it all mean? Why were these lovely young ladies so eager to have their hair shorn? Why would anyone put on a long-sleeved habit and veil in this heat? What’s the point of changing your name when your parents have given you a perfectly good name to begin with?

The Habit: Our clothes are more than protection from the elements—ask any teenager! Our clothing is an extension or an expression of ourselves. The Habit is gray—subdued and earthy, nothing to draw attention. It is course and sturdy—suitable to work in. It is in the form of a cross—a reminder to ourselves of who we are and what we’re about.

The Cincture: The rope around our waist is rough and simple, reminiscent of what Saint Francis may have actually worn. The three knots symbolize the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience (no money, no honey, and a boss, as we tell the neighborhood kids who come to our door). Why would a rational human being vow to live a life of total celibacy, poverty (personal and communal), and obedience? There is only one good answer to this question: Jesus Christ. He was poor, He was chaste, and He was obedient. It’s as simple as that. We want to be more like Jesus—literally.

The Rosary: We wear a large wooden rosary on our cincture as a sign of our love and devotion to Our Lady. We pray the rosary communally each night with night prayer. Love of Our Blessed Lady is a hallmark of the Franciscan Family. We know that all graces and blessings come to us from God through Our Lady’s hands and we want very much to stay close to her! We rely on her protection and intercession!

The Veil: After the hair is cut (which is an offering to God) the head is covered with a veil from that day forward. Like a bride who is veiled on her wedding day, the Bride of Christ is veiled for her Bridegroom every day. Again, the sign value is firstly for the Sister herself, but also for the rest of the world!

The New Name: Abram became Abraham, Sari became Sarah, Jacob became Israel, Saul became Paul, Simon became Peter. There is a long Biblical history to the name change. When a person had an encounter with God and they were to take on a role in salvation history, often God renamed them. The Annunciation, when the Angel Gabriel calls Mary “Full of Grace,” can be seen as a kind of a “naming.” Even today when a young woman marries, she takes her husband’s name. To mark the beginning of a new life with a new mission and a new intensity, the young religious chooses or is given a new name.

Please pray for our new Sisters as they begin their two year novitiate in preparation for their first profession of vows. May they (and each of us) be like what we look like!

Sr. Clare Matthiass, CFR

Our seven new novices, with Fr. Andrew Apostoli and Sr. Lucille Cutrone, are (l-r) Sr. Monica Maria Faustina Ward, Sr. Maria Francisca de Jesús Alvarado, Sr. Ann Kateri Hamm, Sr. Bernadette Petra McAteer, Sr. Mary Pieta Geier, Sr. Joseph Thérèse van Munster, and Sr. Maria Teresa Hellberg.


Oh, how beautiful! And how even more moving it was for me reading it this time with this webpage's music playing in the background (also a great page to see if you are interested in what it means to be a Franciscan in the Franciscan Friars/Sisters of the Renewal)!


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Five People in Five Categories Meme

Tagged by Happy Catholic

"If you could meet and have a deep conversation with any five people on earth, living or dead, from any time period, who would they be?" (Explaining why is optional.)

Name five people from each of the following categories:
Saints, Those in the Process of Being Canonized, Heroes from your native country, Authors/Writers, celebrities.

Five Saints:

1. St. Maria Goretti
2. St. Thomas Aquinas
3. Sts. Francis and Clare (did I just cheat?)
4. St. Maria Faustina
5. St. Lawrence
--This one was hard! There are so many with whom I'd like to speak!--

Those in the Process of Being Canonized:

1. Pope John Paul II
2. Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
3. Blessed Mother Teresa
4. Blessed Junípero Serra
5. Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

Five Heroes from your native country:

1. Stephen F. Austin
2. Davey Crockett
3. William B. Travis
4. Sam Houston
5. James Bowie

Five Authors/Writers:

1. St. Bonaventure (haha! I got one more in there!)
2. St. Teresa of Avila (haha! YES! another one!)
3. St. John of the Cross (woohoo! I'm on a role!)
4. Jane Austen
5. C.S. Lewis

Five Celebrities:

1. Rachel Ray
2. Jack Nicholson
3. Helen Hunt
4. Jennifer Aniston (yes, really)
5. Peter Billingsley

Tag Five People:

1. Cynthia at Mormon 2 Catholic
2. Sarah at just another day of Catholic pondering
3. Lee at Living the Surrendered Life
4. Daughter of St. John at Seeing through a glass darkly...
5. Nick at phatcatholic apologetics

((I couldn't figure out who to tag! Everyone had played already! Oh well...))


no pun intended

4. A woman has twins and gives them up for adoption. One of them goes to a family in Egypt and is named "Ahmal." The other goes to a family in Spain; they name him "Juan." Years later Juan sends a picture of himself to his birth mother. Upon receiving the picture she tells her husband that she wishes she also had a picture of Ahmal. Her husband responds, "They're twins! If you've seen Juan, you've seen Ahmal."


Prayer for Vocations

+Heavenly Father, bless your Church with an abundance of holy and zealous priests, deacons, brothers and sisters. Give those you have called to the married state and those you have chosen to live as single persons in the world, the special graces that their lives require. Form us all in the likeness of your Son so that in Him, with Him, and through Him we may love you more deeply and serve you more faithfully, always and everywhere. With Mary, we ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

-Vocations Committee: Supreme Council, Knights of Columbus

Labels: ,

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

no pun intended

5. A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After about an hour, the manager came out of the office and asked them to disperse. "But why?" they asked, as they moved off. "Because", he said, "I can't stand chess-nuts boasting in an open foyer."

The Announcement

It is with a joyful and humble heart that I announce to you this day, on the memorial of the Queenship of Mary, the decision to pursue a vocation to the religious life as a sister - currently with the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal. Today marks four months of active discernment following an almost indescribable experience in which I 'just knew' God was calling me to Himself in this most intimate way.

I first felt the 'tug', as it is so affectionately called, around the age of twelve. After being 'outed' before I was ready, I quickly forgot the whole idea and pursued everything except the religious life. I rarely looked back though the thought never really did leave me. In April of this year (April 22 to be exact), at a Youth 2000 Mass, during the consecration, I felt the tug again, only in a much more profound way. This time, it was not a gentle nudge in His direction. It was a quiet whisper in my heart much like ones I had experienced before in my lifetime on a much smaller scale. I 'just knew'. It seemed to be the theme for vocations that weekend - 'just know'ing that is. I was in complete awe. In that moment I felt probably twenty different emotions. All I could bring myself to do was praise and thank Him. What a beautiful gift He was giving me!

After Mass I said the Liturgy of the Hours with the brothers again, talked with a friar about it, and then attended the vocation talk. I spoke extensively with Sister Mary Paul Haas of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth (Irving, TX) afterward and was really excited. She was excited for me as well. She was definitely very supportive and encouraging, listening patiently and affirming many aspects of my life and my personality. I finished out the night with Adoration (and the procession). It was beautiful and I am just as excited today (for the most part) as I was then. It is an interesting journey to be sure and I am enjoying every minute of it - the trials included.

Since then I have attended the Vocation Awareness Program hosted by my diocese (as well as the diocese of Forth Worth) and sponsored by the Young Serrans. It wasn't the best retreat in what it physically provided but it was a seemingly perfect balance of solitude and socialization - and I was thankful for it. I was able to get to know an aquintance of mine in a very unique way and that was great. We have really bonded a lot over that weekend and the things we took away from it. I also spoke with many religious about the religious life and about my vocation specifically. They have all been very affirming for me.

Well, it looks as though this post has turned into a long one. I certainly did not mean for it to be. If you've read to the end, I apologize and thank you at the same time.

Please keep me in your prayers. I definitely need them!

May God bless each of you abundantly now and always!


Monday, August 21, 2006

no pun intended

6. Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root canal? His goal: transcend dental medication.

Busy Little Bee

Apologies for a lack of posting! At least I'm keeping up with my one pun every day for ten days, right? God has blessed me with more hours at work (which was needed after the little accident I had - poor car) which leaves me with little time to think and blog. Mostly I just want to sit and relax and read what YOU all have to say! Not to mention I'm working on a few designs for blogs and that consumes whatever time I feel like being on the computer.

Please pray for me. It is has been an especially rough couple of days and I will need many graces to get through the next couple of weeks. I have given myself permission to take a break from the things that are stressing me out and to find time to let myself just be. (I am in desperate need of a desert day!)

Tomorrow's my big announcement day so I'm very excited for that. Please do come back. I want to share the news with all of you!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

no pun intended

7. Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says, "I've lost my electron." The other says,"Are you sure?" The first replies "Yes, I'm positive."

((heh. this is one i really enjoyed. science lovers unite!))

late to bed, late to rise?

there's something about missing my normal Sunday Mass time that doesn't sit right with me. sure there are plenty of other Masses to attend, but i like my routine! which is funny since i usually get bored with other routines...

ended up working a LONG shift last night (on my day off) and getting to bed only a few hours before it was time to rise for Mass. it just didn't happen.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

no pun intended

8. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Not surprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too.

Friday, August 18, 2006

no pun intended

9. Two fish swim into a concrete wall. The one turns to the other and says "Dam!"

Thursday, August 17, 2006

This is an odd necklace...

Lauren says:
so last year one of my friends was going through my stuff and came across my rosary, and she goes "this is an odd necklace, what outfit would ya wear it with" and i made a very confused face cause it didnt occur to me that someone wouldnt know what a rosary was so i told her "well for starters it goes with evry outfit cause it can be used at anytime, i prfer to pray with it though instead of wearing it, i find it works better that way" she just looked at me really confused and put it down and stopped looking through my drawers
my friends are funny. but it brings up a thought - how many of us are so used to being around people who understand everything about our faith that when situations like these arise, we fail to 'evangelize'? Don't get me wrong. I don't think we need to go out and convert people who mistake the rosary for a necklace. That's the Holy Spirit's job. I just think it's important that we all recognize the opportunities we have each day to share our beautiful faith with others. If we love it so much, why don't we share it more? Just a thought... and a funny story. (Thanks for letting me share it, Lauren!)

no pun intended

I'll preface it by saying this: some are good, some are not so good, but in the end, it's worth it. I laughed out loud three times.. how many times will you? (one every day for ten days)

10. A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead raccoons. The stewardess looks at him and says, "I'm sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger."

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

my other blog...

I've added a link to my sidebar (a little ways down, under "New to the blog?") which directs you to my other blog. It's my 'prayer journal of sorts'. I figured it couldn't hurt to link you all. If ever you feel like praying for me or for someone else, I try to keep it up to date with intentions I'm sharing. So peep it and start praying!

Requesting Thine Aid: A Prayer Journal of Sorts

Update on prayer request from this morning...

My dears thank you so much. Muchos hugs. I love you all. grouphug.gif

I'm still in some pain but they gave me a lot of drugs. I have to tell you I have just had the worst hospital/clinic experience I have ever had in my entire life. Let me tell you something about the British NHS system. It is great for smaller conditions and ailments. But when you have larger serious problems it's awful -- they try to put off any substantial diagnosis methods like xray or mri unless it's a last resort. If I knew then what I know now, I would have gotten supplemental private insurance prior to coming here to the U.K.

All they did was give me some drugs and as soon as I was able to walk again they just sent me home, basically kicked me out without any instructions as to when I would be good to go home, and what medications i should be taking when after being given truckloads of medication. They also either lost my cell phone or it somehow got stolen. I was hobbling out of the clinic with a crutch and still crying because of the pain and they basically told me I would have to figure out my own way to get home, and asked me if I had any money or my purse on me... and I said "are you kidding me? I was in BED, and brought here by ambulance!" and they told me to wait (which I had been doing ALL DAY) and of course after waiting I was completely ignored (like usual) and I couldn't get a friend to pick me up because they lost my phone!!!!

With the exception of one doctor and a couple of the nurses, several of the people I saw were really rude and not very compassionate. At the end of it all I said 'FORGET THIS, I'VE HAD IT. I GUESS I'LL HAVE TO WALK HOME!!"

I didn't have to walk all the way home, I hopped on the bus, and thanks be to God there were no ticket people demanding valid bus passes. The whole experience left me feeling very dejected, very alone, like I was a nuisance for even being there and crying for... oh I'm sorry... being in severe pain. I did try offering up the pain with a series of hail marys for souls and loved ones around me.

I think it was a bad flare up or spasm of some kind that hopefully will subside, as I'm not screaming in pain anymore and more or less I can move a little easier. The test comes when I get up to make some oatmeal in a minute or two.

But I have to wait until Friday to call my doctor and have them schedule an MRI, and when I asked the doctor how long that would take they said it was "up to the system"

The kicker here is that the company that I *really* want to work for most called me this afternoon and they want to interview me. They contacted me first a little over a month ago, which is a really good sign. I sent them promotional materials and indicated that I really liked their company, their work, and was theirs for the taking. I honestly think this is my best chance at getting the job I need, and most of all this is a job that I really want.

I don't know how this back problem will figure into this and how much I should tell them. Plus, how I should be scheduling the interview depending on when I am supposed to get an MRI done.

Should I just interview with them, stay positive, and not say anything about the back thing, or mention it off hand and if they ask tell them that they don't think it's really serious? (they did say they didn't think it was a serious neurological issue -- because they said I had really good leg strength and a lot of it is the result of muscle spasm)

Obviously being whiny or desperate is not going to get me a job, so I'm not going to give them a big sob story.

Again thanks for your prayers, please continue to pray that if it's God's will he may lighten my cross a little, maybe cure me, heal me some, but most of all be my guide during this critical time.
So I'll take my cue from ash: please continue to pray that if it's God's will He may lighten her cross a little, maybe cure her, heal her some, but most of all be her guide during this critical time.


Please pray... now.

Please pray for Ash who writes:
Please pray for me, I am having a spasm in my backside due to my disc problem it is so bad I cannot get out of bed, and the only way I was able to call the doctor and emergency was by using Skype from my computer because my phone is turned off and on the desk and I can't get to it. Hopefully they will come and help soon, this is probably the worst pain i've ever experienced in my life, and I've broken an arm and a leg before

i am just trying to stay calm. No neighbors are home and I have been screaming for help... please please pray ... this is not a joke, I don't joke about these things and i am not looking for any attention, just your urgent prayers
Hoax? No. A friend in pain and definitely in need of some prayers. Storm heaven; hook her up.


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

from Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer I...
Almighty God,
you gave a humble virgin
the privilege of being a mother of your Son,
and crowned her with the glory of Heaven.
May the prayers of the Virgin Mary
bring us to the salvation of Christ
and raise us up to eternal life.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

from Evening Prayer II (and Mass)...
All-powerful and ever-living God,
You raised the sinless Virgin Mary,
mother of Your Son,
body and soul to the glory of heaven.
May we see heaven as our final goal
and come to share her glory.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


Monday, August 14, 2006


I have an announcement to make. But right now I have Mass to attend. I'm going to be late if I don't hurry. I'll announce it on the 22nd, I guess.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

The Aeropagus of Our Time

Picture yourself in Athens, circa 50 A.D. St. Paul, in the midst of his second great missionary journey, stands in the center of the Areopagus, defending the Christian faith to the people of Athens and providing for us one of the first examples of the Christian apologetic method (Acts 17:19-31).

Return to the present. A young adult, amidst potato chip bags and empty Coke cans, sits in his easy chair before a much more global medium, defending the Christian faith to people all over the world, continuing in the example that Paul gave us so long ago.

What is this global medium that allows us to spread the Gospel so profusely?

The Internet "is the Areopagus of our time, the instrument to spread the Christian message," Archbishop John Foley tells us in "Internet and the Catholic Church in Europe." The Internet is shaping the way young adults learn, defend and live their faith.

It is no surprise that young adults flock to the Internet. They have grown with it. As such, it is not a novel invention but instead something that has always been a part of their lives. They embrace it because it allows them to transcend the boundaries that confine them and to connect with other young adults of like mind and interest.

What is novel is the overwhelming number of young adults who use the Internet to fulfill a purpose that before was only reserved to priests, teachers, authors and missionaries: learning, explaining and defending the Catholic faith.

-- Read the rest at phatcatholic apologetics -- Not a bad fourth post, eh? (Though I am admittedly biased.)

I was thrust into my faith in a deep way through the internet. It was phatmass (mentioned in the article) that first brought me to the concept of apologetics. I wrote tracts (nothing worthy of reading but still found in the reference section) and debated people on Christian phorums. I no doubt had my pride handed to me on a silver platter, mutilated and unrecognizable, many times but I loved it!

Then there are blogs... oh the blogs! How much fun AND knowledge do I get from my favorite blogs!

There's a reason my outgoing email has the tag...
"The internet causes billions of images to appear on millions of computer monitors around the planet. From this galaxy of sight and sound will the face of Christ emerge and the voice of Christ be heard?
--Pope John Paul II, Message for World Communications Day, 2002"

Friday, August 11, 2006

Holy Father's Prayer Intentions - August

VATICAN CITY, JUL 31, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father's general prayer intention for the month of August is: "That orphans may not lack the care necessary for their human and Christian formation."

His mission intention is: "That the Christian faithful may be aware of their own missionary vocation in every environment and circumstance."

Saint Clare of Assisi, pray for us!

IPB Image

Memorial: 11 August

Clare was a beautiful Italian noblewoman who became the Foundress of the order of Poor Ladies, now called "Poor Clares." and first Abbess of San Damiano; born at Assisi, July 16, 1194; died there August 11, 1253. She was the eldest daughter of Favorino Scifi, Count of Sasso-Rosso, the wealthy representative of an ancient Roman family, who owned a large palace in Assisi and a castle on the slope of Mount Subasio. As a little girl she was known by members of her household to be a sensitive child, gentle, prayerful and kind. She would sometimes hide food from her plate so as to later give it to the poor. At the age of 15, arrangements were made for Clare to marry, but she refused.

In 1211, after hearing Francis preach the Lenten Sermon in San Rufino, Clare began to meet with Francis to discuss her vocation. On March 28, 1211 she left her father's house to receive her habit from Francis in the Porziuncola. She became a follower of Saint Francis of Assisi, and with her sister, St. Agnes, she founded the Poor Ladies of San Damiano. Her mother and another sister joined them in the religious community later. Many miracles took place among St. Clare and her sisters. Saint Clare lived a rigorously devoted life of prayer, penance, and service. She continually cared for her sisters, particularly the weak, and all those in need.

It was during the night of the Palm Sunday, on March 18th 1212, that took place the experience that determined a radical change in her life; in fact, during that night, the girl joined in secret St. Francesco at the "Porziuncola". There, in the little chapel of ‘Mary of the Angels’, she laid aside her rich clothes and Francis, after cutting off her long blonde hair, clothed her in a rough tunic and a thick veil. Acting entirely unconventionally and without Canonical authority, Francis accepted Clare's bill of divorce from the world and lodged her nearby in a Benedictine Nunnery. From that moment she vowed to live her life entirely in the service of Jesus, her heavenly spouse.

Clare Saint died on August 11th, 1253 of natural causes. On August 15, 1255, Pope Alexander IV canonized Clare as Saint Clare of Assisi. On February 17, 1958, Pope Pius XII designated her as the patron saint of television. The tomb of Saint Clare of Assisi was found in 1850. On 23 September in that year the coffin was unearthed and opened, the flesh and clothing of the saint had been reduced to dust, but the skeleton was in a perfect state of preservation. Finally, on the 29th of September, 1872, the saint's bones were transferred, with much pomp, by Archbishop Pecci, afterwards Leo XIII, to the shrine, in the crypt at Santa Chiara, erected to receive them, and where they may now be seen. In 1263, Pope Urban IV officially changed the name of the Order of Poor Ladies to the "Order of Saint Clare". The name Clare means "shining" or "clear".

Patron of: sore eyes, television

Novena to Saint Clare
Dear Saint Clare, as a young girl you imitated your mother's love for the poor of your native Assisi. Inspired by the preaching of Saint Francis, who sang enthusiastically of his Lord and Lady Poverty, you gave your life to Jesus at nineteen years of age, allowing Saint Francis to cut off your beautiful hair and invest you with the Franciscan habit.

All through your life you offered your great suffering for you sisters, the Poor Clares, and the conversion of souls. You greatly aided Saint Francis with his new order, carrying on his spirit in the Franciscans after his death. Most of all you had a deep love of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament, which fueled your vocation to love and care for the poor.

Please pray for me (mention your intention) that I will seek to keep Jesus as my first love, as you did. Help me to grow in love of the Blessed Sacrament, to care for the poor, and to offer my whole life to God.

Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of Saint Clare. Through her intercession, please hear and answer my prayer, in the name of Jesus Your Son. Amen.

--please pray for me and my vocation, especially on this beautiful day--

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Saint Francis de Sales - on serving God joyfully (in regards to vocations)

"Saul was commanded to spoil and ruin all he found in Amalek. He destroyed all, except what was precious; this he reserved, and offered in sacrifice. But God declared that He would have no sacrifice against obedience. God commands me to help souls, yet I want to rest in contemplation. The contemplative life is good, but not in opposition to obedience. We are not to choose at our own will. We must wish what God wishes; and if God wishes me to serve Him in one thing, I ought not wish to serve Him in another. God wishes Saul to serve him as king and as captain, and Saul wishes to serve Him as priest. There is no doubt that the latter is more excellent than the former; yet God does not care about that: He wants to be obeyed.


We must love what God loves. Now, He loves our vocation; so let us also love it, and not occupy ourselves with thinking on that of others. Let us do our duty; each one's cross is not too much for him.

... do diligently the service of your vocation, and often recollect yourself, and put yourself in spirit at the feet of our Lord, and say, "My Lord, whether I run or stay, I am all Yours and You mine: You are my first spouse; and whatever I do is for love of You, both this and that"....


When any contradiction comes upon you, thoroughly resign yourself unto our Lord, and console yourself, knowing that His favors are only for the good or for those who put themselves in the way of becoming so."

-- Thy Will Be Done! by Saint Francis de Sales, "Do the will of God joyfully"

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

More cards

This one needs some more work but I'm not really sure what I can do at this point to salvage it. I'll just have to give it to one of my more 'accepting' friends. Haha.

I'm omitting a recent thank you card because the receiver of this card reads this blog. After I give it, I'll post it. (It's still missing a few things but they are all very minor... ya know, like the message inside. ;) :P )

The middle is still missing the "you are" part and I need to stamp or rub something on the bottom. I asked for suggestions at my favorite scrapbooking site so we'll see what I come up with (with their help). I may just start over again and center it in order to do more rub-ons or add ribbon...

I like lists, too.

I love this list. (I love making lists.) It inspires many memories, makes me thankful to not have experienced some things, and gives me things to look forward to. Grabbed at Back Home to Rome, which has been a favorite as of late. She doesn't post 8 times a day so it's easy to keep up with it and just as important to me, it's aesthetically pleasing! (Check her out.)

I have highlighted all of these that I have done with a few descriptions…

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula - in second grade. it was weird.
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said 'I love you' and meant it - it's the best feeling
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris - a few times
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise – more times than most would believe (easier now with my hours at work)
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game - World Cup qualifying game in Dallas
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars – Girl Scout camp in gradeschool and later with friends in high school
20. Changed a baby's diaper - most recently: 3 days ago
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope - i owned my own for a while
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment - i'm really bad at controlling my laughter
27. Had a food fight - that babysitter was fired
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight - each of the three times I've seen snow!
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can - my 9th grade english teacher believes in this as a stress reliever. something about some african tribe that does it... leave it to Ms. W - she's cool like that
32. Held a lamb - and a number of other young animals (my second cousins do the farm thing
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster - Six Flags is my favorite place
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage - a thrill like none other
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Had a one-night stand - and never will...
89. Gone to Thailand – (i almost went with my 9th grade eng. teacher!)
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children - (believe it or not I almost took a job doing just that... sad story)
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Created and named your own constellation of stars
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking - every day.
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Petted a stingray
110. Broken someone's heart
111. Helped an animal give birth - nope but Jennie has! i love that story.
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone - i feel like i've spent most of my life in a hospital
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse – fewer times than i would like
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi - in third grade with our Japenese intern, Kimi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper - more than once
129. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Petted a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey - my 9th grade year
135. Selected one "important" author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating - actually, i've only helped prepare. my grandpa shot the deer.
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language - WYD provided me so many experiences in such a short time!
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146: Dyed your hair
147: Been a DJ
148: Shaved your head
149: Caused a car accident
150: Saved someone's life – I donate blood regularly… does that count?

Yes, a big thanks to Grace at Back Home to Rome. This was very entertaining.
(So was her answer to the Tower of Pisa question...)

Think About It

Brender said this over at Happy Catholic:
I am usually the "glass half empty" kind of guy but you don't even have a glass.

Not at all. Its just that I don't like the glass that modern society uses. Give me the right glass, and I'll fill it past overflowing.

"Forget ever thinking of being happy in a relationship with a man. They will just leave you for a newer one when they are done with you."

If it is merely a "relationship," ABSOLUTELY in 99.99 percent of the cases, it will end and he or she will leave. And that is almost certainly the case when both persons are in college. At my college of several thousand, I know of only one couple that married while still in school (and they were quasi-Evangelicals, not agnostic-secularists like everyone else), and none married the people they were dating while in school. People today simply do not get married while in college. Consequently, although there may be a rare exception, college relationships are almost certainly going to end.

The problem is when you have a disparity of understanding and expectations. Both parties need to agree on the parameters of the situation at the very beginning and throughout. Both need to realize going into it that it is either (a) a relationship of temporary companionship and superficial enjoyment or (b) a relationship of potential marriage and authentic love. Both need to be on the same track. The problem is one is superficial and the other is serious. If one is on the fun track and the other is on the potential marriage track, disaster is certain to happen.

Now, there is nothing inherently wrong with a relationship of fun and diversion, so long as it is mutual and not exploitive (including, among other things, sex). I've seen older people "date" and go out and spend time with each other without getting at all serious. And I get the feeling that, in the past (50s and 60s), people could go out and date, meeting and testing the potential for a possible mate, without getting serious (and certainly without getting sexual). Today, not so much. Today, all too often, one person recognizes it as a merely for fun/diversion/companionship, with or without sex (which is by its very nature exploitive when extra-marital), while the other person is, or thinks they are, "in love," and wants to continue to be with that person forever, even if they really don't like anything about the other and believe that they can "change" him or her.

Give me -- give society -- the right glass, so that we can fill it all the way. Give us a glass of honesty and sincerity. Either both understand throughout that it is merely temporary, so that when it inevitably ends it is not devastating to one or the other; or both understand throughout that marriage is a possibility and when they say "I love you," they actually and sincerely mean it.
And I say, "Bravo!" to Brender for most of that post. I would most certainly disagree with the lack of marriages coming out of college simply because most of my 'adult' friends were married out of college or are about to be BETROTHED while one or both are still in college. Are these a few rare cases? I don't think so. Perhaps... but I don't think so.

I agree though that all too often in society today people view (dating) relationships as being something fun to do and nothing more. They want to have a 'special someone' but they don't want to even think about the possibility of marriage. They just want the tag for looks or feel without any kind of commitment or maturity that it takes to actually have a (dating) relationship.

I believe that this trend is all too greatly aided by the parents of these children. Certainly many children will learn that dating relationships are for experimentation and "just for fun" from friends but if they aren't getting the proper lessons at home, who really expects them to know better? We must teach them from a young age the importance of friendships and the beauty of dating when they are emotionally, spiritually, and physically ready.

One thing that was mentioned recently by a friend was the 'age restrictions'. (Just to let y'all know, my age restriction is 35...) How often do parents tell their kids while they're growing up that they 'can start dating when [they] turn 16'? It's all they hear until that birthday and when it comes... what? Are they supposed to date? Are they just 'allowed' to date? Are they expected to date now that the restriction has been lifted? What? What do these parents expect to happen?

Children need to know that it is not necessary (and certainly not expected) that they date from a young age! Think back to when you were 16... were you emotionally, spiritually, and physically ready for a potential marriage? Perhaps you were physically ready (this of course comes before the others) but I would dare say no one was emotionally or spiritually ready. So why do we push them out there into that 'scene'? Why do we make it seem as though they need to start finding someone, especially if we do not expect them to find someone permanent? Are we seeking thrills for them? Are we trying to provide for them the fun times we had? Were those times really all that fun? Are those times necessary? Certainly not!

In all relationships there come times when you have to 'take it to the next level' (and I certainly do NOT mean physically). Relationships are meant to progress. You start with friendship and, ideally, head in one of two directions: 1)marriage or 2)life-long friendship. Of course marriage is also a life-long 'friendship' but it's so much deeper than any other friendship could ever be. When we throw kids into dating at 14, 15 and 16 we are setting them up for failure. They will generally not be ready to progress very far in formal relationships. This means dramatic and 'heart-breaking' splits. That, of course, will not preceed some kind of awkwardness which in some (I dare say many) cases leads to physical exploration. What else is there to do but mess around? Well... lots! But they don't know that for a number of reasons. Are they totally to blame? No. I think most fault lies with those who are encouraging, or condoning, such relationships at their age.

It's just not appropriate.

When you ask the majority of high school students that are in relationships if they are thinking about marriage, what do you think they say?

"No way! I'm too young!"

Hmmm... I think they're on to something! .. Hah.

Monday, August 07, 2006

I'll be better...

I always feel really awful when I check my blog email. This is often because it is so rare that I do it that I usually sign in to a prayer request that is two weeks old. I promise to be better!

Here is one that has been heavy in my heart. I apologize again to the sender for not seeing it sooner.
Please pray for Joseph ... who used to be a very active Catholic when a teenager. He is 25 now and has been an opium addict for 4 years. Please pray that he be totally healed, physically, mentally, and emotionally of his addiction. And please ask the good God to grant that Joseph contact me because I don't know where he is and I am suffering.
Please pray...

Sent by God

This past Thursday I had the opportunity to go to Mass and confession, both with our new priest! (I didn't know that until the end though...) After an all-day seminar for work, I raced to the church for confession, practically sprinting to the confessional after I got inside. To my surprise, it was a different priest. I didn't know who he was at first; I just assumed he was a visiting priest. (We're lucky like that. We usually get them when we need them.) I had a beautiful confession and I felt very good when I left. I didn't think I'd have time to stay for Mass but planned on staying long enough to pray evening prayer. I'm pretty much a sucker for Mass though (who in their right mind wouldn't be?) so I turned my phone on silent and anxiously awaited the ringing of the entrance bell. (I was expecting a friend; we were going to see 'Brooklyn' at Fair Park.) After a few minutes I heard the bell and stood with everyone. Then I saw him walk through the door! Cool! A visiting priest was saying Mass! (I like my pastor but I'm always excited by change.) He said a BEAUTIFUL Mass. I was so glad I stayed! (I think God helped me out a little too. My friend didn't show for at least ten minutes after Mass ended.) It was so awesome to have just gone to confession, prayed Liturgy of the Hours and be able to celebrate Mass as well. I was so ecstatic. I wanted to thank this priest for such a wonderful time. He was great. As I approached him I overheard a conversation he was having with another parishioner. "He's our new priest," I thought. "NO WAY! Are we really this lucky?!" I was so excited. I couldn't wait to go back on Tuesday (and still can't)! I turned around, walked quickly back into the sanctuary, and thanked God for this blessing. All priests are sent by God but I really believe we are EXTREMELY blessed to have this one. I hate to be selfish but I really needed this priest! *Sigh* I'm so excited.

Impatience will be the death of me...

I committed to working on my impatience at this year's Girls' Retreat. It's not going so well. My latest card is evidence of this. Instead of being PATIENT and waiting until the scrap store opens in two hours to get some more rub-on letters, I decided to try my hand at lettering. Not so bad... but then I decide to add a rub-on. So bad. (adding the rub-on made the letters look really skinny and light. so i darkened them... or tried. The "u" was the first letter to get slightly messed up and it all went downhill from there.)

I'm going to learn my lesson one day.

Apologies for my artsy kick - it'll be over soon I'm sure. I'll get too impatient.

Pictures 1 and 2 are before I ruined the card. Picture 3 is the back of the card. Picture 4 is the product of my impatience. (and yes, it looks worse in person.)

As I try not to be too negative, I definitely see this as a learning experience. I will attempt this card again today. Hopefully this time I'll be at least a LITTLE more patient. Heh...

Sunday, August 06, 2006


Hobbies are good for everyone's health, I think. I have a lot of hobbies but so many of them require MONEY! Well, when I run into a few dollars I like to go back and pick up on some stuff I've either enjoyed doing in the past or would like to do eventually. This time I took out a few dollars to make a thank you card for a friend. I'm not ecstatic with the way it turned out but I think it's okay for a start. (The flower was a bit higher than I wanted but that might have been okay if I had made the stripe smaller. The word also needed to be further to the right. Trying to satisfy myself and my 'helper' doesn't always work out!) Any and all suggestions welcomed!
{Products} Patterned paper: We R Memory Keepers, solid paper: WorldWin?, rub-on: MakingMemories, florals: Heidi Snapp, brad: Bazzill.

Thank You, Lord

+Thank you, Lord, for the gift of rain! We needed it and you provided.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Saved by the bell...

It is amazing how God works. When you need something, He is there to provide for you.
How great and wonderful is our God! +Thank you, Lord, for every blessing.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Feast of Our Lady of the Angels and the Portiuncula Indulgence

This is a special feast to me and I'm sure to many around the world. A big congratulations (though they will not see this) to the postulants of the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal who will be invested today! Oh happy day!

A little bit about the Portiuncula...
The Portiuncola is the place where Franciscanism developed, and where Saint Francis lived and died.

The chapel, of antique construction and venerated for the apparition of Angels within it, belonged to the Benedictine monks of Subasio. It was on a piece of land called "Portiuncula" and later, the name of the land passed to the little church itself.

It was abandoned for a long time and was restored by Saint Francis. It was here that he understood his vocation clearly and here that he founded the Order of the Friars Minor (1209) "establishing here his home", St. Bonaventure tells us, "because of his reverence for the angels, and of his great love of the Mother of Christ" to whom the little church was dedicated. The land and the Chapel were gifted to him by the Benedictines for making it the centre of his new religious family.

On 28 March, 1211 Clare, daughter of Favarone di Offreduccio received her religious habit here from the hands of Saint Francis and so initiated the Order of the Poor Clares.

In 1216, in a vision, St Francis obtained from Jesus himself the Indulgence of the Pardon of Assisi that was approved by Pope Honorius III. This plenary indulgence may ordinarily be gained on August 2 and 15; pilgrims may gain it once a year on any day of the year.

At the Porziuncola, that was and is the centre of the Franciscan Order, St Francis assembled all the Friars in the Chapter every year to discuss the Rule and to renew their dedication to the Gospel Life. (In 1909 St. Pius X elevated it to the rank of Patriarchal Basilica with Papal Chapel, likewise confirming its title of Head and Mother of the Whole Order of Friars Minor.) The Chapter of Mats (Stuoie) in 1221 was attended by more than 5000 friars.

Here he began and grew in his religious life; here he founded the Franciscan Order; here he manifested his love and great devotion to the Mother of God. When Francis knew he was dying, he requested to be brought to the Portiuncula to end his earthly life.

The Porziuncola is situated now inside the Basilica of Saint Mary of the Angels in the town of the same name around 5 km from Assisi.

As we honor Our Lady of the Angels, may we find inspiration for our own growth and development in the Gospel way of life that Saint Francis embraced and lived so completly.

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Portiuncula Indulgence

The first written document we have regarding this indulgence is dated October 31, 1277, some sixty years after the indulgence is said to have been granted. As a result, many different accounts have come down to us purporting to relate the vision of St. Francis and the way in which the Pope consented to grant this indulgence.

One time when Francis was kneeling in prayer before the image of Our Lady, he seemed to behold men and women from every corner of the world converging upon this obscure little chapel in the Umbrian forest. He had been praying for the forgiveness of the sins of mankind when suddenly the dark interior seemed illumined by the light of a million candles. Jesus and Mary appeared in the midst of a dazzling cloud of angels, and he heard a voice that fell like music on his soul, "What do you wish me to do to help poor sinners?" Francis hardly knew how to answer, but suddenly the words came tumbling out and he asked the Lord to grant a full pardon to all who came to visit the church of Portiuncula and made a good confession. It then seemed that Jesus was in favor of this. He turned smilingly to His Mother and she, in turn, nodded to St. Francis and smiled.

Typical of the saint's impetuosity and generosity of soul, he marched off to see the Pope and beg from him the coveted indulgence. The reigning Holy Father, Honorius III, was literally dumbfounded at the request to grant such a generous indulgence. At that time, the summer of 1216, plenary indulgences were rarely granted by the Church. The plenary indulgences that had been granted were given to those fighting men who took up the cross and the sword and went as crusaders to the Holy Land. Later, this hard won indulgence was extended to those who remained at home but helped the Crusaders in supplying men and alms.

Francis, however, was not to be refused. The Lord Himself had promised him, and the Roman Curia was bound to relent! The Pope finally yielded and left it to the astonished cardinals to limit the application of the new indulgence. The date set was from vespers of the first of August until sundown on the second. It is said that Francis chose this date because the feast of the Chains of St. Peter (his release from prison) is celebrated on the first of August, and Francis felt that sinners should also be freed from the chains of their sins on the day following this great feast. Furthermore, this date was the anniversary of the consecration of the Portiuncula chapel.

As Francis took his leave of the Holy Father, after obtaining the unprecedented privilege, the Pope is said to have asked if he did not wish some document to prove that his request had been officially granted. With characteristic Franciscan lightheartedness came the saint's reply: "I need nothing more than your word. Our Lady is the parchment, Christ the notary, and the angels our witnesses!"

When the first great August first arrived, seven bishops gathered in the little chapel of Our Lady of the Angels to dedicate it as "Our Lady of the Angels of the Portiuncula." And St. Francis, overjoyed, cried out to the crowd that overflowed the narrow building, "I want to make all of you go to heaven!"

But at the time there seemed something almost scandalous in this indulgence, and conservative prelates did little to make it known. In St. Francis' own lifetime the Portiuncula Indulgence was enjoyed by comparatively few Christians. Travel and communications were slow, and not even such good news as a plenary indulgence could travel swiftly over the mud-choked trails that passed for roads in thirteenth-century Europe. Later, of course, the indulgence was extended to all Franciscan churches on August first and second.

(for oneself or for a departed soul)

* Sacramental Confession to be in God's grace
(during the eight days before or after);
* Participation in the Holy Mass and Eucharist.
* Visit to a Catholic Church, followed by PROFESSION OF FAITH, in order to reaffirm one's own Christian identity;
* Say the OUR FATHER, in order to reaffirm the dignity as child of God that one received in Baptism;
* A prayer for the Pope's intention, in order to reaffirm one's membership in the Church, of which the Roman Pontiff is the foundation and sign of visible unity.

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The following is an excerpt from: the Major Life of St. Francis by St. Bonaventure.
"The Portiuncula was an old church dedicated to the Virgin Mother of God which was abandoned . Francis had great devotion to the Queen of the world and when he saw that the church was deserted, he began to live there constantly in order to repair it. He heard that the Angels often visited it, so that it was called Saint Mary of the Angels, and he decided to stay there permanently out of reverence for the angels and love for the Mother of Christ.

He loved this spot more than any other in the world. It was here he began his religious life in a very small way; it is here he came to a happy end. When he was dying, he commended this spot above all others to the friars, because it was most dear to the Blessed Virgin.

This was the place where Saint Francis founded his Order by divine inspiration and it was divine providence which led him to repair three churches before he founded the Order and began to preach the Gospel.

This meant that he progressed from material things to more spiritual achievements, from lesser to greater, in due order, and it gave a prophetic indication of what he would accomplish later.

As he was living there by the church of Our Lady, Francis prayed to her who had conceived the Word, full of grace and truth, begging her insistently and with tears to become his advocate. Then he was granted the true spirit of the Gospel by the intercession of the Mother of mercy and he brought it to fruition.

He embraced the Mother of Our Lord Jesus with indescribable love because, as he said, it was she who made the Lord of majesty our brother, and through her we found mercy. After Christ, he put all his trust in her and took her as his patroness for himself and his friars."

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Our Lady Queen of Angels
By: William Adolphe Bougereau

Prayer to Our Lady of the Angels

You are fair, O Mary,
And the stain of original sin is not in you.
You are the glory of Jerusalem;
You are the joy of Israel;
You are the honor of our people;
You are the advocate of sinners, O Mary

Our Lady of the Angels,
Virgin most prudent,
Mother Most loving,
Pray for us,
Intercede for us with Jesus Christ our Lord.
(mention your request)

Prayer for Faith, Grace and the Intercession
of Our Lady of the Angels

Heavenly Father, you filled the heart
of St. Francis with a special love
for the Mother of Your Son, Jesus,
and for the Portiuncula.

In this hallowed place you nourished
his spiritual life and inspired him
to found the Franciscan Order.

Through the intercession of Our Lady
of the Angels may we be steadfast
in our faith and remain true to You.

Grant us the faith and grace always to do Your will.
Grant this through Your Son, Jesus Christ.

Salutation Of The Blessed Virgin
(by Saint Francis of Assisi)

Hail Holy Lady most holy Queen,
Mary Mother of God.
Chosen by the Father in heaven
consecrated by Him.
With His most beloved Son and
Holy Spirit comforter,
On you descended and still remains
fullness of grace
And every good.

Hail His palace and His robe,
Mary Mother of God.
Hail His handmaid lowely and pure,
Loving servant of the Lord.
Hail holy virtues given by God
to all the faithful in the world,
So that no longer we faithless be,
And may become the
servants of the Lord.

Mary We Turn To You For Protection

We turn to you for protection,
holy Mother of God.

Listen to our prayers
and help us in our needs.
(mention your special request)
Save us from every danger,
glorious and blessed Virgin.

One more prayer...
O Virgin of the Angels, who has for centuries
established your throne of mercy at the
Porziuncula, hear the prayer of your children,
who trust in you. From this truly holy place and
the habitation of the Lord, so dear to the heart
of saint Francis, you have always invited all men
to love.

Your tender eyes assure us of a never failing
motherly help and a promise of divine help to
all those who humbly have recourse to your th-
rone, or who from afar, turn to you to ask for

You are, indeed, our sweet Queen and our
only hope.

O Lady of the Angels, obtain for us, through
the intercession of blessed Francis, pardon for
our sins, help us to keep away from sin and indifference,
so that we shall be worthy of calling you our Mother for evermore.

Bless our homes, our toil and our rest, by
giving us that same serenity we experience
within the walls of the Porziuncula, where hate,
guilt and tears turn into a song of joy like that
once was sung by the Angels and the seraphic Francis.

Help those who are in need and hungry,
those who are in danger of body and soul,
those who are sad and downhearted, those
who are sick and dying.

Bless us, your most beloved children, and, we
pray you, bless also with the same motherly
gesture, all those who are innocent, together
with those are guilty; those who are faithful,
together with those who have gone astray;
those who believe, together with those who are
in doubt. Bless all humanity, so that all men
acknowledging that they are God's children,
would find through love, real Peace and real Good.


Novena to St. Clare - Day Nine

Dear St. Clare, as a young girl you imitated your mother's love for the poor of your native Assisi. Inspired by the preaching of St. Francis, who sang enthusiastically of His Lord Jesus and Lady Poverty, you gave your life to Jesus at nineteen years of age, allowing St. Francis to cut off your beautiful hair and invest you with the Franciscan habit.

All through your life you offered your great suffering for you Sisters, the Poor Clares, and the conversion of souls. You greatly aided St. Francis with his new order, carrying on his spirit in the Franciscans after his death. Most of all you had a deep love of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament, which fueled your vocation to love and care for the poor.

Please pray for me (mention your request) that I will seek to keep Jesus as my first love, as you did. Help me to grow in love of the Blessed Sacrament, to care for the poor, and to offer my whole life to God.

Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of St. Clare. Through her intercession, please hear and answer my prayer, in the name of Jesus Your Son. Amen.

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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Novena to St. Clare - Day Eight

Dear St. Clare, as a young girl you imitated your mother's love for the poor of your native Assisi. Inspired by the preaching of St. Francis, who sang enthusiastically of His Lord Jesus and Lady Poverty, you gave your life to Jesus at nineteen years of age, allowing St. Francis to cut off your beautiful hair and invest you with the Franciscan habit.

All through your life you offered your great suffering for you Sisters, the Poor Clares, and the conversion of souls. You greatly aided St. Francis with his new order, carrying on his spirit in the Franciscans after his death. Most of all you had a deep love of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament, which fueled your vocation to love and care for the poor.

Please pray for me (mention your request) that I will seek to keep Jesus as my first love, as you did. Help me to grow in love of the Blessed Sacrament, to care for the poor, and to offer my whole life to God.

Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of St. Clare. Through her intercession, please hear and answer my prayer, in the name of Jesus Your Son. Amen.

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