Thursday, January 31, 2008
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Monday, January 28, 2008
He mentioned a certain Dr. Timothy George, a prominent Evangelical who has an article in FIRST THINGS magazine, which piqued my curiosity more. I then went to GOOGLE, and found the article.(link below) I knew that Martin Luther had a reverence for Mary, and devotion to her as well as John Wesley and others, but either had forgotten or didn't know that Calvin also did. Amazing!
I'd appreciate any of your comments and how you as Catholics discuss our Lady with your Protestant friends, as this is a "sore spot" for most of my Evangelical friends with whom I try to talk to about her and my new found love and appreciation for her. Some of them either ignore me, refuse to talk about her, or just become quiet, with that proverbial "deer in the headlights" look, and we go on to something else or go on about our day...much to my chagrin.
Having been of the same mindset as my Evangelical/Protestant friends re: Mary, I understand where they're coming from, but now that I'm Catholic, it seems so rediculous to not care or offer the Mother of Jesus our LORD more than a passing nod at Christmas. Not that I'm mad at them, I love them, they're my friends in the truest sense of the word, but it seems now, so preposterous, that I had ever a "problem" with Mary at all! I didn't have a real aversion to her, or a real anti-Catholic hatred about their affection or possible "worship" of her, but I really didn't know what to think or where she belonged, necessarily, in my theology and Evangelical paradigm. Here is the article. And more on Dr. Timothy George.
I find this fascinating and "kudos" to this thoughtful man for his apparent logic regarding the woman who GOD CHOSE to be the Mother of Jesus. Won't it be amazing when all of us cross over the Tiber, either her or on the other side of death's threshold and see our Blessed Mother, Mary, waiting for us, taking us to her Son, as she still does here on earth, if we're open to her now. She's always pointed (and to this day still points) to her Son, to Christ, never to herself. She's the most humble of any soul ever created and I will be forever grateful to Her, for giving us Jesus and loving me so much as she called and prayed for me, her prodigal daughter, to come Home, to Rome.
This was and is just one of the many "the joke's on me" moments since my reversion/heart and soul conversion to Catholicism that occured in December, 2004. As Saint Augustine said upon conversion to Catholicism and the Church, (for which his mother, Saint Monica prayed for some 20-30 years for) "Too late have I loved thee." Well, that also applies to me regarding Mary, the Mother of God. "Too late have I loved thee, Mama!"
But what a comfort to have finally found out who you really, truly are, and how you love all of your children. Thank you, Mary for your love and your forgiveness of me, when in my ignorance and arrogance I tossed you aside and ignored the one even the Angel of the Lord called "Hail, FULL OF GRACE!" right there in the BIBLE! (the bible I read and took so literally except for the chapters such as John 6 and any word about Mary being "full of grace")... I simply glossed over and not knowing what to do about those verses, 'ignored' them...much like I ignored Mary, the Mother Jesus himself gave to us, the Church, by giving her to John, his LAST act before dying on the cross. Think about that for a while. The last thing Jesus did for us was leave us his mother! Even as a bible scholar or a most avid sola scriptura person, the BIBLE ALONE even says as much!~ Something to masticate, chew, gnaw and ponder in our hearts. She was Jesus first disciple...shouldn't we as Catholics and or Protestants give her more than a mere, and dare I say even at times, a "smug" nod?
Saturday, January 26, 2008
MMajor Fan said...
I think (and pray) that your service and charism will be in great demand soon. The gap between Evangelicals and Catholics should not be as wide as it is, but it is. Each person needs to identify which plank they can lay over the gap. Also one must recognize that sometimes a plank is laid across the gap, but it is a one way street, not a compromise into mutual error. So I would suggest that you identify a few focused areas where you can provide a plank, rather than trying to provide the entire bridge. For example, here is the plank I most use. I explain the difference between an Evangelical's view that the personal relationship with Jesus is all that the Lord requires and the Catholic's view that God still requires sacrifice, which is why the Mass was initiated by Jesus and is different than a "praise and worship" experience. So I focus on educating through scripture that the New Covenant did not eliminate the requirement by God for sacrifice, but that Jesus in the New Covenant created the sacrament of Holy Eucharist which is the bloodless sacrifice to God. They may not agree with me but I find this plank is a very important one to have meaningful dialogue at all. Hope this gives you some grist for thought and inspiration.
January 21, 2008 10:45 PM
Friday, January 25, 2008
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Today we celebrate the life and faith of St. Francis De Sales. Here you can read about The Dynamics of Love.
I hope to get to know this devout and delightful Saint this year. He's the patron Saint of writers and I aspire to at least become better at it, with the joy I derive from writing. I've been called a "word smith" by a good friend in Catholic Raydio...so we'll see. Please visit my poetry blog sometime, and if you have some input or advice, or any information on Catholic poets, or poetry gathering places on line, let me know. Thanks, and God bless! St. Francis, pray for all of us bloggers. Amen.
Monday, January 21, 2008
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Friday, January 18, 2008
Now that I'm a Catholic, that belief I once held, seems more foreign to me than ever! I LOVE the teaching of the Church on praying for those who have passed on, even if it's been years and years since they left us! Those prayers are never wasted, they're never said in vain for those who've gone on to the other side of the veil. I ask you to say a quick prayer for the repose of Marcia's soul. For if she was 'your' loved one, or friend, how wonderful it would be to know that even "strangers" or those Christian's from other faith persuasions were praying for your loved one. Come the day we all meet, I'd like to see those I've prayed for, even once from my heart, that I knew or didn't know here on earth,gathered around the Throne of God, praising and worshiping the Lamb that was slain for us all with all the blessed in the Communion of Saints!
"Wrap yourself up in His love today. Jesus weeps with those who weep.
I've been praying for you, for Ron and for Marcia's family. How I thank
God that He became Man. He shed his garment of righteousness and clad
Himself with skin. The 2nd Person of the Triune Godhead, became a human,
yet remained divine. A mystery indeed, but how much He did and does love
us! He became human to go through everything we go through, to FEEL
everything we feel, to be TEMPTED with all the temptations we're faced with, yet
with an intensity that we'll never know. How grateful we must be for so great a
love, until our spirits soar straight into His bosom, His most Sacred Heart,
where we'll never encounter another trial, never again feel fear, doubt,
hurt,grief,anger, pain. Where never again a tear will fall to our feet,
for they'll all be gathered in a bottle and cast far away, never to be known
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Lent is a time of repentance. We pray for a real turning. We ask for a change deeper than any shift on the surface ... we ask for no less than a complete change of heart.
Last week we looked into the icon of "Jesus Christ Redeemer Holy Silence", and Silence has led us to this, Our Lady of Sorrows. This is an icon of infinite com-passion ("suffering with") and it was commissioned with that prayer in mind. In 1993 a friend called with the tragic news that his sister was in the final stages of AIDS, and asked me to "write" an icon as a prayer for her. I plunged into my icon books and finally found this 14th. century image of the Mater Dolorosa from the Monastery of the Transfiguration in Meteora, Greece.
This icon is the left wing of a diptych (two panels) which I later felt compelled to expand into a triptych (three panels) and we will see the other two in the coming weeks.
We see here an image of great solemnity set in a darkness that is deep and wordless. The Mother of God, head bent in obvious exhaustion, pulls her cloak closer to her and leans on that hand. Her eyes are the stricken open eyes of a slaughtered deer. They are half vacant with consuming affliction, half with the shock of having just witnessed the slow torture and murder of her only child. The right hand rises, with or without heart, in a gesture of consent. The Mother who cannot even lift her head lets this hand float up in the dark night of faith. She offers one last "Let it be according to Your will".
The letters to the left of her head MP OY are abbreviations for "Mother of God." The three stars on her blood red maphorion (cloak) always indicate her virginity before, during and after the birth of Christ, one is hidden here behind the left hand.
We believe that Mary is not some symbolic or figurative mother, but in every way, truly our Mother (John 19). She is "there for each of us", inside of each grief, each set-back, each of our toddling steps toward God. A veritable avalanche of real and purported apparitions in this century tell us this over and over again.
Perhaps what makes this so painful to believe is that we see this woman all the time. Not the resplendent Mother of Light, but the Mother of Sorrows. We see her nightly on the television news in Iraq, Bosnia, Mexico, Northern Ireland, Russia, Rwanda, India, New York ... Los Angeles. We feel helpless as we watch her, afraid our prayers as we watch are not enough to touch her grief. We feel like she did beneath the Cross at the time of her child's death and even now as she bears the countless deaths of her other children on earth. We would so love to see her transfigured, healed, as the Queen of Heaven and Earth. But in this icon she comes as every mother, and this is our way to her. This is our way to one another, through the silent and tremendously healing door of compassion.
See the many images Fr. McNichols has written, click "other icons."
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Remember, Lent isn't about kicking a bad habit, "sacrifcing" a craving for chocolate, ciggies, or t.v. It's about growth. Growth in holiness. Growth in faith, hope and love the 3 big virtues we all need to grow closer to Jesus and love others as we love ourselves. We need our time in the wilderness, for deep prayer, and fasting. Let us enter our own wilderness, our own desert, and come out more in love with the Lover of our souls, less attached to earthly things, cares and desires and less attached to our 'private sins.'
Monday, January 14, 2008
Thanks Matt, for creating this blog for young people like yourself, who are going to be taking a stand for Truth, and not go the way of some of your predecessors, who for selfish gain, and a stronger love for a political agenda than the Church, did much damage to the faith of many. The TIDE HAS TURNED! We love you and will pray for you and your friends. Please pray for my friend, Sarah, as she is now in the discernment process in Panhandle TX at the convent of the School Sisters of St. Francis.
With very orthodox contributors,
HERE IS MATT's BLOG.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
When you all are perusing the net, please take a peek and visit my friend, Jill. Here is her webpage. Jill is a member of Coming Home Network International forums., as am I. We connected there and almost got to meet last Sept. in Clovis CA, but alas, it wasn't to be. Maybe next time, eh Jill?!? : )
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Thanks for your prayers everyone. St. Isidore of Sevilla came through for us. Our computer is back working, and all we lost was anything we did post Dec. 20., which happily wasn't a whole lot of stuff. One good thing is we didn't download our pics on the camera from Christmas yet, as that would have been sad...very sad. So thanks to anyone who may have offered up a prayer for our wormy infestation. It seems to be cured!
Monday, January 07, 2008
This is a wonderful and efficacious prayer/meditation to Our Lady of Sorrows. I noticed Fr. Groeschel talking to Fr. Roesch about this chaplet last night on Sunday Night Live. Fr. Roesch was saying how it has been almost forgotten about over the last decades and how there needs to be a resurgence of praying this chaplet. I have one that my friend, Denise, brought to me from Medugorje and it's lovely. It's the prettiest, most pale blue beads, that are like pearls of tears. I've never seen any rosary made with this particular color beads. When we get our other computer working again, I'll post a picture of it.
You can go to EWTN religious catalogue to find out more about it, any number of sites. I found this one and like it. May Mary hold you all close today, and wrap her mantle of motherly protection around you.
Also, I ask your prayers to the patron saint of computers, St. Isidore of Seville, that the nasty worm we've been attacked by will be able to be destroyed, and pray nothing will be lost in the process. Thank you all. Blessings and peace to you.
Sunday, January 06, 2008
God bless Dr. Hall as he begins his new journey swimming the Tiber after taking the "papist plunge." listen here to Dr. Hall's parting sermon at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church.
Oh, and he'll be on EWTN, The Journey Home, Monday night, Jan 14, 2008.
Senior Pastor - Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church
B.A., Hobe Sound Bible College
M.A., Columbia International University
M.T.S., Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
D.Min., Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary
WELCOME HOME, Dr. Hall. Peace be with you.
This is the most profound and a wonderful resource for all who love the rosary and for those who might not understand it, or think that it's wrong or not "ecumenical." For it is written by Papa JPII.
Saturday, January 05, 2008
His website, I noticed, is under construction right now, but his email is there, and his phone number. He's got an assistant helping him with orders and with his website. He was doing this mostly by himself for a while, but he's one tough guy, still going in his 80's even after a stroke. I hope to get to meet him, maybe this year, God willing. He's in New Cumberland, PA. HEY, TJ...is that near you at all? If so, maybe you could meet him im person sometime and give him all my best.
God bless you Col. Farr. We love you and we're praying for you. I hope my readers will visit your site, and order this striking image of Our Lady of Sorrows. I have a deep devotion to her. She's in the middle of our living room and keeping us in her care and under her watch and protection.
God bless you all and remember, this tile would make a wonderful gift for someone devoted to OLOS and or for Mother's Day...only 4 months away. : )
"Life is tough. But Nuns are tougher. If you need helpful advice just Ask Sister Mary Martha. She'll help you. Just don't expect any sympathy."
Sister Mary Martha's blog... visit, laugh, learn and smile. We could and should all do more of that!
Friday, January 04, 2008
Thank you. God bless you Tim and all that you have done and plan to do for your mission to Uganda and for our brothers and sisters in Christ in that country.
Read about Tim's mission here.
By going here and offering your prayers, and have masses said for the poor souls who so long to be with Christ.
Thursday, January 03, 2008
Check the EWTN prime time t.v. schedule and watch an encore LOTR and let Father Mitcell get up "pumped up" for the Faith!! And get his book, John Paul II We love you! Read his memoirs of the weeks before JPII went to his glory through the veil, and read what inspiring memories were articulated by so many of the youth that were there for his funeral and the election of Pope Benedict XVI. It's a fast and soul-stirring,faith-inspiring read, some tears and much joy fill the pages, but it's the whole gamut and the whole of life in a small, humble book, written by a gifted and humble, holy priest. Thank you Father Mitchell! God bless you...we love you, too!
Here are some of his memories of those days before JPII died as he wrote them on this on line journal. John Paul II, pray for us! WE DO LOVE YOU!
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
How can you look at His nail-scarred hands
and see the gaping wound in His side
see the holes in those feet, that carried His torn body
to the top of Golgotha where He died
and not see His mercy, poured out in purest blood
more tender than a mother's deepest love
Love stretched out on a cross, where He gasped His last breath
and died for the sins of all of us
the love that we're craving and hope to finally find
love unconditional is what we're looking for
is the love revealed to us so long ago in space and time
found in the blessed wounds that Jesus bore
so come to His altar now, prepared for you at mass
and let the paschal Lamb of God give you His Life
His flesh and blood will heal your starved and sin-sick soul
and restore what's been broken deep inside
come eat the Lamb of God, be truly satisfied
come eat the Lamb of God, be truly satisfied
I just finished this and found an image that looked like nothing I'd seen so far, so I clicked it and found it to be on Steve Ray's blog. So yet another rather uncanny thing to add to the list of uncanny things going on in my life. His post on the Lamb of God says what I said above, only much more eloquently and more ..."Steve Rayish." Below is the image from his blog...
Saint Padre Pio, pray for us. Thank you.
When I go on line and search for images, as I was just a while ago, (I was actually looking for an image of a nail-scarred palm for a post) I come across interesting sites (or not so interesting as many of you might find this to be) and I pause on these articles and get off track. But sometimes, it's worth it. This one? I'm not sure but I'm dinking around with it, and posting it anyway.
So, I come across this site. Maybe this isn't worth bothering about, or is it? I find this particular subject sort of curious for some reason. One thought that came to me while reading this was that Jesus said we're ''written in/on the palm of My hand." I think about the nail scars, and how those holes are in a way,"us"...we nailed him to that Cross, our sins put Christ on that tree, but it is also His LOVE for us that made him lay down his life for his friends. Even while we were/are yet his enemies. We, our names, (reading about the significance of names recently also and learning that we are our names, or our names signify who/what we are) are the holes in his hands. If I think about it, (if it matters one whit) then I am going to be one who claims it was indeed his hands, his palms that were pierced by the nails, not his wrists, if what this man says is true, re: the Greeks and the ancient Jews and what they believed a hand and a wrist to be, then I'm thinking it must have been his palms that bear the holes. Am I wrong? Maybe. But that's my take, for what it's worth.
Whether by his wrists or his hands, Jesus was hanged on a cross for my sins. For the redemption and salvation of all mankind. I'm not myself "hung up" on this, but I came across this website and found it rather interesting. I remember m'y brother and I talking about this when we were in high school. He told me that Jesus was hanged by his wrists, not the palms of his hands. Now I find this article, and took the time to read most of it, not word for word, but I do find it is very eloquent and seems right as rain to me. Hey, Dobrodoc, what do you think? I'd never heard that it was 'scholars' of heretical bent, that say Jesus had to have been hanged by his wrists.
I've heard priests, holy, traditional and orthodox ones say that the nails had to be pounded through the wrists to hold his weight. (but there does seem to be more 'bone' there and I thought this same thing at times) I'm curious now as to what you have to say TJ. I'd never thought about it mattering too much, as both explainations seemed to 'hold weight.' Now I wonder if this does or doesn't matter? Not necessarily to someone's eternal salvation, as to what they believe, but I've seen most crucifixes with the nails IN the palms of Jesus, and yet, as this man says, they're also in his feet, not his ankles. Hmm.
I have really thought about this from time to time when I've gazed at a crucifix. That old conversation has crept back into my memory at these times (that my brother and I had all those years ago.) I don't remember taking sides, per se. But I do know that my brother isn't one to call himself a "Christian" these days or for all of his adult life, or at least not outloud. Maybe he's more an agnostic, and I've not heard him call himself an atheist either. What do my other readers think about this? Here's the article on "WRISTS OR HANDS"
now back to hunting for a picture..... PAX to all. By the way, I'm not trying to start any silly arguments here for the record. ; )
H/T to White Stone...
This little drawing/caption of mine came back to memory after reading WhiteStone's comment on my House of God, Catholic style post. She really hit the nail on the head. Thanks WSNS.
"The people who built these churches, it seems to me, understood not only who God is better than we do, but what human nature is. When the Wise Men gave the infant Jesus gold, frankincense and myrrh, they knew a baby doesn't need these things; God doesn't need them- THEY needed to offer these things for the good of their own souls. Is it a coincidence that when 'sin' went out of fashion that beautiful churches went out of fashion too? If I'm okay, you're okay-then what do we need to do to show our love and need for Almighty God? Once we understand who we are in relationship to God, we will start building beautiful churches again - like Mother Angelica has done."
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
Thank you to all who voluntarily serve our country with bravery, honor, and valor.
We are grateful.
May 2008 be a better year for all of you and may
you soon return home to your families
We pray for peace.
Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us.
Rich and I have taken hundreds of pictures of Catholic Churches in and around the Omaha area. There are some very simple, yet still holy and reverent small country churches, and then the larger Cathedrals and basilicas which are more elaborate, but both are so beautiful with statues and altars and usually a choir loft with an ornate organ and the gorgeous stained glass windows that are utterly refulgent when the sun shines through them, depicting the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and or mysteries of the rosary, etc. To drive by some fundamentalist or Evangelical buildings these days, you'd think it was just an office, or strip mall or sadly a dumpy shack on the side of the road. I'm not putting the people down or making a personal attack on their 'houses of worship' but it's mind boggling to me, how one could ever join their hearts to a greater and higher power, a heavenly host, when you're entering a building devoid of beauty. God love 'em and I pray they will all come Home to Rome and find the WHOLE body, the whole human person, with all that we desire for the senses (how we were created in the first place) to be united with that communion of saints in the heavens, beholding the glorious face of God. I crave this as one who appreciates where I worship. I need to see the "other" on a Sunday, rather than just another plain wall, and windowless sanctuary/gym/theater.
To think that so many beautiful churches were destroyed all over the globe is so very sad. Now the money isn't put into the church buildings that it once was. Or if it is, and maybe it is, the 'art' and 'beauty' certainly is less appealing, at least to me. There are some nice modern, and contemporary churches, but NOTHING can compare to the beauty of these cathedrals. My spirit longs for this and though our parish is very nice...this is what gives my heart and spirit wings. I know JESUS is in our tabernacle and He is the goal, but being one who admires the surroundings of where I worship, I do at times wish we were in an older, more GLORIOUS church building. Thank you to all our forefathers and mothers for the gift of such beauty and for thinking of the Church more than your own property and possessions. For you truly knew what was important and it still 'shows.'
Y'all can rest easy now.
"Come along with me, let's go to gay Paris, we'll go down to the sea with your daughter. Put on your green beret, it's such a lovely day, we'll put the wine away like water." From the vociferous and melodious Daffy Duck. The FUNNIEST cartoon EVER made! I wish I could find this particular one in some archive somewhere, but I haven't had the luck. Does anyone remember that one? He was in WWII - in France and sang this song and I don't recall laughing quite so hard at anything in my life.
I just heard from a hometown boy today and was delighted to find out he's from Omaha! I almost deleted the email, thinking it might be spam. Glad the Holy Spirit stopped me! Also, I've just been to his blog and found he's fond of anchovy spaghetti. I've been afraid to try anchovies for years after a bad experience in my 20's. It's time to be brave and give the little fish a chance like I gave peas a chance.
So when you get the chance...stop in and say "hi" to Marc at Catholic Daddy-o's blog.
Hey, you can get a great recipe from his blog right now, too!
Anyone seen my beer????
I took Sarah our for pizza after we'd gone to St Robert Bellarmine (our parish) for Confession. We were sooooo happy! We'd both needed to go, and it was the best feeling in the world! She'd been bothered by having had some major irritation with a family member and I'd been bothered by the usual old pesky sins. Fr. Shane is wonderful! We both love him so much!
Sarah, I miss you!
Be your happy self and continue to shine for Jesus as you so easily do!
School Sisters of Saint Francis...
Maybe she'll be on their website one of these days!
Our last road trip was to see Scott Hahn in Lincoln Ne. Nov 4, 2007.
We were so glad he took the time to pose and chat with us. I was tickled that he remembered me from the pilgrimage to Rome in May.
I will miss my "spiritual daugher" Sarah. She left yesterday for Panhandle, Texas, where she was accepted to the School Sisters of St. Francis. I am happy for her, but so sad, too. It's a bittersweet time for me. She and I met at a Pro Sanctity retreat in Schuyler, Nebraska last January, 2007. We've only had this past year together, but we clicked right off the bat! We enjoyed movies, road trips, going to Confession together, dining out, and just killing time. We had a blast and a ball together. I never had a daughter of my own. Sarah, God bless you. I know you won't see this for a while. I know you'll be able to receive visitors down the line, after you're situated and all that, but I can't help but feel the emptiness now. It's sinking in like it didn't the last time we were together. I'm glad we had out last night out for Chinese food, even if we didn't get our first choice, Thai Pepper.
God bless and keep you as you discern this religious life. I'll forever love you, miss you, remember you and cherish our memories. I know we'll have more but I will miss my little pal.
Your "other mom"
I pray to you, Dearest Mary, Mama most holy, grant that I may grow in grace, humility, faith, hope, and love. I need you and desire to follow you as you lead me ever more close to your precious Son. Amen.