Monday, May 28, 2007

Josiah, requiescat in pace, ora pro nobis.

Matt, from the school of Mary, twin brother of Nick at phatcatholic apologetics, is asking for prayers for Amy, author of The "Refusal to Grasp", and her husband Duston. I haven't kept up with Amy in a while and so I missed her post about losing their first child, Josiah, to miscarriage. It is a beautiful post and definitely worth the read. The story is amazing and their faith, awe-inspiring. May the good Lord bless them and keep them, shower His every grace upon them, and may the Holy Spirit descend in this time of great suffering, to be with them and give them His peace.

Matt also provides this link for reading on the name Josiah.

Please pray for the peace of this family. Josiah, requiescat in pace, ora pro nobis.

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A Glimpse of Remnant -- The Band

In Memoriam

May the Lord look kindly upon those who have given their lives for the sake of freedom.

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

Click here to read a beautiful article from an Englishman about America and Americans.
Brought to you via Happy Catholic/The Anchoress.

** God Bless America!! **

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Pentecost Indulgence

'St Benedict', a member at phatmass, posted the following:

There is a plenary indulgence for anyone that recites "Come, Holy Ghost". This of course requires us to perform the Normal Conditions of an indulgence:

1. One is free from all attachment to sin
2. One receives the Sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist (within 7 days of the day)
3. One prays for the intentions of the Pope (An Our Father and Hail Mary)

Come Holy Spirit, Creator Blest (Veni, Creator Spiritus)

Come, Holy Spirit, Creator blest,
and in our souls take up Thy rest;
come with Thy grace and heavenly aid
to fill the hearts which Thou hast made.

O comforter, to Thee we cry,
O heavenly gift of God Most High,
O fount of life and fire of love,
and sweet anointing from above.

Thou in Thy sevenfold gifts are known;
Thou, finger of God's hand we own;
Thou, promise of the Father, Thou
Who dost the tongue with power imbue.

Kindle our sense from above,
and make our hearts o'erflow with love;
with patience firm and virtue high
the weakness of our flesh supply.

Far from us drive the foe we dread,
and grant us Thy peace instead;
so shall we not, with Thee for guide,
turn from the path of life aside.

Oh, may Thy grace on us bestow
the Father and the Son to know;
and Thee, through endless times confessed,
of both the eternal Spirit blest.

Now to the Father and the Son,
Who rose from death, be glory given,
with Thou, O Holy Comforter,
henceforth by all in earth and heaven. Amen.


Friday, May 25, 2007

Happy Birthday, Julie D!

Because I like Julie, I though I'd make her an e-card for her birthday.

Julie D,
The world was truly blessed by your birth. We have all been so blessed to know you and I pray that many more will benefit from your kindness, your intelligence, and your enthusiasm for the faith. Most of all, I pray that God blesses you even more abundantly on this day and showers you with graces for all of time. I pray this year will be even better and more successful than the last and that you discover Christ in an even more intimate way than I know you already have. Have a wonderful day, Julie! You deserve it!

with affection,
Laura H

(Yes, I said the same thing last year. I read it again and I liked it so much I decided to use it! I mean it even more than I did then!)

Don't forget to drop by and tell her "Happy Birthday"!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Devotional Practices, Church Traditions, and More: What do YOU think?

There has been some rather heated discussion on phatmass lately about different devotions in the Church. Before I dive into the whole affair, I'll give you a brief overview of what exactly a devotion is. Via Wikipedia:
Catholic devotions are prayer forms which are not part of the official public liturgy of the Church but are part of the popular spiritual practices of Catholics. Many are officially sanctioned by the Church as profitable for spiritual growth but not necessary for salvation.
Now, to be clear, the practices which are currently being addressed, were at one time required by the Church of all Catholics. However, these particular practices were dropped in the 1969 revision of the Roman Calendar. I won't go into all the little details of this fuss (since you can read it all for yourself via the link provided) but it does raise an interesting point that I'd like to hear discussed further.

I've been trying to put together my thoughts on the matter for several days now but (as I've mentioned several times already) I have been quite busy. Here's my proposal though: YOU tell ME what you think about all of this. Where do you fall in the mix of opinions? If you have a blog and would rather post your thought(s) there, just drop me a link and let me know where to find it. Otherwise, drop a line in my comments. Is there even reason for a fuss?

Basically the way I see it is this: there are some customs and traditions which are very beautiful that are not required by the Church of all Catholics. To choose to practice them should be left to each individual person without a heaping of guilt from his or her neighbor. To encourage or promote a certain devotion is one thing. To say that someone is striving for the minimum in not practicing or observing every custom or tradition is just ridiculous. I make it a point never to belittle someone's spiritual life. I know not the state of their soul or the innermost intentions of their heart. God alone knows.

There are many people I know who do not 'bother with' an extraordinary amount of devotions simply because they feel it hinders them in their spiritual life more than it helps. They focus too much on how much they are doing and not enough on the meaning behind the things they are doing. They don't grow closer to God -- they grow further away. No good! These things should IMPROVE your relationship with God!

Sacrifice is great and I never said each practice needed to be gratifying. However, if you are focused on doing the action alone and not so much on growing in the action, you might as well not bother.

And some would probably argue that they are looking to grow more than I am because they practice more devotion than I do. But this is the way I see that: If you play five sports, you must practice five sports. It is likely that you will never be the best at any of them but only mediocre or perhaps good at them all. If I play one sport, however, while you play five, chances are higher that I am going to be the best at my one sport while you are just average at the others. I would rather work on one thing and commit to it with my whole self than to spread myself so thin that I'm not really benefiting to the fullest potential with any of them.

What do you think, dear reader? Do tell.


After reviewing my pay stub from work for this past week, a week in which I accumulated fifty-three on-the-clock hours, I realized that I work way too much. What's disturbing is that saying it in my head (and then again out loud just moments later), I didn't seem to care. It didn't bother me to say it. It was all very matter-of-fact. What is wrong with me?

I suppose it's not really a bad thing. I enjoy my work. When I think of what I do every day, I feel a sense of pride well up inside of me. I don't have a business card or private office, but I serve well, I think. I do my job and then some. I take on 'a lot' of responsibility outside of what is expected of me. Those are all good things, right? Those are the qualities employers love. So why are they so horrible for ME?

Because I take absolutely no pride in those things. They don't bum me out but they definitely don't satisfy me. Sometimes I wish I could just say no. I wish I could just take the easy road and not do as much as I do. Sometimes I want to know what it's like to not be so very busy all day long. I want to work like people I know.. those people that aren't me. But it's not in my nature to leave things undone. It's not in my nature to only do the minimum. (Some may disagree but I can tell you quite plainly that I honestly can't.)

Sometimes I think it's slightly obsessive the way I clean or file or log. I get into 'the zone' and when I catch the clock in the corner of my eye, three hours have passed. And I guess what really bothers me is not that I work so hard all the time (and find myself unable to do anything less) but rather that I obsess about these things. Why these things? Why work?

I'm always looking to learn at work but in faith.. in faith, what am I doing? How am I growing? How hard am I working to deepen my understanding? Do I seek out God in my life like I seek out things in my job? Why are my priorities so backwards?

I'm not saying I don't go to Mass each day or pray my Liturgy of the Hours. (Though, I will admit right now that I missed several weeks of LotH when my schedule picked up. Shameful, I know.) I pray before meals and always ask God to bless those I love. But is this really stretching me? Is this really the commitment that God deserves?

We are called, each day, to know, love, and serve our God. If we do not take the time each day to do these things, what are we doing? Where are we going? What is our job good for if we do not first strengthen ourselves in faith? We are not here on this earth to earn money. When we die, our money stays here. What matters when we die is our soul. What matters NOW is our soul.

You see, sanctification is not a last-minute thought. It's not something you strive for as you draw your dying breath. Sanctification, what the Good Lord wants for each of us, is a life-long journey. It's growth every day, in every hour. We are called to pray and to learn and to serve ALWAYS.

So why is it that my job seems to trump everything else? If my one focus on earth is to reach Heaven, to praise God for all eternity, why do I not commit more time to knowing him, to purifying my soul, to receiving His Sacred Body and Blood?

I spent thirteen hours at work last week that I was not scheduled to work. I was late to babysitting twice because I 'needed' to stay 'for just a few more minutes'. (Once I actually did! Can't really just walk out of interviews! .. Okay, enough excuses.) What would happen, how different would I be, if I was late because I needed just a few more minutes in front of the Blessed Sacrament? What would happen, how would I be different, if I spent even just one extra hour in prayer each week? How would my life change? How would my soul benefit?

This week I commit myself to more time with the LORD. God love our customers, they're great, but this week needs to be for me. I need to be sustained by Christ. If I neglect my soul -- if I neglect my spiritual life -- the rest of my life will also suffer. But if I take out just those few extra minutes each day (and more as time passes), I know that my life will greatly improve.

+Lord, bless my efforts and look with mercy on my failings. You are my Lord. I love you before and above all things. Help me to seek you always and make you my one and all until, I pray, I am with you in Heaven. Amen.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Matthew in Heaven

Baby Matthew Colbert has passed and his funeral is this morning. Please continue to pray for his family and for his twin sister Sophia who is still fighting for her life. May God's will be done and may His peace settle into the hearts of all who are affected by this story.

Friday, May 18, 2007

For Baby Matthew

From Wheelbarrow Manor:
Please pray for church friends Cecilia and Calvin and their sweet baby Matthew who will go to to live in Jesus' sweet arms in Heaven today. Their twin babies were born last Monday at 24 weeks. A girl, Sophia and a boy, Matthew. Matthew has suffered a major brain hemorrhage and the decision has been made to remove him from extraordinary life support. My dad sent out this beautiful email and words it better than I can in the midst of my tears and sadness at this time.
It is with a heavy heart that I ask for your prayers this afternoon.

Please pray for the rest of the afternoon, especially around 5:00, for Calvin and Cecilia Colbert as they have made the very difficult decision to remove extraordinary life support from their little boy, Matthew. Through the doctors’ advice and spiritual counseling, they are now able to place Matthew in the hands of the Lord, who is the giver of all life. If God chooses to take Matthew home, which is the almost inevitable outcome, they are now able to accept that as the best thing for Matthew. Theirs is the eternal mixture of sadness and hope.

We pray that Mary, who with great sorrow watched her own son die, will be with Calvin and Cecilia, and we ask the Lord to receive Matthew into His loving arms.
The little girl seems to be doing fine for now but has a tough road ahead and will surely miss her brother.

Cecilia was one of the two coordinators of our nursery program this past year provided such good care to our babies each Sunday. I wish I could do something for her babies at this time but for the moment my prayers are all I can offer.

I ask that anyone who reads this offer a prayer for them as well.
Please keep everyone (family, friends, and really, the whole parish) in your prayers as everyone deals with this loss. Really, a loss like this affects the whole community. So many have lost young ones (as is evident in the Children's Garden) and it is a tragedy every time. But God's will is perfect and He alone knows 'why'. Our job is to pray. Please do.


Novena to the Holy Spirit Begins Today!

Don't forget that the Holy Spirit Novena beings today, Ascension Thursday. For more on this novena, including how to pray it, follow this link.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I really AM busy!

I have four drafts waiting for me to come back and finish! I'm still here. I promise. Just busy, busy, busy. Pray for me! I'm praying for each of you too. God bless and see you soon!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Happy Birthday, Nick!

It's a very special someone's birthday today! Nick from phatcatholic apologetics is celebrating his 27th birthday today. He is a great blessing to all of us and I thank God for his life. He's a good friend and will always have a special place in my heart.

You may recognize the photo from Julie's birthday. I don't mean it to be less special at all.. just love this picture!

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

May Crowning (of Mary, Our Queen)

from Wikipedia: May crowning is a traditional Roman Catholic ritual that occurs in the month of May of every year. In some countries, it takes place on or about May 1, however, in many United States Catholic parishes, it takes place on Mother's Day. An image or likeness of the Blessed Virgin Mary is ceremonially crowned to signify her as Queen of Heaven and the Mother of God.

Mary and the month of May
A number of traditions link the month of May to Mary. In ancient Greece, May was the month dedicated to Artemis and the reverence for this goddess was transferred to Mary with the Christianization of Europe. More generally, pre-Christian rites of spring (fertility rites), such as the Maypole, were subsumed by the Church into a festival of the Mother of God. This sacred holiday is traditionally known as Beltane, and is practiced today in Earth-based spiritualities. It is also the Celtic holiday for the goddess Brid, who was subsumed into the Catholic church as St. Brigid.

Alfonso X, king of Castile wrote in his "Cantigas de Santa Maria" about the special honoring of Mary during specific dates in May. Eventually, the entire month was filled with special observances and devotions to Mary. The tradition of honoring Mary in a month-long May devotion is believed to have originated in Italy, but spread eventually around the Roman Catholic world in the 19th Century together with a month-long devotion to Jesus in June and the Rosary in October.

In the Philippines, the celebration is marked with a parade called the Santacruzan, where young ladies are chosen to represent certain historical (such as St. Helena) and traditional figures. They parade through the town, escorted by young men or boys (for example, St. Helena is escorted by a young Constantine), under mobile arches heavily decorated with local flowers or other decorations meant to denote bounty.

Crowning the icon
In Eastern churches, crowning Mary was associated with adding ornamentation to an icon of Mary, sometimes as simple as adding additional gold trim. Perhaps in homage to this, Pope Clement VIII added two crowns to the icon of Mary with the Infant Jesus in the Saint Mary Major Basilica in Rome. The crowns were eventually lost, but were replaced by Gregory XVI in 1837 in a rite that was to become the standard practice for crowning.

Today, May crownings occur in many Roman Catholic parishes and homes with the crowning of a statue of Mary. The ceremony traditionally takes place with young girls dressed in dresses carrying flowers (traditionally hawthorn) to adorn the statue. One of the girls (often the youngest) carries a crown of flowers or an actual golden crown on a cushion for placement by the May Queen (often the oldest girl) on the statue. The flowers are replaced throughout the month to keep them fresh.


Today is May Crowning at my parish and I am thrilled. I love May Crowning anyway but what makes it even more neat is that the statue of Mary that we crown is in the Children's Garden. It's a beautiful place and I absolutely love it there. I will post more soon about the garden and the ceremony. Have a most blessed Sunday!

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Saturday, May 12, 2007

Another Beautiful Slideshow

Of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal -- this time with Edward Cardinal Egan.

View the slideshow here.


Friday, May 11, 2007

Playing 'Grown-Up' for a Day

I'm sure there are a lot of people that wonder why I babysit so much. Nearly every weekend of mine is spent with gradeschool children and younger. Shouldn't I be out partying or watching movies with girlfriends? What about shopping or grabbing coffee and getting my nails done? Those things are all well and good, and on some occassions I do do those things, but I like spending time with these children. I don't do it for money. I don't do it because I feel obligated. I do it because I want to.

There is a family that I sit for on a very regular basis that is such a part of my life, they're practically family. Their four children feel more like siblings or nieces and nephews than just kids that I watch. I love them. I enjoy being with them whether we're watching a movie, playing outside, or jamming to music in the play room. Each is so beautiful and has been such a blessing in my life.

When I first met these kids they were very shy. They didn't talk much except to beg to stay up an extra fifteen minutes past their bedtime. Over time, however, they started to open up. The youngest one, who, at first, threw fits when Mommy left, was now excited to see me. He and I get along very well now and I just love watching him grow. I love watching all of them grow.

It's neat to be a part of someone's life like that. I'm not their mom, dad, uncle, aunt, sister or brother. I'm their 'babysitter' and yet, it never feels that way for me. It feels like I'm going to hang out with my lil' buddies. And at the same time that I am so relaxed and easy going and happy to be with them, I also am the adult in the house. I'm the leader, the one in charge, the 'go-to' when anything goes wrong.

It's an awesome responsibility to have I think and I am very grateful that so many trust me with it. So little of what I do is for other people. This, though, always feels rewarding in that way -- like I'm doing something good for someone else. I am taking responsibility, for a couple of hours, for these precious lives. I, for a day, am playing 'grown-up' and doing something truly important.

I pray I always see the beauty of God in these little faces. They have changed my life.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

A few pics from the road trip...

I decided to do something I don't normally do: post pictures from our fantastic road trip. I will edit this post as the day goes on to tell a little more about what we did. For now, enjoy the shots. (Or don't.)

I took the day off Friday in order that I might have more time to pack and clean and get ready for the trip. It also worked out perfectly as it was a first friday and I needed to get to Mass and adoration. Waking up that morning I was both excited and nervous. I had never made a trip like this and I'd never traveled alone with these girls. I love them to death but we were about to be thrown into a bunch of unknowns together and I was just praying it would all go smoothly.

I started out the morning with Mass. I love daily Mass, as I'm sure I've mentioned before, because it is so very different than a Sunday Mass. Both are absolutely beautiful and I could not choose one over the other. Anyway, I was able to pray the Divine Office, attend Mass and then adore Christ in the Most Blessed Sacrament immediately following. What made my morning even better, you ask? I also had spiritual direction! Yes, quite the morning. Praise God!

After that I went home and piddled around with laundry and packing. It wasn't until I got the phone call from Elizabeth telling me she was in Dallas (and about 15 minutes away from my house) that I really put myself in high-gear. After packing and cleaning the car we head out to Arlington to have dinner with another of our friends (plus one of our friend's friends). We ate at a cute little restaurant that couldn't figure out what to serve. When I say that I mean that they had Italian and Mexican cuisine.. yes, quite the mix. It was dark inside, which made finding our tiny friend quite the challenge, and I never really figured out why. It could be that management is attempting to save money (which would explain the parking lot as well -- broken up gravel and rocks...) or that they were going for a 'romantic' feel. Perhaps it was both? Perhaps. We'll give them the benefit of the doubt, though, and say it was meant for lovers. After all, it is called the Candlelite Inn. The booth was.. cozy.. and the jukebox fun. Our waiter was a bit overattentive, if you know what I mean, but the food was good. Overall it was a pleasant evening and I'm satisfied with the experience.

After dinner we all headed out to Hill's choir concert. She had a solo and I was looking forward to hearing her perform. Unfortunately we were running behind and missed her by only a couple of minutes. Her director was quite the show though. Melodramatic does not even begin to scratch the surface of this woman's conducting style. Can you convey melodramatic in conducting? Yes. She proved that you can. Believe me. Anyway, the choir sounded wonderful and I instantly missed singing with my high school choir. It was nothing like my church choir. It was big and always challenging. I loved singing with so many people and being able to make such beautiful and varied sounds. (That's not to say that my church choir isn't challenging or that we are not capable of beautiful music. Like with the Masses, they are just different.)

After some mingling (mostly done by Hill while we all waited on our starlet friend), we headed out to the car. We were on our way! ... or so we thought. Shortly after getting in the car, Hill started screaming about her skin burning. It started out with her mentioning something wet/sticky that was on her skin and THEN she started screaming. At first I thought she was kidding. I quickly realized, however, that she was being very serious. I frantically searched for something to get it off of her (water or a towel or something) and begged Elizabeth to give her something. Elizabeth could find nothing but I did find a couple of paper towels on the floor. I darted out of the car, towels in hand, and sprinted to a puddle in the middle of the street. (The street was within the parking lot. Don't worry, I'm not that stupid.) Having soaked the towel in puddle water, I opened up Hill's door and started wiping her skin, quickly but delicately. Within just a minute or two we had successfully removed the liquid from her skin and, if I remember correctly, the pain decreased. What caused this comotion? Turned out to be some pool chemicals that had been left in Elizabeth's car. The same chemical also ate a hole in her carpet.

After about three hours of driving, we arrived in Austin. Finding our hotel proved challenging but being the smart girls that we are, we did eventually find our way. It was a beautiful hotel. We were on a very high floor, which for me, because I'm afraid of heights, was quite intimidating.. but fun too. The room was spacious and the bed luxurious. Too bad we were only there for one night! After settling in (aka: throwing our bags by the wall), we headed out to see one of my friends from high school that goes to UT. We had planned on brunch the next morning but knowing that most college students are dead on Saturday mornings, I figured we should meet up that night. So we did. And it was fun. I hadn't seen her in about two years so it was great to not only see her but also get to see where she will be living in the fall, meet her boyfriend, and enjoy some laughs. As an added bonus, I saw another friend from high school who kept me laughing the whole time she was around. Good night. Before leaving we decided that we would still do brunch but at 11 am instead of 8 or 9.

The next morning, after touring my h.s. friend's sorority house, we found ourselves enjoying a fabulous brunch at Kerbey Lane, a cafe native to Austin and reminiscent, at least for me, of Cafe Brazil. To our surprise, the cafe was celebrating it's birthday. I can't remember which year it was but I can remember that the cake was fabulous. So not only were we at a fun, hip cafe with excellent food, we were able to share in celebrating it's history! If ever you find yourself in Austin, ask someone where to find the original Kerbey Lane -- it's on Kerbey Lane. *wink* (I had the migas. So good!)

After passing the capitol, and taking a picture of it like every good non-Austin-native Texan would do, (and picking up our car since my friend had driven us to KL) we were off to San Marcos for shopping, shopping, and more shopping. I was both excited and bummed. It wasn't even fifteen minutes after leaving when I wanted to turn around and go back! Seeing dear friend again reminded me how much I missed her!

Anyway, we spent several hours in San Marcos. Elizabeth did most of the shopping but I did find a couple of things for myself. By the time we left (in the early evening hours) we were spent. Hill and I could barely keep ourselves up and moving any longer. It was so nice to be back in the car, knowing that in just a short while we would once again have a nice hotel room in which to rest.

The second hotel, this time in San Antonio, was nice but not so much my style as the first. No complaints though as we stayed at an excellent rate (considering that it was full service) and enjoyed a comfy bed and a hot showers. When we arrived I did some laundry (I had overpacked and then insisted on wearing the same jeans twice) and we watched a movie. Shortly after that we called a cab to drive us down to the River Walk. Once there we had dinner at Rio Rio, my favorite restaurant on the river. No one really wanted to wait for seating on the river so we went inside and enjoyed very fast service by a waiter named Juan. The food was good, I think, but we were all so hungry that we filled up on chips, queso, and hot sauce before our real food even came. We took lots of pictures there and each was coupled with a hearty laugh. Good food and good company.. yep. Good night. That is until we left...

Elizabeth really wanted to go dancing and Hill and I really just wanted to lie down and chill. But since it was E's birthday trip, we walked to find some place to dance. The first place we found was for 21+, a problem we had anticipated. They did, however, recommend another place that was 18+. In most cases that would have been great and appreciated. Unfortunately, all we had was the name of a place and one street. Not being from San Antonio and not having any clue which direction to even head to find the street they mentioned, we were at a loss. Still, we walked. And walked. And walked. Finally we reached the Alamo. I needed to fix my shoe (rocks, especially in heels, are not comfortable) so we sat along a wall just in front. There we decided that we had no idea where we were and that the chances of finding the place were too low to keep trying.

We had grabbed the local taxi number back at the restaurant and attempted calling it. After being on hold for at least twenty minutes, we finally were being transferred when the phone cut off! *sigh* We tried again and after another long period of waiting, ordered a cab to our corner. I was relieved to see the cab arrive shortly and nearly ran to jump in. Our driver was nice -- and fun. That concluded our night, for the most part, in San Antonio.

** to be continued **


Monday, May 07, 2007

Home Sweet Home

Well we're back.. thanks to everyone who prayed for our safe travels. We all had a very good time.

Friday, May 04, 2007

On the road again..

Please pray for Elizabeth, Hill and I as we set out for Austin, San Antonio and San Marcos in celebration of Elizabeth's 19 years of life! (As if we needed a reason to go.. but I do say it's a pretty awesome reason!) It'll be a lot of driving so it's a good thing I really like these gals! Please pray that we remain safe and make good time! Also, please keep in your prayers J and her family as they travel to Florida to visit Disney World! +Lord keep them safe in their travels and adventures.

Thanks to all and don't forget to pray for the babies tomorrow!
(Yes, I'll be making Mass and adoration tomorrow morning before I leave.)

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Fasting and Praying for an End to Abortion

Here's your reminder that tomorrow is a first friday, which means it's time to fast and pray for an end to abortion! Join us, three (+) Dallas Catholic bloggers, in our efforts, however humble, in your own way. If you can't, for whatever reason, commit to our practice, please pray for us that will be doing this. Prayer and self-sacrifice are the heart of this. You can make a difference and you can start with this...

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Amen, Father!

A survey, an observation, and a question:

The survey: Do you, the reader, want to be a saint? (You can raise your hand, unless you are at work and your co-workers will wonder why your hand is in the air.)

The observation: When Br. Andrew and I were doing a parish mission last week, we spoke with a large number of grade school and high school students. When we would ask the first or second-graders how many of them wanted to be saints they all shot their hands in the air. Most of the third and fourth-graders also raised their hands, although not as quickly. The fifth and sixth-graders were divided; approximately a third of them raised their hands. As you might guess, none of the seventh or eighth-graders raised their hands, as with the higher grades, except for the occasional junior or senior wise-guy who would do so to make his friends laugh. In most adult congregations very few people raise their hands that they want to be a saint.

The question: Why do we get more stupid as we get older? That is, why do we lose the desire to be a saint? Perhaps we translate the question as wanting to be canonized as a saint, which truthfully is not something within our realm of choice or aspiration. In a general way a “saint” is simply someone who goes to Heaven. And the hands usually go up about wanting to go there! But perhaps for most of us there is a reluctance to strive for heroic sanctity. We tend to think that it is already too late for that. Also, part of us may be quick to count the cost of sanctity and reluctant to detach from whatever vice is holding us back. Part of us may think of the saints as less human, whereas they are in reality the people who experience life more abundantly (see Jn 10:10) and love to a greater degree. The example of so many saints (yes, even the canonized ones beginning with the good thief, St. Dismas) tells us that it is never too late to go for it.

Fr. Richard Roemer, CFR
Most Blessed Sacrament Friary, Newark, NJ

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