Saturday, June 30, 2007

Pray for Moms

I do not recommend viewing the blog where I found this postcard. It can be extremely scandalous -- and is on most occasions.

Another reminder of all those women who live with this heavy secret. Pray for them. Pray for healing and for an increase in love in their lives. They too are mothers and they too mourn the murder of their precious child.

Friday, June 29, 2007


No, not the band. The state! I'm headed up there this weekend for a very quick visit with some friends. After work tomorrow, I'll pack for my super short but super sweet trip and head out to the other side of the metroplex. I'll spend the night out there with the other travelers and head out for KS early Sunday morning. We'll be returning Monday night. Thank the Lord I have Tuesday off! Please pray for us as we travel, that we remain safe on the road while making good time! God's will be done. Thank you!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Magnetic Mailboxes Speak to My Heart

Magnetic Mailboxes

Learning to ride a bicycle is an important event in a young boy’s life. I clearly remember the day when my dad took the training-wheels off of my bike. I grew up in a small town on a quiet side-street in Indiana. It was the perfect setting for my first attempt at riding solo like the big kids.

At first my dad held on to the seat while running behind the bike. Then the moment of truth arrived. Dad let go of the seat and I wobbled down the street on my own, similar to a baby deer taking its first steps. I remember the emotion of exhilaration turning into terror as I crashed into a neighbor’s mailbox on the edge of the street! My dad ran over and encouraged me to "get back on the horse that bucked me." Holding the seat he helped me get started again. Crash! I promptly smashed into the next mailbox. Like a moth into the searing light of a bug-zapper, this happened again and again as I tried to make my way up and down our street. I swore that those were magnetic mailboxes! The more I focused on avoiding the approaching mailbox, the faster I crashed into it (I had a similar tendency when I learned to drive a car years later)!

My capacity for crashing into mailboxes taught me about concupiscence. As a consequence of our frail and fallen human nature, we experience an attraction and inclination to sin. We have disordered desires (see The Catechism of the Catholic Church ##1264, 1426, 2515). Saint Paul once wrote, “I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate... For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin which dwells in me” (Rom 7:15, 19-20).

Yes, as we go through life we are faced with all sorts of temptations to sin. If sin was not fun, no one would give in to it. Even in sin there is something attractive, at least on the surface. “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, and he ate” (Genesis 3:6). Saint Thomas Aquinas taught that the will always chooses a perceived good, even in choosing sin.

We need a conversion on many levels! The first step in repentance is acknowledging that we have a desire for sin, for what is not good for us, for crashing into mailboxes. Next, with the help of God’s grace, we struggle to make correct choices. When we make wrong choices, when we crash into mailboxes, let us get up - go to Confession - and try again. Hell is full of sinners. Heaven is full of sinners who kept getting up and trying again.

Pray, pray, pray,

Fr. Luke Mary Fletcher, CFR
St. Joseph Friary, New York, NY

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I'm laughing but I know it's not funny...

Vatican issues '10 Commandments' for drivers
08:57 PM CDT on Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Associated Press
VATICAN CITY – The Vatican on Tuesday issued a set of "Ten Commandments" for drivers, telling motorists not to kill, not to drink and drive, and to help fellow travelers in case of accidents.

An unusual document from the Vatican's office for migrants and itinerant people also warned that cars can be "an occasion of sin" – particularly when they are used for dangerous passing or for prostitution.

It warned about the effects of road rage, saying driving can bring out "primitive" behavior in motorists, including "impoliteness, rude gestures, cursing, blasphemy, loss of sense of responsibility or deliberate infringement of the highway code."

It urged motorists to obey traffic regulations, drive with a moral sense, and to pray when behind the wheel.

Cardinal Renato Martino, who heads the office, told a news conference that the Vatican felt it necessary to address the pastoral needs of motorists because driving had become such a big part of contemporary life.

He noted that the Bible was full of people on the move, including Mary and Joseph, the parents of Jesus – and that his office is tasked with dealing with all "itinerant" people – including refugees, prostitutes, truck drivers and the homeless.

"We know that as a consequence of transgressions and negligence, 1.2 million people die each year on the roads," Martino said. "That's a sad reality, and at the same time, a great challenge for society and the church."

The document, "Guidelines for the Pastoral Care of the Road," extols the benefits of driving – family outings, getting the sick to the hospital, allowing people to see other cultures.

But it laments a host of ills associated with automobiles: drivers use their cars to show off; driving "provides an easy opportunity to dominate others" by speeding; drivers can kill themselves and others if they don't get their cars regular tuneups, if they drink, use drugs or fall asleep at the wheel.

Read the rest here, including the actual "'Ten Commandments' for motorists".

I think it's good that something like this has come out. We're supposed to be an intelligent race and one that has compassion for others, but sometimes we fail in both areas. Some people don't think twice about their behavior on the road and I would bet even fewer think about how that behavior affects their relationship with God. (I don't think people realize (or realize very often) that they are sinning when they choose to speed, run a light, or do anything else that is not only against the law but that endangers his brother.)

I admit that I did laugh a little when I saw the headline in the newspaper this morning. But again, I do think it's good that it has been said. Maybe we, as a people, do not say enough what needs to be said. If we don't say it, we can't expect people to know. Unwritten laws are great if everyone has the common sense to pick up on them. As we all know, however, this is not the case. Too many people die each year because not everyone has the common sense. So things like this must be said.

The best part, I dare say, is that people may come to realize (or come closer to the realization) that the Vatican is not loony. The people there are good people with an earnest desire to do God's will and to bring His people closer to Him. The Catholic Church supports virtuous deeds and warns against sin. On the other hand, some may see this as an attempt to control our lives even more -- to micromanage, if you will. People will say what they will. But for those who are awakened by the message, praise God. Some people REALLY need that message...

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Another Meme

Because it's what you do when you're confined to your home. (Please pray for me! I am having some medical/dental issues and would really like for this to pass quickly.)

I was tagged by Julie D for this just under a week ago. Thanks, Julie!

Things that (or People who) don't bother me:
  1. Copying answers on memes: Occassionally someone's answer rings true to another someone. What's wrong with that?

  2. Large purses: I do think people underestimate the storage capacity of small purses but large purses don't bother me either. In fact, I have one. It's red.

  3. Red purses: I think they're fun. And it adds a pop of color to an otherwise drab wardrobe. Appearance IS important.

  4. Silence: I think there is a great profoundness to silence that too many people have not discovered. I enjoy spending whole days in quiet prayer and contemplation. I think if we all set aside more time to be still (and silent), we would know ourselves better.

  5. Driving: Everyone that knows me well will probably laugh at this. I tend to get lost (or think I'm lost when I'm minutes from my destination). I also tend to find the most dangerous people on the streets. Even then, it doesn't bother me much. Some nights I like to just be by myself, in my car, cruising around. It's soothing.

  6. Public schools: I went to a public school. It wasn't awful. There are good kids there getting good educations.

  7. Guys watching sports and drinking beer: If it makes them happy, why get fussy about it?

  8. Lots of kids: Blame it on babysitting for so many wonderful Catholic families. I just love kids. They don't bother me.

  9. Television: It's not the devil.

  10. The Novus Ordo: Not only does it not bother me, I actually LIKE it.

  11. Hydrocodone: Nature's remedies are nice, but when that doesn't work, pass the hydrocodone.

Well... I guess that's a short list but it's all I can think of at the moment.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Gone Once More

I am not the most consistent blogger. Anyone who has been here for more than a few weeks knows that well by now. It's not that I'm not interested in writing, or that I have lost all interest in blogging, but rather that I have not found the time to write as often as I used to. I'm not one of those people who has time to sit and write each and every day and I have not discerned, thus far, that it is good for me to make time.

I know I have written about this a number of times in the past and as the days and weeks pass, it only becomes more true. My priorities are being "ironed out" and blogging just isn't at the top of the list.

There is a calendar hanging in one of the offices at work. It belongs to a co-worker who also happens to be Catholic and is the one published for her parish. At the top of each month is a picture, the month, and a quote. This month's quote reads:
"Our gifts from God include the spiritual treasures of faith, hope and love.

They also include all we cherish: our health, our human genius, our skills, our families, and our friendships.

When asked, stewards will give a faithful accounting of how each gift was nurtured."
How fitting! Each of us will indeed be called to give an account of our lives when we meet our Maker. When I stand before Him, I want to tell Him all of the wonderful things I did with His gifts to me.

This is not to say that blogging is not an expression of love and a fitting use of God's gifts by any means. This is only to say that I, in my life, am not called, I do not feel, to blog so much as I am to do other things.

I sometimes feel very overwhelmed by the number of "things" I have taken upon myself. From my work with the apostolate to my day job to my babysitting to choir to theatre to finding time to spend with my family and friends, I often find myself tired and strung out. I worry too much about doing that I often lose sight of the doing well.

If this blog is to continue, it will most likely continue with posts about the things that I am doing and not so much my thoughts on issues. I do not imagine this will disappoint as I do not have too many visitors anyway. ;) If it does not continue, however, I thank each person who has taken a moment or two to read what I have written. Those moments have helped to assure me that my efforts were not in vain.

May the Lord bless each of you abundantly and keep you always. Pax!

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Solemnity of Corpus Christi

I love being at Mass every week but I must say that today was just a beautiful Mass. The homily was great (a joining of older and newer age themes - just the right mix of history and theology and today's society), the music was phenominal, and the overall feeling for me was just perfect. If I had fallen away from true love of my Catholic faith, today would have been the day to bring me back and remind me why I love it so much. Goodness...

"You are a priest forever in the line of Melchizedek."

Friday, June 08, 2007

From the Friars

June 7, 2007

Bread of Life…Culture of Death

(Part one of a three-part reflection on Eucharistic devotion)

We live in an ever increasingly secularized culture. Tolerance is now considered sacred; the sacred no longer tolerated. Ours is a culture of death because God Himself has been pronounced dead. In this cultural context, one may wonder if the faithful’s public celebration of the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, or more simply Corpus Christi, is relevant to the men and women of this age.

Does Eucharistic piety really make a difference? Are not such public spectacles outdated popular piety—yet another manifestation of a silly, unsophisticated, Catholic, medieval mind set which, like a bad and lingering hangover, just will not go away?

True enough, the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ was born of medieval piety. Blessed Juliana of Cornillon (1192-1258), orphaned at age five and raised by the Augustinian nuns she later joined, experienced mystical revelations from Our Lord. In 1223, she told her spiritual director of a vision she had received twenty-five years earlier in 1208. It was of a full moon darkened in one spot. She was told that a great celebration in honour of the Body of Christ is missing from the liturgical calendar. Then, by Divine Providence, Blessed Juliana’s elderly spiritual director, Archdeacon Jacques Pantaleon, was unexpectedly elected pope – Pope Urban IV. In his short pontificate, Pope Urban IV established the Feast of Corpus Christi and employed Saint Thomas Aquinas, O.P. to compose the liturgy for the feast. Today, Saint Thomas’ composition is considered to be the masterpiece of Catholic liturgy. Pope Urban’s successor, Pope Clement V, further mandated that the Feast be celebrated throughout the whole Church. The Franciscans helped promote Corpus Christi by being the first Order to stipulate its observance in their legislation.

(Part II will highlight the effects the newly instituted Feast of Corpus Christi has had in the Church and in the life of individual Christians.)

Fr. Sylvester Mary Mann, CFR
St. Pio Friary, Bradford, England

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

8 Things About Me: A Meme

Mrs. Margaret has tagged me for this meme and since, due to many, many activities, I have had little time for blogging, I thought this might be a fun and QUICK post to keep this thing alive. (Or is it already dead?)
“For this meme, each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.”
Sounds easy enough...

1. I am shy. People who know me well will know that this is in fact a truth. I am very shy. It takes some real guts for me to go up and talk to people I don't know. Some people make it easy on me but others just intimidate me. (So needless to say, when I meet someone and feel like I've known them for years, they get high ratings in my book. THAT is hard to do.)

2. I'm not a morning person. All at work know this. I'm not necessarily grumpy but I do enjoy my quiet time. When I first wake in the morning (usually due to an alarm), I lie quietly and think about what lies ahead in my day. Then I go back to sleep. And when I wake for the third or fourth time, I really don't ever feel like rising. But I do..

3. I can be obsessive-compulsive at times. This applies mostly to things like organizing, cleaning, and counting. I prefer things in sets of four or twos and fives if we must go with an odd. I can't stand dust and dirty countertops kill me. (Dusty instruments are the worst!)

4. If I touch something and it feels funny, I have to do it again. Usually I attempt to repeat the action exactly as I did the first time. That means I need it to feel funny twice and then I have to do it the correct way that doesn't make my skin crawl. I do this twice too.

5. I get 'stuck' on songs to the point that I will put them on repeat for up to a half hour at a time. I suppose it could be worse...

6. I can't sing the 'Tantum Ergo' without hearing "Tantum ergo makes your hair grow" thanks to my friend who is also my choir director. It can make for some inappropriate smiles.

7. Sappy stuff makes me cry. Other people's pain makes me cry before my own will. I connect very deeply, very quickly and it overwhelms me sometimes. I love very deeply. I don't think many people understand it.

8. When I get really anxious, I rub my right eyebrow. I don't know when it started or why - it's just something I do.

I tag: Nick, Julie, Sarah, SFO Mom, Penni, Stevie, Daughter of St John, and Kimberlee.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Rainy but Beautiful

Dallas has been hit with storm after storm for the past couple of weeks. Amazingly enough, I've been in constant awe of the beauty of nature. (Usually I just get annoyed with so much rain!) Here are some shots I took on my lil' camera while cruising around Arlington with a friend (getting groceries and dinner).

before rolling down the window i was disappointed with the color (not at all accurate). here is that shot:

this is after rolling down the window -- i promise there were no edits!! this is sooc:

and my favorite shot of the evening:

Praise God for his beautiful creation!!

Friday, June 01, 2007

First Friday

Just a quick reminder that today is First Friday. Today is the day that we, a few Catholic bloggers of the Dallas area, have chosen to fast and pray for an end to abortion. So put down that bagel and pray for those babies! They need us.

We are three bloggers who also live in the Dallas area. We are deeply committed to ending abortion in this country. To that end, we have committed ourselves to the following: On each First Friday for the next eleven months, we will fast and pray before the Blessed Sacrament for an end to abortion. This will culminate at the annual Dallas March for Life in January of 2008, where we will join our bishop and the faithful of this city in marching to the courthouse where Roe was originally argued.

We ask anyone reading these words to join us. Fast and pray with us each First Friday, no matter how far removed you are from Dallas. Spend some time in Eucharistic adoration, and implore Christ to end this curse. We especially ask other Dallas area bloggers and residents to join us, at least in spirit. If you would rather not fast, then pray for those of us that do.
Read the full statement here.

May God reward you richly. Pax!