Sunday, December 31, 2006

Feast of the Holy Family

It's strange to me how everything in my life can be so focused without my consciousness of the fact. Today when I awoke I did not think about what feast day we celebrate today or what significance it holds in our church. I thought about what I was going to wear and sat confused for a while, trying to remember if we were singing as a choir today or not. And still somehow the majority of my proceeding thought was centered on family and unity.

One of my first coherent thoughts this morning was of the friend I spoke of yesterday. I thought of her great suffering and how deeply it affects me. I did pray that God might take some of her suffering and give it to me, so this was no surprise. (How anxious do I feel when I know of someone else suffering, especially alone!)

As I sat at Mass and listened to the story of the Holy Family, I thought of my own family and questioned our priorities. I questioned my own perogatives and really contemplated what it was I could do to help my whole family be more holy.

I watched as a family brought up the gifts to the altar. I observed the interactions of little children before, during, and after Mass. My thoughts wandered during the homily (Lord, forgive me) and I contemplated the family life of our deacon and other holy people I know. I wondered what life must be like in their family. In their human nature, they sin. Certainly they get frustrated and maybe even angry. But is their life much different from my own?

After Mass my family went out to eat. As we were being seated, my mother recalled a previous experience at the same restaurant. She told us the story about a father and a group of young men and their unruly, unkind behavior. We reflected on what might be lacking in their family and I said a quiet prayer, that God might touch their hearts today.

The most moving moment so far today though was in the car as we were pulling out of the parking lot of our church. After Mass my father had made a point to stop and talk with an older gentleman in the vestibule. I didn't recognize him but I don't recognize many of the people my parents know. I thought nothing of it and moved on to greet our pastor and thank the priest who said our Mass. A few moments later, in the car and pulling out of the parking lot, my mother turned to my father and said, "He looks really sad." "That's because he is," my father quietly replied. Already I felt a tug on my heart. How it pains me to hear of another's sadness! They continued to talk and soon I realized that it was Mr. B. His wife died three years ago and he misses her terribly.

I didn't see the look on his face and I've never known them well. I know who they are because they are 'prominent figures' in our parish in my mind. They were one of those couples that everyone knew. They had six children together and were faithful Catholics. He still is. But he's sad. And that thought... it moved me to tears. One thought of his sad face as he crossed the street to his car and I was crying.

I'm sure I've shared similar stories in the past. I have a tendency to be moved to tears in sorrow or great joy when hearing of others trials or blessings. It didn't necessarily catch me off guard, but I knew it would my family - so I quickly wiped my eyes and tried to keep up with the flow of conversation.

It wasn't until just now as I was reading a reflection by Fr. Glenn Sudano, CFR, that I realized the importance of this moment and all the moments I've experienced in the past. It wasn't until this moment that I realized the significance of all of these moments combined.

I occassionally have these 'light bulb' moments when I understand in a deep way the connection we share with each person on this earth, and more so with other Catholics. Today was just another one of those days.. but like with most things, I appreciate it more this time than I have ever before.

I pray that the Holy Family strengthens me to be a good example to my family and to help me contribute to our holiness as one entity. I pray that I am always able to feel with my brothers and sisters in Christ, and to really share in their joys and sorrows. I pray that the Holy Family be our protector and guide as we journey towards our Father in heaven. Most Holy Family, bring us into the light of our Father. Help us to see His Holy Face! Amen.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Please pray: No job, no insurance, no family, no place to go...

Yes, this describes a dear friend of mine. She has struggled with an addiction to prescription pain meds for some time. She is nine months clean and sober but Lord knows it has been a rough time getting to this point. And things seem to be getting worse.

When she first admitted her problem and sought help, she checked herself into an adult rehab program. Her family was already being affected but it was more so while she was gone since this left her husband responsible for everything around the house and with their son. As could be expected, it also created a bit of tension at work.

My dear friend also suffers from depression and is on meds for that. Given her history, her doctor thought it would be wise to be readmitted to the hospital as he adjusted her medication levels. He wanted her to be monitored for any changes during this time.

When she told her husband, he told her he wanted a divorce.

On top of this, she had to deal with telling work that she would again be admitted to the hospital. Her boss was suspicious and my friend knew that she might be fired. But she also knew that she needed to take care of herself. So she entered the hospital.

The next day her husband showed up with a letter from her work saying that she had been laid off. Included with this letter was her last check. In the same visit, her husband informed her that he had filed for divorce.

Needless to say, she was more than devastated.

She is now without a job, without insurance to pay for her medication, without a husband, and with no place to go...

Thankfully she is able to live at home for now - until she is ready to move out. As I'm sure you can imagine, this isn't a comfortable situation. (I can only imagine the levels of anxiety that plague that place.)

Please, if you can, offer up some prayers for my friend. She is in need. She is one of the most faithful, strong, vibrant Catholics I know. She is so in love with our Lord and wishes to do what is good and pleasing in His sight. She has not lost her faith through this. If anything, I think she has become more grounded in it. Even in the midst of all that is happening, she can smile and be proud of her nine month achievement. I am very proud of her and support her in all things. I ask that you too support her with prayer. I pray that if ever I am faced with such challenges, I might handle them with as much grace as she has.

Thank you in advance. Know of the deep appreciation for all that you can offer..


Prayers for the New Year

I will be adoring Christ in the Most Holy Eucharist as we ring in the New Year. As is always the case, I am open to bringing intentions to Christ for anyone who would wish me to do so. If you want me to simply bring your name and a prayer for all intentions (or something like a prosperous new year), just comment. If you have private intentions, you can email me at the email listed to the right.

As we enter the new year, may we all resolve to draw closer to our Lord. May we ask Him to bring to fulfillment what it is He wills in each our lives. May He take our hands and work through them; take our lips and speak through them; take our hearts and set them on fire! (Amen.)


Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Hound of Heaven

This poem was posted on phatmass.. I've included the poem and my comments from the site. It's definitely one of my favorites now!

The Hound of Heaven -- by Francis Thompson

I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter.
Up vistaed hopes I sped;
And shot, precipitated,
Adown Titanic glooms of chasmed fears,
From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.
But with unhurrying chase,
And unperturbèd pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
They beat - and a Voice beat
More instant than the Feet -
"All things betray thee, who betrayest Me."

I pleaded, outlaw-wise,
By many a hearted casement, curtained red,
Trellised with intertwining charities;
(For, though I knew His love Who followèd,
Yet I was sore adread
Lest, having Him, I must have naught beside.)
But, if one little casement parted wide,
The gust of His approach would clash it to.
Fear wist not to evade as Love wist to pursue.
Across the margent of the world I fled,
And troubled the gold gateways of the stars,
Smiting for shelter on their clangèd bars;
Fretted to dulcet jars
And silvern chatter the pale ports o' the moon.
I said to Dawn: Be sudden - to Eve: Be soon;
With thy young skiey blossoms heap me over
From this tremendous Lover -
Float thy vague veil about me, lest He see!
I tempted all His servitors, but to find
My own betrayal in their constancy,
In faith to Him their fickleness to me,
Their traitorous trueness, and their loyal deceit.
To all swift things for swiftness did I sue;
Clung to the whistling mane of every wind.
But whether they swept, smoothly fleet,
The long savannahs of the blue;
Or whether, Thunder-driven,
They clanged His chariot 'thwart a heaven,
Plashy with flying lightnings round the spurn o' their feet: -
Fear wist not to evade as Love wist to pursue.
Still with unhurrying chase,
And unperturbèd pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
Came on the following Feet,
And a Voice above their beat -
"Naught shelters thee, who wilt not shelter Me."

Now of that long pursuit
Comes on at had the bruit;
That Voice is round me like a bursting sea:
"And is thy earth so marred,
Shattered in shard on shard?
Lo, all things fly thee, for thou fliest Me!
Strange, piteous, futile thing!
Wherfore should any set thee love apart?
Seeing none but I make much of naught" (He said),
"And human love needs human meriting:
How hast thou merited -
Of all man's clotted clay, the dingiest clot?
Alack, thou knowest not
How little worthy of any love thou art!
Whom wilt thou find to love ignoble thee,
Save Me, save only Me?
All which I took from thee I did but take,
Not for thy harms,
But just that thou might'st seek it in My arms.
All which thy child's mistake
Fancies as lost, I have stored for thee at home:
Rise, clasp My hand, and come."

Halts by me that footfall:
Is my gloom, after all,
Shade of His hand, outstretched caressingly?
"Ah, fondest, blindest, weakest,
I am He Whom thou seekest!
Thou dravest love from thee, who dravest Me."
(found here)

My response:
I love this poem. It speaks very much to my vocational story. It talks about coveting things of the world when what we seek to covet is our Lord. Our deepest desires are for God and God alone. In the poem it talks about God taking things from the author not for his/her harm but for their good.. that they might seek all things in Him. What a beautiful story! And how true it is in each of our lives, though on different levels, I'm sure.

I think it speaks most to the culture of death in this world. We seek to hide and reject the One that will save us. We seek all but one thing, the One who loves us more than we could ever know. It is our job to love Him before and above all things and this poem speaks to that. It speaks to His unfailing love and His constant pursuit of our hearts.

I'm gushing..


L.E.A.P. - It stands for Liturgy.Education.Apostolate.Prayer. and it's something that Remnant practices. From the site:
L.E.A.P is a simple program to help form and maintain a strong spiritual life. In our modern society we focus very heavily on the body. We are concerned with diets, working out, sports, conditioning, etc. We must not forget the importance of our soul and the formation and conditioning of the soul. The LEAP program is a personal or group commitment to living out liturgy, education, apostolate and prayer each day. You chose the liturgy, education, apsotolate and prayer and stick with it. Change the rules as you go to fit your spirituality. Here are some examples:

Person One commits to:
Liturgy - praying Liturgy of the Hours night prayer each day
Education - reading a few pages of “Story of a Soul” each night
Apostoalte - going to one Youth Group activity a week at their parish
Prayer - praying before every meal

Person Two commits to:
Liturgy - reading the daily reading and story of the Saint of the Day each day
Education - reading some of the works of John Paul the Great each day
Aposotlate - teaching in a Religious Education program for elementary
Prayer - praying the Rosary each day

Remnant Catholic Apostolate is personally commited to LEAP and we will be adding ideas to this section so that you can grow spiritually.
L.E.A.P. has proven very helpful, even for me (I tend to be really hard on myself when I miss something), and I'm excited to continue it. Each of the apostolate members has a L.E.A.P. commitment partner that he or she speaks with once a week. We hold each other accountable for each of our commitments and encourage each other in them. The partners change every couple of months so that helps to keep things fresh. It also helps us to get to know each other even better! I love having prayer partners (or, in this case, accountability partners) because it really allows you to know someone on a deeper, more spiritual level. It serves to bring out the holy and the human in them at the same time. Love it!

My commitments are as follows:
Liturgy: Liturgy of the Hours each day (no less than morning and night), Mass readings for the day
Education: A few pages of Encyclicals by Pope John Paul the Great each night
Apostolate: Help to provide music for the Youth Mass each week (as well as 9am)
Prayer: Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet each day after work

I know my partner will help me to keep these commitments. I know he is praying for my success! And I am praying for his.

If you struggle with keeping your commitments or are looking for ways to excercise your soul, try L.E.A.P.! It's spiritual fitness and it's not hard to do! Since you set your own goals, you get to choose things that fit your schedule and your spirituality. It's great for groups or individuals. Chances are, someone else is looking for support and encouragement too. Ask around, you might be surprised!

That's all for today... be holy!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

I have to admit...

...I've been considering making the switch to wordpress. (*Hides*) I like a lot of their basic layouts and feel like I could have a bit more freedom there without having to learn to design my own stuff. *Shrug* What do y'all think?

Check out a test blog I'm working on using wordpress (for Remnant Catholic Apostolate)! I used a basic layout and added links.. and it already looks superb. It's very tempting...

Monday, December 25, 2006

Here's wishing each of you a very merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Daddy of a nun...

Come Lord Jesus!

Only an hour or two now before little porclain baby Jesus dolls will be brought out all over central America. I'm very excited. -- I wanted to share this little poem with you which was posted on phatmass. I think it's cute. Here's to all the daddies of nuns.. *cheers!*

"Sure, my daughter has been vested
And my joy I cannot hide,
For I've watched her from the cradle
With a father's honest pride.

But the morn she left me early
I was feeling mighty blue,
Just a-thinkin' how I'd miss her
And the things she used to do.

But now, somehow it's different -
With each rising of the sun,
My heart is ever singing,

'I'm the daddy of a nun.'

Since to err is only human
There's a whole lot on the slate
That I'll have to make account for
When I reach the golden gate.

But them I'm not a-worryin'
About the deeds I've done
I'll just whisper to St. Peter:

'I'm the daddy of a nun.'


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Long time no update...

If you received this via email, sorry! Don't have time for much else...

For you, O Lord, my soul in stillness waits...

Greetings to you in this Advent season!

I apologize for not having Christmas cards sent out yet, but it's not
Christmas yet anyway. ;) I do hope this short letter finds you and
your family well. Things are well with me and mine.

I don't have too much to say outside of this:

I pray that the final days of this advent season are truly peaceful
for each of you. I pray that all of our hearts may settle and rest in
true preparation for the coming of our King. I pray that Christmas is
alive and joyful -- and that not too many of you have to work!

I also wanted to share with you this one poem from a book I received
recently titled, Garlands of Grace. I hope you like it as much as I

by Robert Southwell (1561-1595)

The Burning Babe

As I in hoary winter's night
Stood shivering in the snow,
Surprised I was with sudden heat
Which made my heart to glow;
And lifting up a fearful eye
To view what fire was near,
A pretty babe all burning bright
Did in the air appear,
Who, scorched with excessive heat,
Such floods of tears did shed
As though His floods should quench His flames
Which with His fears were bred.
'Alas!' quoth He, 'but newly born,
In fiery heats I fry,
Yet none approach to warm their hearts
Or feel my fire but I.
'My faultless breast the furnace is,
The fuel wounding thorns;
Love is the fire, and sighs the smoke,
The ashes, shame and scorns.
'The fuel Justice layeth on
And Mercy blows the coals,
The metal in the furnace wrought
Are men's defiled souls;
'For which, as now on fire I am
To work them to their good,
So will I melt into a bath
To wash them in my blood.'
With this He vanished out of sight
And swiftly shrunk away,
And straight I called unto mind
That it was Christmas Day.

*shivers* Love that poem.. and with it, I bid you farewell! Be holy!

Thursday, December 14, 2006


I have always known it was a great blessing to have been born on the feast of St John of the Cross.. but I appreciate it more this year. I pray I appreciate it more every year.

Thank you, Lord, for the gift of life.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

I know the friars and sisters are having grand feasts tonight in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe! They have a big devotion to her and considering the feast we had while I was there (during a 'lesser' Franciscan feast day), I can only imagine what joy, excitement, and good things to eat there will be tonight!

Don't get me wrong. It's nothing lavish. The meals you and I might eat tonight (unless yours are comparable to those that Happy Catholic (Julie) makes for her family) -including desert- would be feasts to them. They have staples, sure, but they don't get to pick and choose from the grocery store what they want to have. They share with the poor. What the poor eat, they eat. So tonight should include something a little extra for desert, some hot cocoa after dinner, and with dinner... COKE!! Yes, that's a Franciscan feast. And they are wonderful!

So, I think I shall feast tonight too... in honor of our beautifully pregnant Lady of Guadalupe!


Monday, December 11, 2006

A People of God

Owen, from luminous miseries, had this to say in the comment box of my last post: "I have slowed my day down and my prayers by stopping my day at 10pm and spending an hour in prayer. Oddly {?} what is happening {over these past 14 days} is that I wish to spend more time, not less in prayer." It does seem backwards in today's society for something like this to happen, but really, it's logical! We are a people God. We, in our very core, long for the things of God and when we taste those things, it is only natural and fitting that we should desire them more.

Along the same lines, it seems more natural to me now to want to take time in my prayers and to really contemplate the words that I am saying and the meaning behind them. I have tasted the sweetness of breathed prayer and it is causes me anxiety to think of saying them any other way. How foolish it would be for me to want to rush through my time with our Lord, especially after seeing what fruits can come from careful concentration.

That is not to say that when my mind wanders from one thing of God to another that it is necessarily a failing of mine in the art of concentration. I would see that rather as something which God has granted to me. A favor, so to speak. Contemplation has a natural progression. I would not think, however, that such a progression would come naturally in such a hurried pace. How sad it is to think that so many in our world miss out on the fruits of contemplation because they do not take the time to sit and be still with Christ!

Stillness... something so pivotal in our lives and yet so contrary to everything we learn from society.

I want to practice stillness even more fervently during this advent season. I would hope that we all would. All around us the world is saying, "Hurry! It's almost time!" And what is it almost time for?

This Sunday at Mass our priest hit on a point I was going to get to in my last post (ya know, until I ran out of time). He said that after we left Mass, we wouldn't hear the word advent again until next week. For those of us who are unable to make it to daily Mass, this is true! Everyone around us is preparing for an exchange between human hands. What we should be preparing for is an exchange between our mortal souls and Love himself. We should be preparing our hearts to receive not only Jesus past, but Jesus present and Jesus future. (So to speak..) We not only prepare ourselves to celebrate the birth of Christ 2000 years ago but also the birth of Christ today and the coming of Christ tomorrow. We invite Christ to come and dwell in our hearts. But before we invite Him in on Christmas day, we take advent to prepare for Him room - room which is fitting for our King. Forget clearing our closets for the gifts we will receive, how about clearing our conscience so that we may have a spotless place for Christ to come and rest in us as we rest in Him?

We must be still. We must quiet our hearts, even in the midst of a noisy and rushed world, and faithfully say, "For you, O Lord, my soul in stillness waits."

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Rushed in All Things

When I first arrived in New York and was praying with the Sisters, I noticed how much 'slower' they said their prayers. I felt like I was taking a breath between each word or speaking as though learning to read. It made me uncomfortable to be the only one really rushing through the prayer. Of course, part of me just thought they were moving too slow. But the longer I was there, the more natural it felt to take more time.

When I was in seventh grade I was on a retreat with some kids from our church. I think it was a lenten retreat and we were there with another church (our youth minister's husband's youth group). I remember though that our little group of kids had gotten together (I think in a hotel room) to pray. I really can't recall all the details. But I remember getting frustrated and talking about how everyone wanted to rush through the Hail Mary (my favorite prayer). I was frustrated because no one seemed to really listen to the words of the prayer or remember where they came from. "'Hail Mary! Full of grace, the Lord is with thee.' These are the words spoken to Mary by the angel Gabriel just before accepting the conception of her Son, our Savior! And "Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb" is from the meeting of Mary and her cousin Elizabeth. And then we beg Mary to pray for us!" It was something along those lines that I said that night before getting flush and stopping.

I feel much the same way today, but in a different way than before. Because what I thought was slow was so rushed in New York. Even in New York where everyone talks fast, moves fast, does everything fast, the Sisters take their time in prayer. I can't remember who it was but it was someone wise for sure that said the more time you make for prayer the more time you will find in your day. If I remember correctly the story behind it was that a nun felt like there weren't enough hours in the day to do all of her work and pray all of her prayers too. Her superior told her that she had it backwards. She was not making enough time to pray. If she prayed more, she would be able to do it all.

Anyway, the point is that prayer should be a priority in our lives. And not just prayer in words. Prayer in the heart. If we are reciting prayers we have learned over the years, we should be especially mindful to slow it down and reflect on what we are saying and what we are asking. When a prayer comes from the heart and not the head -- and in this case I mean a prayer that you form, not one that you have committed to memory -- it is obvious that we would really think about what we are saying. We are forming the words. But when we pray those prayers we have committed to memory, we often forget to stop and think about each word that passes from our lips. Often times our thoughts begin to wander and our prayer, though good in its intention, becomes nothing more than idle talk.

..more on this later. Time to babysit Porter and her friend, Tiffany! :)

May the Lord give you His peace.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Celebrating Your Mama

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.

From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.

He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.

He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.
Luke 1:46-55
Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, the solemn dogma defined by Blessed Pope Pius IX in 1854. As Our Lady Immaculately Conceived is the patroness of the United States of America, this is a holyday of obligation in the United States.

Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, "full of grace" through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed on December 8, 1854: "The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Saviour of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin." — Catechism of the Catholic Church

Learn more about this solemnity and how to celebrate it at!

With evening Mass and the Lock-In for Life tonight, this is as best as we get today, too. Sorry. This is definitely one of my favorite holy days in our year and you can bet I'll be talking to Mama all day.

May your day be blessed and your life be holy. In Him, with Him, through Him...


Thursday, December 07, 2006

A little of this, a little of that.. and the Memorial of Saint Ambrose

I apologize for a lack of real posting. These past few weeks have been busy. My work schedule has now changed and the pace is a lot different - a lot faster! So when I retire in the evenings I am much more worn out. I do think I'll adjust soon but how soon? Your guess is as good as mine.

The 7th Annual Lock-In for Life is on Friday in North Richland Hills. It's hosted by Remnant Catholic Apostolate (of which I am now a member) and attended by many parishes throughout the dioceses. It will be a holy, fun-filled event and I would ask for your prayers for it. Please pray that the youth are always bold in defending a culture of life and that everyone is safe during the event.

We will have adoration all night and I hope to catch a few hours in there. If you have any intentions you would like me to bring before Christ during that time, feel free to leave a comment or email me.

Today is the memorial of Saint Ambrose, bishop and doctor! I'm a big fan of Saint Ambrose.

As I, once again, have little time, here are a few things from Catholic Culture:
St. Ambrose (340-397) was born at Treves in Gaul, a territory which embraced modern France, Britain, Spain, and part of Africa. He studied in Rome and later became governor of Liguria and Aemelia with residence at Milan. While supervising the election of a new bishop of Milan in 374, he himself was suddenly acclaimed the bishop. He was only a catechumen at the time. He was ordained a priest and consecrated a bishop on Dec. 7. He wrote much on the Scriptures and Fathers, preached a homily every Sunday, resisted the interference of the secular powers with the rights of the Church, opposed the heretics, and was instrumental in bringing about the conversion of St. Augustine. He composed many hymns, promoted sacred chant, and took a great interest in the Liturgy.
Learn more about Saint Ambrose, bishop and doctor, at Catholic Culture!

Lord, you made St. Ambrose an outstanding teacher of the Catholic faith and gave him the courage of an apostle. Raise up in your Church more leaders after your own heart, to guide us with courage and wisdom. 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.

Recipes to try today:
Genoise Book Cake
Chiffon Pie
Insalata Ambrosiana
Ciastka Miodowe (Honey Cakes)
Honey Cake
Milk and Honey Cookies
Ambrosia Salad
Costoletta alla Milanese (Veal Chop Milanese)

Check out directions on celebrating the "Honey-Tongued Doctor" here!

St. Ambrose, bishop and doctor, pray for us! All you holy angels and saints, pray for us!

p.s. If anyone here attends my parish and is, as I was, unaware of the the Mass times for Friday (a holy day of obligation), you might want to check those out sometime before 6:30 or so today! We're having an anticipatory Mass tonight becaaauuusee... we only have the 8 am and noon Mass tomorrow. :( Those of us who work during the morning/day won't be able to make it. (Now I understand, Julie. Now I understand. Boo.)


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Feast of Saint Nicholas

The feast of Saint Nicholas is a fun one for children and adults alike. Although there is a lot of myth surrounding the feast, there is also a lot of good truth. I had planned on posting a little somethin-somethin for this special feast but alas, my day has gotten away from me. If I want to make it through work tomorrow, I had best be getting to sleep.. NOW! So.. head on over to phatcatholic apologetics for the scoop on this great saint. (He went a little nuts since this is his patron in name... and he's just like that. But we love him in spite of himself. *wink*) Here's a short bio from Catholic Culture for you, too.
St. Nicholas was born in Lycia, Asia Minor, and died as Bishop of Myra in 352. He performed many miracles and exercised a special power over flames. He practiced both the spiritual and temporal works of mercy, and fasted twice a week. When he heard that a father who had fallen into poverty was about to expose his three daughters to a life of sin, Nicholas took a bag of gold and secretly flung it through the window into the room of the sleeping father. In this way, the three girls were dowered and saved from mortal sin and hell.
St. Nicholas, pray for us! All you holy angels and saints, pray for us!


Monday, December 04, 2006

Audio Mass Readings Now Online

WASHINGTON, D.C., DEC. 4, 2006 ( The daily Mass readings are now downloadable from the Web site of the U.S. bishops' Catholic Communication Campaign.

The program was prepared in association with the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine using audio recordings of the readings from the New American Bible.

Information on downloading the audio can be found on the "Daily Readings" section of the bishops' Web site at

"The Internet is now a part of our lives and a medium which can help provide for spiritual enrichment," said Archbishop George Niederauer of San Francisco, chairman of the bishops' Committee on Communications. He said the new service "responds to the many requests for 'podcasts' of the readings."

The committee approved a $30,000 grant for the podcast project last June.

Patricia Ryan Garcia, project coordinator, noted: "Several readers, including bishops, clergy, and laity from different ethnic backgrounds, have lent their voices to the project so listeners will hear at least three different voices on any given day."

The audio recordings are accessible free of charge through several popular Internet audio content aggregators including Apple's iTunes, Feedburner and Podcast Alley.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Confirmation Retreat

Thank you to each of you who prayed for the young people on retreat this weekend at Marian Manor! The retreat, I think, went well. It's so amazing to see a group of 30 young teens walk through the door to leave so much different than they walked in. Though they didn't physically change, I could feel the presence of the Holy Spirit. At the end of the retreat we had a question and answer session (anonymous questions written on notecards prior to the session) and I was blown away by the depth of thought to the questions. They had big questions! They had all written them down so fast we just assumed they were something quick and easy so that they could go. (They had to stay in the chapel until they came up with one to ask.) But they were great questions and Matt gave them great answers. You could tell the Holy Spirit had really been working all weekend. How beautiful they all were!

I was privileged to be able to drive some of the girls around (to and from Mass/Confession/Adoration and dinner) and got to know them a little better. They were all great girls. I could tell they were on a good path and I was pleased to serve them. I do hope they hold on to those things which they experienced this weekend.

Please pray for them as they are one week from Confirmation. I ask the Lord to keep their minds and hearts open and ready to receive the peace of the Holy Spirit!

I have some other things to tend to, so this is all I have for now. May the Lord bless each of you abundantly.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Gone Camping... or something.

This weekend (Friday evening - Sunday afternoon) I will be on retreat with about 30 about-to-be-confirmed (older) middle school kids. Please pray for their holiness. Please also pray for the two of us who will be leading the retreat all weekend - as well as for the other two or three who will be coming in on Saturday to help out/give talks that day.