Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Archbishop Myers is a good bishop. His teachings have been very clear. I just think that when names get circulated as to who will replace whom in different dioceses, the frontrunner, the one whose name gets circulated most, is the one who rarely gets it. As you'll recall, the Rome diocese had a bishop opening about a year and a half ago, and no one had picked Cardinal Ratzinger for the job. Yet, there he is....
And the fact that another bishop says that Archbishop Myers is fueling those rumors himself, well, I just think that if that's the case, he's probably NOT going to get the Detroit job.
But, if he doesn't, I certainly hope that we get another good bishop. Bishop Edgar daCunha, one of our Auxiliaries, would be great. He's quite the superstar bridge builder up our way. Everybody loves him and I think he could get a lot done. That's my $.02, in case anyone from Rome is reading. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some housework to do. :)
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Give way to one another in obedience to Christ. Wives should regard their husbands as they regard the Lord, since as Christ is head of the Church and saves the whole body, so is a husband the head of his wife; and as the Church submits to Christ, so should wives to their husbands, in everything. Husbands should love their wives, just as Christ loved the Church and sacrificed himself for her to make her body. He made her clean by washing her in water with a form of words, so that when he took her to himself, she would be glorious, with no speck or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and faultless. In the same way, husbands must love their wives as they love their own bodies; for a man to love his wife is to love himself. A man never hates his own body but he feeds it and looks after it; and that is the way Christ treats the Church, because it is his body--and we are its living parts. "For this reason, a man must leave his father and mother, and he be joined to his wife, and the two will become one body." This mystery has many implications; but I am saying it applies to Christ and the Church. To sum up; you too, each one of you, must love his wife as he loves himself; and let every wife respect her husband.
I have to say, I'm curious to find out whose pastors chickened out and had the lector proclaim the shortened version, which omits the whole "Submit to your husbands" thing. But I digress.
I've got to say, I love this reading (Our priest today didn't preach on it, choosing to focus on the Gospel and the Bread of Life discourse). Verse 21 says we must "give way to one another in obedience to Christ." See, St. Paul is coming from the fact that we are charged to love each other with a perfect love, the love that Christ has for us, His Church--a love uncorrupted by sin. In this love, there is no room for using and abusing each other. We are in fact charged to do our best, with the help of God's grace, to live like this always; to always strive for living in perfect love for others and God. We fail at this, of course, being human and tainted by the after effects of original sin. But this does not relieve us of our obligation to strive (and to go to Confession when we fail).
Many people read this as saying St. Paul says that women are to be subservient to their husbands. I don't see anywhere in these verses that says "Woman, you'd better have dinner on the table when I get home from the salt mines and stay barefoot and pregnant, too." These people have obviously turned off their ears after that because St. Paul exhorts husbands to love their wives just as Christ loves the Church, sacrificing Himself for her and her well being (indeed for her very existence). Guys, don't you feel that's a tall order to fill? I mean, all us ladies have to do is let you be in charge. You've got to give your lives for us. I don't mean to be flip, but there is a lot of give and take here.
Jesus tells us over and over again that in order to reach heaven, to be with Him for all eternity, we must empty ourselves and be humble as He is humble. Isn't it worth humbling yourself to your husband or for your wife in order to be with Christ forever.
I find it especially appropriate that today's reading falls on the feast of St. Monica. St. Monica was married to a pagan. She was a Christian. He was a drunk and regularly physically and mentally abused her. If you think YOUR mother-in-law was bad, Patricius' mother lived with them and got in on the action, too. They tormented her because of her faith. But she always gave Patricius the love St. Paul says a wife should give to her husband and she always loved and respected her mother-in-law.
Monica is the mother of St. Augustine, who left the Church and followed a couple of heretical sects. Her other son and her daughter also left the Church. We hear mostly about her heroic virtue on behalf of Augustine, because we only know about Monica based on what Augustine wrote about her. She followed him all over the Roman Empire, praying for him and pleading for him to come back to the Church. Doubtlessly, she exerted the same prayer and effort on behalf of her husband, mother-in-law and other children as well. Patricus' mother converted on her deathbed, and so did Patricius. After she begged him, St. Ambrose went to Augustine and eventually the very proud young man came back to the Church and is one of the greatest saints and Doctors of the Church. Augustine became a priest, as did his brother. His sister became a nun.
Monica would probably have been justified in leaving her husband but she didn't. She heeded St. Paul's words and loved her husband and children and mother-in-law with a perfect love. She prayed constantly for their conversion. And by her example of what it is to be a Christian and by the grace of God softening their hearts, they came to see that Monica's meekness was her strength and that Christianity wasn't a religion for the stupid.
So, today, with this Epistle in mind and with it being St. Monica's feast day, pray for those who are married, that they may learn to love perfectly and for those whom you love who have lapsed from the Church that they may return to the Mystical Body of Christ. We all miss them.
The day was now approaching when my mother Monica would depart from this life; you know that day, Lord, though we did not. She and I happened to be standing by ourselves at a window that overlooked the garden in the courtyard of the house. At the time we were in Ostia on the Tiber. And so the two of us, all alone, were enjoying a very pleasant conversation, "forgetting the past and pushing on to what is ahead.." We were asking one another in the presence of the Truth - for you are the Truth - what it would be like to share the eternal life enjoyed by the saints, which "eye has not seen, nor ear heard, which has not even entered into the heart of man." We desired with all our hearts to drink from the streams of your heavenly fountain, the fountain of life.
That was the substance of our talk, though not the exact words. But you know, O Lord, that in the course of our conversation that day, the world and its pleasures lost all their attraction for us. My mother said, "Son, as far as I am concerned, nothing in this life now gives me any pleasure. I do not know why I am still here, since I have no further hopes in this world. I did have one reason for wanting to live a little longer: to see you become a Catholic Christian before I died. God has lavished his gifts on me in that respect, for I know that you have even renounced earthly happiness to be his servant. So what am I doing here?"
I do not really remember how I answered her. Shortly, within five days or thereabouts, she fell sick with a fever. Then one day during the course of her illness she became unconscious and for a while she was unaware of her surroundings. My brother and I rushed to her side, but she regained consciousness quickly. She looked at us as we stood there and asked in a puzzled voice: "Where was I?"
We were overwhelmed with grief, but she held her gave steadily upon us, and spoke further: "Here you shall bury your mother." I remained silent as I held back my tears. However, my brother haltingly expressed his hope that she might not die in a strange country but in her own land, since her end would be happier there. When she heard this, her face was filled with anxiety, and she reproached him with a glance because he had entertained such earthly thoughts. Then she looked at me and spoke: "Look what he is saying." Thereupon she said to both of us, "Bury my body wherever you will; let not care of it cause you any concern. One thing only I ask you, that you remember me at the altar of the Lord wherever you may be." Once our mother had expressed this desire as best she could, she fell silent as the pain of her illness increased.
- from the of Saint Augustine of Hippo
From Catholic Community Forum entry for St. Monica
Friday, August 25, 2006
Aimee and I were both the same major in college and wound up taking most of the same classes and we were both RAs at school too. It was so bad that if one of our professors saw one of us alone on campus, they'd ask, "Where's the other Amy?" (Or Aimee if it was me walking somewhere). One of our English professors thought about writing a book sort of like Virginia Woolf's "Orlando" loosely based on us since we both had the same first name and our maiden names were both men's proper names. I don 't thinkhe ever did that. If he does, I think Dr. Myers will owe us some money ;)
Anyway, go check out The Mother Load. I'm adding my girl's blog to my blogroll.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Thought I was going to the hospital on Monday night, but I was feeling some pretty heavy Braxton-Hicks (practice) contractions-or was it the taco I ate for dinner-but it all stopped in an hour. But I will be holding the Bambina a week from today. Please pray that Bubba starts sleeping again so I can get at least 1 good night's sleep before the little girl shows up.
Keep up with your novena prayer (see below-Novena to St. Monica)!
Have a great day!
Monday, August 21, 2006
You are Superman
|You are mild-mannered, good, |
strong and you love to help others.
Click here to take the "Which Superhero are you?" quiz...
Saturday, August 19, 2006
Today I'm starting a novena for the lapsed members of my family and yours. The prayer I'm posting here is different than the one a few entries below. Whatever prayer you choose will be OK. Pray for the members of your family who have lapsed from the faith.
Novena To Saint Monica
Exemplary Mother of the Great Augustine,
You perseveringly pursued your wayward son
Not with wild threats
But with prayerful cries to heaven.
Intercede for all mothers in our day
So that they may learn
To draw their children to God.
Teach them how to remain
Close to their children,
Even the prodigal sons and daughters
Who have sadly gone astray.
Dear St Monica, troubled wife and mother,
Many sorrows pierced your heart
During your lifetime.
Yet you never despaired or lost faith.
With confidence, persistence and profound faith,
You prayed daily for the conversion
Of your beloved husband, Patricius
And your beloved son, Augustine.
Grant me that same fortitude,
Patience and trust in the Lord.
Intercede for me, dear St. Monica,
That God may favorably hear my plea
(mention your petition here)
And grant me the grace
To accept his will in all things,
Through Jesus Christ, our Lord,
In the unity of the Holy Spirit,
One God forever and ever. Amen.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
My sister-in-law (a cardiac nurse by trade) has been making herself crazy looking at various websites to find out more about Gracie's potential condition and if Grace does have what they're tesing for it's just not good. So please continue to pray for Grace and for my brother Frank and my sister-in-law Coleen. It's even worse for them since my brother is in Navy school in Newport RI and Col is in Phila., PA. He comes back every weekend, but it's not the same.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
When Primo emerged from the bathroom a few minutes later, his hair was really wet. I didn't think much of it until he looked at me head on and there was a river of clear gook over his left eye. "Did you put gel in your hair?" "Yes." It looked like he had put half the tube in his hair. "Shower."
There was hair gel all over the floor and the toilet. He had indeed emptied half of the tube, mostly onto his head. So I had to shower the boy and then clean the bathroom.
Why is it they do this after their father leaves? They don't ever do stuff like this when he's here!
My mom asked me in the car on the way to Mass this afternoon: "Is that in the Bible?" Well, no, but it doesn't contradict anything in the Bible, either. It's a Tradition handed down to us from the time of the Apostles.
Tradition tells us that after Jesus' death, resurrection and ascension, Mary lived with the Apostle John. He was exiled to the island of Patmos and she went with him there and died in his home. After her death, her body disappeared.
It makes sense that Our Lord would not allow his mother's body to become corrupted in a tomb. Catholics believe in Mary's Immaculate Conception, that she was conceived in her mother's womb without the stain of original sin. The angel calls her "full of grace" when he comes to ask her on God's behalf to be Jesus' mother. This is one verse from Scripture that Catholics use to "back up" the dogma of the Immaculate Conception (The Immaculate Conception and the Assumption are the only two teachings that any pope has declared to be infallibly true and must be accepted by all Catholics). Since Mary was free from sin her whole life (No orginal sin=no concupiscence or tendency toward sin=no sin), she was not forced to endure bodily corruption. Hers is a glorified body, like those who were faithful to God in their lives on earth will get at the Final Judgment.
So, today, let us ask Mary to pray for us that we may be the sort of follower of her Son that she was. That we may answer every call with a clear "Let it be done to me according to Thy Word."
Monday, August 14, 2006
A. Do not drive yourself to the hospital when you are in labor. EVER.
B. Girls, tell your family you are pregnant. Better they hear it from you than the cops that pulled you and your newborn out of the partially submerged car. Seriously.
I'm going to ask you to storm the heavens for my niece, Grace (her real name. See The Girls blog on the sidebar). She and her twin, Lizzie, were born 10 weeks premature back in April. Lizzie's been home for a few weeks but Grace has been in the hospital. She's not able to suck or to swallow. She underwent surgery today to have a feeding tube inserted directly to her stomach. The good folks at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (where she's been transferred) have done a muscle biopsy on her. They are testing her for a metabolic disorder which is keeping her body from breaking down her food into the energy her muscles need to allow her to swallow and to suck. Such a disorder could prove fatal to this little baby. We'll know more in a few weeks when the labs come back.
St. Maria Goretti is one of the patron saints of girls. Let us ask her to intercede for Gracie. Thanks in advance for your prayers.
3 Things That Scare Me
Car accidents (when I'm in them)
The thought of my husband dying
Losing one of my kids
3 People That Make Me Laugh
Those Daily Show and Colbert Report people.
3 Things I Love
The smell of a fire in a fireplace
A little time alone
Things I Hate
Driving in NJ traffic
mice in my house
cough medicine (I will not take it-even if I'm coughing so hard I can't sleep)
3 Things I Don’t Understand
A lot of the rules of basketball and football
3 Things On My Floor
My bag to take to the hospital
DH's old golf shoes
a Mac G3 (not the one I'm using now)
3 Things I’m Doing Right Now
Avoiding going outside
Praying for my little niece
3 Things I Want to Do Someday
Take my kids on a trip across the country in an RV (shoot me now!!!)
See Bruce Springsteen in concert
3 Things I Can Do
make a good stir fry
belch on command ( you pick this up when you have 2 brothers and 2 sons)
get up in front of a group and talk
3 Ways to Describe My Personality
oh, I don't know
3 Things I Cannot Do
touch my nose with my tongue
cross my eyes
fly an airplane
3 Things I Think You Should Listen To
The voice of God
Your mom and dad
The noises coming from outside your window
3 Things I Think You Should Never Listen To
The voice of the evil one
The person who says "everyone else is doing it..."
3 Absolute Favorite Foods
Turkey Club Sandwich
3 Things I’d Like to Learn
How to play guitar
More about the Church
what makes teenagers tick
3 Beverages I Drink Regularly
Vintage Wild Cherry seltzer
tea (one cup each morning, 2 sugars and steeped for at least 5 minutes)
3 Shows I Watch
as often as I can:
The Daily Show
I'm not going to tag anyone, but if you want to do it, let me know in comments. :)
Friday, August 11, 2006
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Please remember him and his family and friends in your prayers today. I'll post funeral information when I receive it.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
Update: The viewing was scheduled for 4-9 p.m. last night (Thursday), then Friday from 2-7 p.m.; vigil Mass at 7:30 p.m. and the Mass of Resurrection at 10 a.m. Saturday. All events are in St. John's Church.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
I have been drawn to him lately and I've noticed some Dominican coincidences in my life since I considered joining the Third Order of Preachers (I have discerned that now is not the right time for that, but I do feel that some time in the future would be more appropriate). My husband's confirmation name is Dominic, our parish school is served by Dominican Sisters, I have a great admiration for several saints whom I didn't realize until recently were Dominicans: Thomas Aquinas, Catherine of Siena, Martin dePorres. Given that my line of work is Religious Education, the Dominican charism of preaching seems especially appropriate to me. I'm also praying for him to intercede for me in lining up some more catechists for CCD this year (we need 10 of them).
So offer a prayer for all Dominicans today on their founder's feast, espcially Fra. Lawrence Lew, my favorite Dominican novice.
Sunday, August 06, 2006
He said something to the effect of people don't hate the Church; they hare what they think the Church is.
I was down at my Dad's today for a small birthday party for him: Dad, stepmom, stepbrother, me, DH and the boys. After dinner, my stepmom asked if I was still blogging. I said I was, but with less frequency and about less controversial things (don't tangle with the SSPX unless you're willing to devote the rest of your life to your blog.). Dad then says something to the effect of: "I can't get into something that excludes half the population." I said, somewhat perplexed, "Do you mean of the Church?" "Of the world," he said. He's talking about women's ordination, which I have posted about before, but you can read my take on the Pittsburgh happening two posts down.
I started to defend the Church's teaching, really to educate my lapsed Catholic father (now attending an Episcopal church) what the Church teaches about the priesthood and women, but he wasn't listening. I said, "You're not listening. You can't start this conversation and then not listen to the other side." He pretty much said he wasn't listening. He'd had his mind made up, you see.
It's frustrating to have someone just launch an ad hominem attack on the Church and then not want to debate the article of contention. especially when the attacker is your dad and he knows you love God's Church.
So, I am making Dad and the rest of the lapsed members of my family the subject of a novena to St. Monica, whose feast day is August 27. I'll be starting on August 19. Please pray with me for them and here is the prayer:
|PRAYER TO ST. MONICA:|
Dear St. Monica, troubled wife and mother, many sorrows pierced your heart
during your lifetime. Yet, you never despaired or lost faith. With confidence,
persistence, and profound faith, you prayed daily for the conversion of your
beloved husband, Patricius, and your beloved son, Augustine;
your prayers were answered.
Grant me that same fortitude, patience, and trust in the Lord. Intercede for me,
Please present our novena petitions before God in Whose presence you stand. Obtain
Remember, dear St. Monica, the joy that flooded your heart when Augustine, the son of
your prayers and tears, turned his life over to the Lord.
for us, if it be His holy Will, the graces we request through your intercessory power,
that we may experience the happiness of answered prayer. Amen.
Please present our novena petitions before God in Whose presence you stand. Obtain
Friday, August 04, 2006
"Daddy," says Bubba, "the player made a morning crack!"
A morning crack, apparently, is when a player jumps up in the air and catches the ball.
Bubba made lots of morning cracks today at our backyard fence.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
There are some women who in the rivers around Pittsburgh yesterday got themselves "ordained." By some female "bishops." They have, by their actions, incurred automatic excommunication. They did it to themselves.
They say that they have the right to become priests. That the heirarchy is keeping them down.
What I think that people who openly dissent from Church teaching in ways such as this are really lacking is not freedom but humility, the very humility Our Lord is such a shining example of in His crucifixion and indeed in His Incarnation.
Folks who relish such open dissent have put themselves before Our Lord and His Bride, the Church (that's you and me, people-WE are the Church).
No good priest would tell you he had the right to be a priest. Indeed, most of them would probably tell you that they felt completely underqualified for such an awesome gift and responsibilty. As a priest friend said at his first Mass, God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
"I have the right to be ordained." That's like saying "I have the right to own a Mercedes." Yeah, like Dr. Z is just going to hand one over to me.
It all boils down to humility. It seems to me that Our Blessed Mother had it in spades. And she was conceived in her mother's womb without sin. Agreed to bear the Christ child with almost no questions asked. Not an apostle. Still glorified as the highest of all saints. That's what we Catholic women should aim for.
I'm not going to sit here at my keyboard and say that all the women who participated in this farce aren't humble. I don't know their souls. That is for God to judge. It seems their actions smack of pride.
All that matters is that they are our sisters in Christ and it is our duty to pray for them and for their re-conversion to the one true faith; the one true Church.
O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed,
Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved...
From the desire of being extolled ...
From the desire of being honored ...
From the desire of being praised ...
From the desire of being preferred to others...
From the desire of being consulted ...
From the desire of being approved ...
From the fear of being humiliated ...
From the fear of being despised...
From the fear of suffering rebukes ...
From the fear of being calumniated ...
From the fear of being forgotten ...
From the fear of being ridiculed ...
From the fear of being wronged ...
From the fear of being suspected ...
That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I ...
That, in the opinion of the world,
others may increase and I may decrease ...
That others may be chosen and I set aside ...
That others may be praised and I unnoticed ...
That others may be preferred to me in everything...
That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should…
Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val
I should tell you that I have always been overweight. Not obese-just chunky. I'm 5'2" and I weighed 180 lbs. when I first went on program, a year or more after Primo's birth. I was tired of being inactive. I was tired of getting out of breath climbing the stairs and then I saw on the news that overweight women have a higher risk of developing breast cancer (family history on my mother's side). So I joined. I was a stay at home mom and I had loads of time to take Primo to the park and to exercise and plan out my meals for the day. Roni had been trying to recruit me to become a WW employee, that's how well I did on the program. I got down to 134 when we concieved Bubba. I wasn't disappointed because we really wanted Bubba, having miscarried twice between him and Primo. And I thought: I did it once, I can do it again.
Well, I had started working for the parish while pregnant with Bubba and had a lot less time to exercise and plan what I ate. I didn't do as well the next 2 times I joined. I was back up at 180 when we conceived Baby Girl (expected at the end of this month). I haven't gained as much weight this time like I did with the boys (I gained 65 lbs with each of them. I'll probably only gain about 45 with this one). And let's be frank, when you are over 200 lbs. when you give birth, 180 feels pretty skinny.
Well, seeing Roni yesterday put my brain into higher gear thinking about what I'm going to stuff my face with after this child is born. It's been on my mind anyway, since it would kind of be nice to be a size 10 again.
But now I'm thinking more in terms of: OK, i'm having a girl this time and I don't want to be a bad example of fitness to her. I don't want her getting all neurotic about her weight and body image because of me. The teen magazines and her peers will contribute enough to that. I want my little girl to be able to look at her mom and say to herself: "She's got it together. I don't have to listen to this crap I'm being fed by my culture. I'm just going to take care of myself."
So, I will head back to Weight Watchers a few weeks after the baby is born. I will lose the weight I've gained since 2003. And you poor people are going to have to read about it. You poor folks are going to have to help me be accountable to myself. I promise that this will not devolve into a diet journal. I may just put something on the sidebar about how I did at every weekly weigh-in. But if my 5 readers are watching, maybe it will help me stay on target when my life gets really busy again.
BTW: I got the Asian Chicken Salad (grilled chicken, tyvm) and a fruit and yogurt parfait for lunch. I decided against the double quarter pounder and fries. Thanks Roni :)