Friday, January 30, 2009
Which is another favorite January pastime. What else is there to do except listen to the kids bicker at each other? Hubby and I found a *new to us* show we really like on USA. Burn Notice. It's really rare that we both like the same show. I watch Grey's Anatomy and he doesn't like that show. But when he does watch it with me, he always points out the medical inconsistencies. I guess he sees the real deal every day so a show about it isn't that interesting to him. He likes to watch UFC, which I just don't understand. A bunch of guys getting paid to beat each other up. I will never understand that sport. I love Nancy Grace, she is one tough lady. He can't stand her show and refuses to watch it so I watch it while I make dinner (it comes on in my time zone at 5:00) He likes action (read: violence) while I like real life or drama. But at least we found something that appeals to us both.
Another winter activity I always want to do is make bread. The smell of fresh baked bread with soup is one of my favorite winter things. I get out my breadmaker and do it the easy way, but I really have been wanting to try baking bread from scratch. Lent is coming up and that's a great time for soup and bread dinners.
Another thing I love about January. Summer is still so far off that I feel like I have all the time in the world to lose a few pounds. My clothes aren't fitting quite as well as I want and I bought a new scale which has been brutally honest with me. It's not pretty. But the good thing is that I can hide all that extra weight with sweaters WHILE I'm working it off in leisure. There's a reason that gym memberships always increase this time of year....
January is a clean slate and I like that too. The thought of a whole year ahead to do whatever I want. The possibilities. That is the best thing about January.
Tuesday was Western Day. Princess had some really cute little pink cowgirl boots that fit her last year, but unfortunately she outgrew those. So, we did without the boots and instead she wore a cute little red felt cowgirl hat and a red bandana around her neck. She looked adorable! Her brother decided on a blue bandana and wore jeans. That doesn't sound like a lot, but consider that this kid never wears pants (except on Christmas and Easter at Mass, because I insist!) He has worn shorts all through the winter since second grade. Even on really cold days. The teachers and other kids are so unaccustomed to seeing him in pants that he got a standing ovation!
Wednesday was crazy sock day. And let me tell you, there were some crazy socks running around school that day. I wish I had brought my camera and taken some pictures. Wednesday if you remember, is also the day we come early to school to go to Mass. I wish I could describe the dichotomy of kids wearing crazy socks while going up to receive our Lord in Communion.
Thursday was 70's day. Daddy and I got a kit at the craft store and tie-dyed two shirts for the kids to wear. Princess even wore her hair down and parted in the middle, which is a pretty easy hairstyle to pull off. Then, Brother had made his own peace sign necklace and wore that with the blue bandana, this time as a headband. They really looked great. Again, I should have pulled out the camera, I suppose. Maybe they will re-enact all this just for the blog!
Then, today was Grandparent Day. Princess was upset that her grandparents couldn't come (they live a couple states away and are not in good health). I walked her to class, where all the kids were mingling with their grandparents and she looked at me sadly, I knew what she was thinking. I told her that they would be here if they could. I offered to come in and visit so she wouldn't feel so left out and then I met one of her little friends she is always talking about. I asked her friend if her grandparents were coming and she said they would be there a little later and when she found out that Princess didn't have any grandparents coming, she said to her, "I'll share mine with you!" And they hugged, that sweet uninhibited kind of hug only five year olds know how to do.
Another highlight of the week was the Penny Drive. The school decided to donate this year's collection to help kids with leukemia and lymphoma. Princess was asking us each day for money to help sick children. It is so nice to see her learning compassion and helping others in their time of need. One penny isn't much by itself, but when a whole school collects them together, it sure can make a difference. What a wonderful lesson.
And so ends Catholic Schools Week 2009. Next year I promise to bring my camera!
Thursday, January 29, 2009
When I did find Daddy, I told him that the dogs were talking to me, and he looked at me like I was a crazy person. Really, Shadow answered my question. He DID. Daddy got a good laugh out of it but he thought maybe I should get out a little more.
Just so you don't also think I'm crazy, here is some video proof that dogs CAN talk!
Monday, January 26, 2009
Catholic Schools Week is a national event held annually to celebrate Catholic Schools. The 2009 national theme is “Catholic Schools Celebrate Service” and the slogan says it all. Catholic Schools are successful, our students are excelling, and every day we’re making a difference in our communities and in the world.
So the question is, why do we send our children to Catholic school?
It is because we value our Catholic heritage and want to pass that down to them. It is because they are surrounded by teachers, students and families who belong to our parish and live out their faith in a tangible way. Attending our parish school is like being with your family in a broader sense. I always feel that my children are safe and receiving the same love and care that they would at home. It is because they can pray in school. They start every day with prayer and end the day in prayer. They go to Mass and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. They pray the Rosary and learn about Jesus, Mary and the Saints. They are involved in many service projects throughout the year where they learn how to reach out and help others. At Catholic school, they develop a sense of community with a common belief system where they learn about all the different ways we can use our time, talent and treasure to help further the kingdom of God here on earth.
We want our children to grow up in a learning environment which reinforces our values and traditions we teach at home. By sending them to Catholic school we are fostering opportunities for them to see the Church in action, not just on Sunday but every day.
Most of the teachers in our school hold Master's degrees. Our children receive the very best education academically as well as spiritually.
When we think of the sacrifice we make now in the cost of their education,
It is worth it.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Wayne Johnston, CRNA, says it best:
In a convergence unique in all of Medicine, both doctors and nurses practice anesthesia, providing the same service side by side -- with, of course, differences. Such as cost -- eleven CRNAs can be trained for the price of one anesthesiologist. (Average cost: $635,000 for a doc [largely tax-subsidized], versus $59,000 for a CRNA [mostly self-pay]) CRNAs earn one quarter to one third the income of their physician counterparts.
Yet, in anesthesia training, both groups receive education that is essentially equivalent, often attending class and clinical side by side. Both types bring their respective backgrounds to the specialty and both end up full-fledged independent anesthesia providers. They may work together, or they may choose to work solo. In the operating room environment, CRNAs and anesthesiologists are functional equivalents.
CRNAs provide anesthetics to patients in collaboration with surgeons, anesthesiologists, dentists, podiatrists, and other qualified healthcare professionals. When anesthesia is provided by a nurse anesthetist, it is recognized as the practice of nursing; when administered by an anesthesiologist, it is recognized as the practice of medicine.
Both practice anesthesia so as to meet the same high standard of care.
All kinds of patients, one high standard of care."
My husband became a CRNA in 2002, after completing a 27 month graduate program in Nurse Anesthesia. He won the Agatha Hodgins award for Outstanding Student Anesthetist, graduating at the top of his class.
Currently, he works for a physician group, doing mostly general surgery and OB cases.
He treats each patient as if they were his WIFE, or MOTHER or DAUGHTER, FATHER, SON. He goes out of his way to spend time with his patients and their family when they are facing surgery or getting ready to have a baby. Many times they have questions or concerns that haven't been addressed. If they have a question, he will make sure it is thoroughly answered. He often will use his medical texts to show the patient exactly what will be happening. Because of his outstanding care, he often gets notes and cards and even gifts from patients who recognize and appreciate his above and beyond approach to anesthesia. It isn't surprising that he is requested by repeat OB patients. He is requested often by his own colleagues when they need surgery and specifically ask for him to be on their case. He will go in on his day off if he is requested by a fellow nurse who is having surgery or a scheduled c-section. He has even been known to bring them a beautiful bouquet of flowers, and although he writes "from the Anesthesia Department" on the card, he is the one who selects, orders, pays for and delivers them. He is known for his compassionate care. He also helps future CRNA's by teaching at a local weekend academy for high-schoolers interested in medical careers. He enjoys working in medicine and he loves his job, which is more than a job, it is a ministry!
I remember one time, when the boys were little, we would come to the hospital and meet him for lunch. One time, we had just sat down and started to eat when his pager went off. He had to go to a case, without even having a chance to eat. As he got up and left the room, his scrub coat was sort of puffing up with air and it looked almost like a cape. Being that the boys at the time were big into super heros, one of them remarked as they watched their daddy exit the cafeteria, "He looks just like Superman!" Yes, he really does.
For more information about a career in Nurse Anesthesia, go to Gaspasser.com
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Dear Friends of Life,
The pro-life movement is going through a great deal of self-examination at this time. I am not a pessimist, but my sense of realism tells me that the election of extreme abortion advocate, Barack Obama, and the nearly 7,000 political appointments of his administration will usher in a new decade of war on decency and the sanctity of life. Despite the ferocious optimism of his inauguration, the dark clouds of the culture of death are gathering over Washington as we speak, ready to cast their darkness everywhere.
In this time of preparation for the upcoming total war on life, I offer this modest list of Dos and Don'ts for the generous and valiant pro-lifers who gather for the March for Life in Washington, DC on January 22nd. May all men and women of good will take these recommendations to heart for a fruitful pro-life 2009!
1. Above all, do not grow despondent: there is much to fear for the situation of life around the world, but we are not permitted by our Christian faith to give up our efforts or zeal for life. In fact, we need to redouble it!
2. Do not become absorbed in the quest for a political solution to abortion: after 36 years of working for a political solution to abortion, we may soon see the wiping out of most, if not all, of the pro-life movement's gains with the stroke of a pen. Politics has failed. Or rather, we have failed at politics. Either way, politics now offers us little chance of anything other than just trying to slow the massive momentum of the culture of death.
3. Do not waste any more energy on overturning Roe: two Supreme Court seats are assured during an Obama administration, and they will undoubtedly be filled with extreme pro-abortion activist judges. A third appointment will leave us with no hope of overturning Roe in anyone's lifetime reading this. For that matter, the chance that a good pro-life President will succeed Obama in four years and nullify the leftward lurch of the high court is, shall we say, unlikely. Let's get hopes of undoing Roe out of our system and focus on more productive things.
1. Pray every day for God to end abortion with our help (in that order): abortion is such a great spiritual and social evil that only the divine power of God Himself can end it. "The Lord hears the cry of the poor," but God will not do it alone. He needs us to humbly recognize the basic fact that it is humanly impossible to end this evil. We need to get on our knees and beg His Mercy on the unborn and the conversion of all those who commit these evils.
2. Commit to fasting every week to end the evils of abortion and contraception: "Some demons can only be driven out by prayer and fasting," said the Lord, and we have to take that admonition seriously if we are to effect any change in the hearts of our people or of our society. Fasting makes us more spiritual and gives greater efficacy to all our works and prayers.
3. Take back the culture: Even if the anti-lifers hold the reins of political power, we must not sit back and allow moral anarchists to define all the terms of the cultural or social agenda. Whether it is through social activism for life (crisis pregnancy centers, pickets and prayer marches) or through touching hearts and minds one soul at a time (persuasion, formation, teaching, media), we cannot be neutral about the direction our American culture is heading. It is leading us to certain spiritual death, and no one can afford that. We need to fight for it and never give up the battle.
I promise you that Human Life International will be in the struggle for lives and souls continuously. It is our calling and mission. We will never give one inch to uphold the truth that the whole world needs to hear more than ever: namely, that human life is sacred from the first moment of natural fertilization to the moment of natural death - and we will defend it whether Obama likes it or not.
Sincerely Yours in Christ,
Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer,
President, Human Life International
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Lord,* Creator of Life,* You have blessed us* with the privilege of bringing new life into the world. Open our hearts and minds* to recognize Your special gift of children* and Your great love for each of us* created in Your image and likeness.* Through love* You sent your Son Jesus* to redeem us and through love* He entered our world as an unborn child in the womb of Mary,* His mother.* We now turn to Mary* for her prayers and intercession* as we struggle to protect* innocent unborn children from decisions that seek to destroy them.* Following Mary's example* as mother and disciple,* let us proclaim the truth of our faith,* assist those in crisis* and protect those most vulnerable, unwanted and unloved. Amen
Prayer for the Unborn Child
Almighty God, our Father,you who have given us lifeand intended us to have it forever, grant us your blessings. Enlighten our minds to an awareness and to a renewed conviction that all human life is sacred because it is created in your image and likeness. Help us to teach by word and the example of our lives that life occupies the first place, that human life is precious because it is the gift of God whose love is infinite. Give us the strength to defend human life against every influence or action that threatens or weakens it, as well as the strength to make every life more human in all its aspects. Give us the grace...When the sacredness of life before birth is attacked, to stand up and proclaim that no one ever has the authority to destroy unborn life.When a child is described as a burden or is looked upon only as a means to satisfy an emotional need, to stand up and insist that every child is a unique and unrepeatable gift of God,
a gift of God with a right to a loving and united family. When the institution of marriage is abandoned to human selfishness or reduced to a temporary conditional arrangement that can easily be terminated, to stand up and affirm the indissolubility of the marriage bond.When the value of the family is threatened because of social and economic pressure, to stand up and reaffirm that the family is necessary not only for the private good of every person, but also for the common good of every society, nation and state.When freedom is used to dominate the weak, to squander natural resources and energy, to deny basic necessities to people, to stand up and affirm the demands of justice and social love. Almighty Father, give us courage to proclaim the supreme dignity of all human life and to demand that society itself give its protection. We ask this in your name, through the redemptive act of your Son and in the Holy Spirit. Amen.
In February 2002, the Catholic Church established that throughout the United States, January 22nd would be observed as a day of prayer and penance against abortion:
“In all the dioceses of the United States of America, January 22 (or January 23, when January 22 falls on a Sunday) shall be observed as a particular day of penance for violations to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion, and of prayer for the full restoration of the legal guarantee of the right to life. The Mass 'For Peace and Justice' (no. 22 of the 'Masses for Various Needs') should be celebrated with violet vestments as an appropriate liturgical observance for this day.”
– General Instruction of the Roman Missal, no. 373
Why a Day of Prayer and Penance?
In the U.S., the date of January 22nd as the Day of Prayer and Penance is significant because this date marks the anniversary of the deplorable Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the U.S. throughout all nine months of pregnancy. The Roe v. Wade decision legally established in the U.S. that most laws against abortion in the United States were unconstitutional, for privacy rights reasons, under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Because abortion is immoral and intrinsically evil, we as faithful Catholics are obligated to teach against this grave evil. This is to be worked towards certainly through social and political actions; however, as an issue of faith, the weapons of prayer and penance are of significance:
“Filled with this certainty, and moved by profound concern for the destiny of every man and woman, I repeat what I said to those families who carry out their challenging mission amid so many difficulties: a great prayer for life is urgently needed, a prayer which will rise up throughout the world. Through special initiatives and in daily prayer, may an impassioned plea rise to God, the Creator and lover of life, from every Christian community, from every group and association, from every family and from the heart of every believer.
Jesus himself has shown us by his own example that prayer and fasting are the first and most effective weapons against the forces of evil (cf. Mt 4:1-11). As he taught his disciples, some demons cannot be driven out except in this way (cf. Mk 9:29).
Let us therefore discover anew the humility and the courage to pray and fast so that power from on high will break down the walls of lies and deceit: the walls which conceal from the sight of so many of our brothers and sisters the evil of practices and laws which are hostile to life. May this same power turn their hearts to resolutions and goals inspired by the civilization of life and love.” - Pope John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, no. 100.
Ideas for Observing the Day of Prayer and Penance
There are multiple ways of observing this national day of prayer and penance. Of course, as noted above, the Mass for Peace and Justice is to be celebrated on the day of prayer and penance. However, there are many actions in which individuals and groups can engage to observe the day:
· Peacefully praying outside of an abortion clinic
· Praying a rosary or chaplet for the unborn
· Praying for those who have been wounded by abortion
· Visiting and praying before the Blessed Sacrament
· Reading and reflecting on Pope John Paul II’s Evangelium Vitae in full
· Becoming involved with the pro-life group in your town or area
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
In my local Catholic church.
In my parish, there is just about every demographic.
We have a priest from Africa, and one from the Phillipines.
We have a diverse community of parishioners. It is one of the things I love best about our church, because there is a place for everyone.
On a broader scale, the Catholic Church is worldwide and encompasses every nationality.
Catholic means universal.
When you go to Mass in any Catholic church in the world, you will hear the same Scripture readings in Topeka, Kansas as you will in Rome, Italy (maybe not in the same language, however)
We are unified through the Scriptures.
We are unified through our celebration of the Eucharist.
We become one body in Christ.
We come from all over the world, from all walks of life, from all nationalites, and we come together through the Mass with one voice to worship the one True God.
We have done this for over 2,ooo years.
Diversity is nothing new to us.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
This is the cake we made after the Blue's Clues cake, for a school auction. It won first place! The picture/idea came from a magazine (Ladies Home Journal?) It was so cute and a fun family project. Do you see the bikini on the teddy bear? My Busy Woodshop Detail Oriented OCD Hubby made that! The tiles are chiclets, the diving board is Fruit Stripe gum, the water is blue jello!
The next year my 8 year old son wanted a Spongebob cake. I was feeling ambitious, so I made this:
Doesn't that make you want to vacation at Bikini Bottom? The kids loved this cake! It took me only 3 1/2 hours, even though it had a lot more detail than the Blue's Clues cake.
I was feeling so confident that the next month when my princess turned 3, I made the Dora cake in honor of her love of everything Dora. Everything Dora. We had all the books, all the dolls, all the movies, you name it, our house for a time was a virtual Dora museum, so why not the cake too? (just forget the fact that the black frosting does weird things to the kids's poop, is that TMI?)
I was really proud of this cake. This one only took three hours, despite the fact there are about 8 different colors. And I expertly camoflauged the hole in the side made when aforementioned three year old wanted to help and accidently caved in the side of the cake. No problem! Anything can be fixed in cake land!Then, the next year the boys wanted a guitar cake, and an ipod cake. We went out on a limb and improvised:
Ta da! A flying V! My hubby did all the decorations for this cake, and enjoyed every minute. Sorry for the poor picture staging! This is one of my son's all-time favorite cakes.
The ipod cake pictures seem to be hiding somewhere on my hard drive. It was as cool as the guitar cake, though you'll have to take my word for it.This year, we will try our talents at cake decorating yet again. It's becoming something of a tradition.
THE HONORABLE BARACK OBAMA PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA THE WHITE HOUSEWASHINGTON, DC
ON THE OCCASION OF YOUR INAUGURATION AS THE FORTY-FOURTH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA I OFFER CORDIAL GOOD WISHES, TOGETHER WITH THE ASSURANCE OF MY PRAYERS THAT ALMIGHTY GOD WILL GRANT YOU UNFAILING WISDOM AND STRENGTH IN THE EXERCISE OF YOUR HIGH RESPONSIBILITIES. UNDER YOUR LEADERSHIP MAY THE AMERICAN PEOPLE CONTINUE TO FIND IN THEIR IMPRESSIVE RELIGIOUS AND POLITICAL HERITAGE THE SPIRITUAL VALUES AND ETHICAL PRINCIPLES NEEDED TO COOPERATE IN THE BUILDING OF A TRULY JUST AND FREE SOCIETY, MARKED BY RESPECT FOR THE DIGNITY, EQUALITY AND RIGHTS OF EACH OF ITS MEMBERS, ESPECIALLY THE POOR, THE OUTCAST AND THOSE WHO HAVE NO VOICE. AT A TIME WHEN SO MANY OF OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD YEARN FOR LIBERATION FROM THE SCOURGE OF POVERTY, HUNGER AND VIOLENCE, I PRAY THAT YOU WILL BE CONFIRMED IN YOUR RESOLVE TO PROMOTE UNDERSTANDING, COOPERATION AND PEACE AMONG THE NATIONS, SO THAT ALL MAY SHARE IN THE BANQUET OF LIFE WHICH GOD WILLS TO SET FOR THE WHOLE HUMAN FAMILY (cf. Isaiah 25:6-7).
UPON YOU AND YOUR FAMILY, AND UPON ALL THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, I WILLINGLY INVOKE THE LORD’S BLESSINGS OF JOY AND PEACE
BENEDICTUS PP. XVI
I didn't vote for him, but that doesn't mean that I can't appreciate the enormity of having seen the first African American elected and sworn in as President of the United States.
I wish, though that the emphasis would be less on the color of his skin and more on his politics.
I pray that Freedom of Choice Act does not pass.
I did notice a few things-- such as when he tripped over his lines during his swearing in. Of all words, faithfully, is the one that caused him a bit of trouble. I thought it was *interesting*
I also noticed the discrepancy when he referred to "the slaughtering of innocents" yet was not talking about unborn children.
There is still hope, but I'm not letting go of my rosary beads anytime soon.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Today's Rosary Mysteries:
Click Here for Joyful mysteries (same as Day 2)
The Mysteries of the Rosary during Ordinary Time are typically:
Joyful mysteries on Mondays and Saturdays
Sorrowful mysteries on Tuesdays and Fridays
Glorious mysteries on Wednesdays and Sundays
Luminous mysteries on Thursday
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Saturday, January 17, 2009
As we prepare to enter a new era in politics and perhaps society in general, keep something in mind: WE WIN! No matter what political party is in power at a given point in time, in the end those that remain faithful to Jesus Christ win the war. We may have to fight many battles outnumbered and even despised and looked upon as criminals and outcasts by a society that is unraveling and degenerating into something no one could have imagined.What matters is that we run the race to the finish line and fight the good fight. Don’t “go with the flow,” for as the great Archbishop Fulton Sheen reminds us, “Dead bodies float downstream.” More than ever we shall have to be strong in the faith. Regular and worthy reception of the sacraments, constant prayer, and rigorous study of the faith is now essential, not merely a luxury. The front line and primary battle is going to be the fight for life: the dignity of every human life from the moment of conception to the last moment of natural life. If we lose that one, every other battle space will be compromised. If the government succeeds in establishing abortion as an inalienable “right”, then the elderly and sick will be next. It will then be a short and slippery step to the government deciding who lives and dies regardless of their inherent human dignity.If you don’t already pray the Rosary every day, please start at once. The prayer of the holy Rosary is the prayer of the holy Gospel, and that means it is the prayer of the Good News Who is Jesus Christ, the LIFE of the world. Many saints will be forged in the crucible of the coming years. Make sure you are among them.
God bless you,
Fr. John Corapi
Friday, January 16, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Last Friday, I rushed around in the morning to have time to stop at Safeway because it was our turn to provide snacks in the kindergarten room. I rush through the store, grabbing juice, crackers, anything without peanuts. I end up getting to school JUST ON TIME, breathlessly handing the bag to the teacher and you know what she says? Thanks-- your snack day is NEXT FRIDAY!
The kicker. Yesterday, I got a call from the school that my kids were in after care because I FORGOT IT WAS WEDNESDAY! You see, on Wednesday, we bring them early because they go to Mass, and consequently we pick them up an hour earlier in the afternoon.
Anyhow. I really wish I could get it together and remember at least important things like picking my kids up from school. I felt so terrible because my little Princess started to cry when I wasn't there on time to pick her up. Talk about bad mom of the year. And the Guilt. It is not a good thing. So what did I do? Of course, after getting there (only 55 minutes late!) I profusely apologized and did what any mom would do. I took her out for cupcakes. It sure made her feel better, and that made me feel better.
Cupcakes have a way of doing that.
The Second Luminous Mystery: The Wedding at Cana
Meditation: Jesus changes water into wine at the request of Mary, who was first among believers. The disciples witness this miracle, their hearts open to the faith, and they begin to believe in Him.John 2:1-12
The Third Luminous Mystery:
The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God
Meditation: Jesus preaches the Gospel in Galilee. He proclaims that this is the time of fulfillment, for the Kingdom of God is at hand. He asks all to repent and forgives the sins of those who believe in Him. Mark 1:15
The Fourth Luminous Mystery:
Meditation: On Mount Tabor, the Apostles see the glory of God shining forth from the face of Jesus. The voice of the Father, coming from a cloud, says, "This is my chosen Son, listen to Him." Luke 9:35
The Fifth Luminous Mystery:
The Institution of the Eucharist
Meditation: At the Last Supper, Jesus offers His body and blood, under the signs of bread and wine, and washes the feet of the Apostles. He knows that Judas has betrayed Him and His hour has come. Jesus testifies to His everlasting love for each one of us by sharing the Sacrament of the Eucharist. John 13:1
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Today's Rosary Mysteries
Glorious (Wednesdays & Sundays)
Click here for Glorious Mysteries (same as Day 1 of Novena)
Today, visit National Right to Life and download the petition, read some informative articles and find other ways to help in this fight against the Freedom of Choice Act.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
I half-jokingly told my husband I wanted to leave the tree up all year. What if I just didn't take it down? Who cares what the neighbors say. He laughed and then said it might save us the work of pulling it all out again next year. As much as I would like to keep it up all year, I realize that doing that would detract from what makes this time so special in the first place. So we begin the process of taking down and in doing so we restart the clock to wait all over again. That is the beauty of the Liturgy of the Church, with its own rhythm and order, many times reflecting the seasons as they change from one to the next and back again. The cycle that we see echoed in the calendar year and in nature is also present in the Liturgy. It is timeless and beautiful, even in Ordinary time.
Today's Rosary Mysteries: (Tuesdays and Fridays)
The first mystery:
The Agony in the Garden: Contrition
Meditation: Jesus went with them to a place called Gethesemani. He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer. "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass me by." Matthew 26:36 & 39
The second sorrowful mystery:
The Scourging at the Pillar: Purity
Meditation: The people said, "Let His blood be upon us and upon our children." At that, he released Barabbas to them. Jesus, however, he first had scourged. Matthew 27:25-26
The third sorrowful mystery:
The Crowning with Thorns: Courage
Meditation: The stripped off His clothes and wrapped Him in a scarlet cloak. Weaving a crown out of thorns, they fixed it on His head and began to mock Him. Matthew 27:28-29
The fourth sorrowful mystery:
The Carrying of the Cross: Patience
Meditation: Jesus was led away, and carrying the cross by Himself, went out to what is called the Place of the Skull. There they crucified Him. John 19:17-18
The fifth sorrowful mystery:
The Crucifixion: Self Denial
Meditation: The curtain in the sanctuary was torn in two. Jesus uttered a loud cry and said, "Father, into Your hands I commend my spirit." After this, He expired. Luke 23:45-46
Read an account written by a former abortionist, in his own words.
Monday, January 12, 2009
First Mystery: The Annunciation: Humility
Meditation: The angel said to Mary, "You shall conceive and bear a son and give Him the name Jesus. And He will be called Son of the Most High."
Second Mystery: The Visitation: Charity
Meditation: Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Luke 1:39-42
Third Mystery: The Birth of Our Lord: Poverty
Meditation: While Mary and Joseph were in Bethlehem, she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger. Luke 2:6-7
Sunday, January 11, 2009
First Mystery: The Resurrection: Conversion of Heart
Meditation: The angel spoke, "Do not be frightened. I know you are looking for Jesus the crucified, but he is not here. He has been raised, exactly as he promised." Matthew 28:5-6
Second Mystery: The Ascension: Desire for Heaven
Meditation: Then he led them out near Bethany, and with hands upraised, blessed them. As he blessed, he left them, and was taken up to heaven. Luke 24:50-51
Third Mystery: Descent of the Holy Spirit: Gifts of the Spirit
Meditation: Tongues as of fire appeared which parted and came to rest on each of them. All were filled with the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:3-4
Fourth Mystery: The Assumption of Mary: Devotion to Mary
Meditation: Blessed are you daughter, by the Most High Lord, above all the women on earth; and blessed be the Lord God, the Creator of heaven and earth. Judith 13:18
Fifth Mystery: The Coronation of Mary: Eternal Happiness
Meditation: A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and on her head a crown of twelve stars. Revelation 12:1
How to Pray the Rosary
Download the Virtual Rosary
Thank you for praying along with us! This is so important!
Saturday, January 10, 2009
The saying "rule of thumb" comes from an old English law that states a man can't beat his wife with a stick any bigger than the diameter of his thumb! I use that saying all the time but I had no idea!
We sometimes say, "sleep tight!" (and my dad used to add, "don't let the bed bugs bite!") This saying came from Colonial America where the beds were not of the box spring variety that we enjoy today. The mattress laid on top of a web of ropes. There was a tool - an iron type of gadget that looked somewhat like an old clothes pin but larger - which was used to tighten the ropes when they became too slack. Thus, the expression "sleep tight."
I frequently tell my daughter that she got up on the "wrong side of the bed", which puzzles her because there is only one side to get out of, since the other is against the wall! This saying comes from an old superstition that claimed it was unlucky to put the left foot down on the floor first when getting out of bed.
If you are told you have a "frog in your throat", you may be grossed out to know that medieval doctors thought that the secretions of a frog would cure a cough, and they would place a frog in the mouth of the unfortunate patient. (ewwww!)
Other things I find myself saying are "it's raining cats and dogs!" or "for Pete's sake" (Is it St. Peter?) or also, "for Heaven's sake" which is more self-explanatory. "Heavens to Betsy" (again, who is Betsy?)
You can say that it's "straight from the horse's mouth" which comes from the fact that a horse's age is evidenced by their teeth, so it's no use lying about how old they are!
Sometimes "a little bird told me" something. This phrase comes from the Bible. In Ecclesiastes 10:20 the writer warns us not to curse the king or the rich even in private or a 'bird of the air' may report what you say.
When my kids have something fantastical to say, I kid them and say they're "pulling the wool over my eyes", which comes from the days of white wigs which resembled sheep's wool.
I have been known to say, "knock on wood", which is a Celtic superstition that believed spirits lived in trees. When in trouble, people knocked on the trees and asked for help.
Sometimes we "beat around the bush", which is not getting straight to the point. Hunters would beat a bush to flush out the birds which other people would then catch.
When we say, "the cat got your tongue" we don't even think about what this really means! This originated way back in history when it was common practice to cut out the tongue of criminal and feed it to the animals kept by the King. The cat would literally have your tongue if you were unable to speak! (ewwwww!)
"When pigs fly" obviously means never! Because, just when have you seen a pig fly lately?
One that I inherited from my dad is "it's better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick!" which he would use anytime we didn't like something. I think just about anything is better than that. Needless to say, whenever we complained it was his standard reply.
Speaking of eyes, this sure was an eye-opening exercise for me! Now that I know the origin of some of these sayings, it is quite likely that I will think twice before saying it!
Here's my "two cents". "Don't take any wooden nickels!"
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Please join us in praying the 9 days of prayers in the hope that FOCA will not pass. If you are opposed to abortion then there is bad news on the horizon.
For those of you who do not know, the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) is set to be signed if Congress passes it on January 21-22 of 2009. The FOCA is the next sick chapter in the book of abortion. If made a law then all limitations on abortion will be lifted which will result in the following:
1) All hospitals, including Catholic hospitals will be required to perform abortions upon request. If this happens Bishops vow to close down all Catholic hospitals, more then 30% of all hospitals in the United States.
2) Partial birth abortions would be legal and have no limitations.
3) All U.S. tax payers would be funding abortions.
4) Parental notification will no longer be required.
5) The number of abortions will increase by a minimum of 100,000 annually.
Perhaps most importantly the government will now have control in the issue of abortion. This could result in a future amendment that would force women by law to have abortions in certain situations (rape, down syndrome babies, etc) and could even regulate how many children women are allowed to have.
Needless to say this information is disturbing, but sadly true. As Catholics, as Christians, as anyone who is against the needless killing of innocent children, we must stand as one. We must stop this horrific act before it becomes a law.
The Plan :
To say a novena ( 9 days of prayer ) along with fasting starting on January 11th. For Catholics, the prayer of choice will be the rosary with intentions to stop the FOCA. For non Catholics I encourage you to pray your strongest prayers with the same intentions, also for nine consecutive days.
There is a beautiful prayer used during the elections that is still timely here: http://www.ewtn.com/devotionals/prayers/Election_mary.htm The hope is that this will branch and blossom as to become a global effort with maximum impact. We have very little time so we all must act fast. Just do three things:
1) Pass this letter to 5 or more people
2) Do it in three days or less
3) Start the novena on January 11th and pray for nine consecutive days.
(please also fast for at least two days during the novena)
Remember that with God all things are possible and the power of prayer is undeniable. If you are against the senseless killing of defenseless children then the time is now to do something about it!
May God bless you all!! Planned Parenthood is the number ONE abortion provider in our country and received over $300 million of our tax dollars to destroy 289,650 unborn children in 2006. They are probably "educating" your children in their school.
Visit http://jacksonforlife.org/planned_parenthood.sml to learn more!
I found a flashlight, headed to the basement and looked at the breakers. Not being an electrician, I didn't see anything wrong but flipped them all off and back on just in case. Nothing happened. Then I came back upstairs and found the number to the power company. Thank goodness for cell phones, because the land line doesn't work without the power! (just what did we do in this situation before wireless anyway?) They promised to come out and take a look, but in the meantime we had to get everyone off to school.
It's a funny thing when the power goes out. All of a sudden, you realize that everything you need to do is powered by electricity. Can't take a shower, the well pump could run dry. Can't use a blow dryer, although not having taken a shower, you don't need that anyway. The curling iron, forget it. Coffee? Nada. Check the newscast, email, fry an egg, make toast or open a can? Not gonna happen. It seems that we depend on electricity for a lot of things.
Rummaging around in the dark this morning, I thought about how important light is to us. Without light, it is difficult to function. We stumble around. We are basically helpless. Think about how important sunlight is to our survival. Without sunlight in the natural world, we wouldn't be able to survive very long at all. We depend on the light for guidance, warmth, sustenance. Our very existence depends on it.
It is no wonder that Jesus spoke these words written in John, chapter 8, we read in verse 12: "When Jesus spoke to the people again, he said: I am the light of the world; anyone who follows me will not be walking in the dark, but will have the light of life."
Talk about an illuminating passage!
Without Jesus, we will stumble around aimlessly in this world. Without the Light of the World, we are unable to see. If we think that we need electricity to function in this modern world, how much more so do we need the light of Christ? A light that never goes out. This light illuminates our hearts and our minds to the purpose for which we were created. We were not meant to wander without purpose in this life.
In the meanwhile, I struggled with the garage door, trying to get it open the old-fashioned way (not an easy task!) We had a cold breakfast, since all we could make was cereal. We ate in the chilly darkness of the kitchen and then headed out to school.
Sometimes God speaks to us in these little inconveniences of our day. I felt that this morning was one of those times for me. Even as I felt hindered by the lack of light, I was reminded how truly blessed we are when we can take such a routine thing as electricity for granted. How we take a lot of things in this life for granted. Thinking we are in control, thinking we have another day, not even thinking about the things that we think are so common. How often do we reflect on God's goodness each day. Sometimes, it is through experiencing the darkness that we can truly appreciate the Light.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Today is the Feast of the Epiphany celebrating the Magi's following of the star which brought them to Jesus. This is one of my favorite Sundays of the year. There is so much symbolism and beauty in the readings and in the actual event of the Adoration of the Magi.
The Gospel reading is taken from Matthew:
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea,
in the days of King Herod,
behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying,
“Where is the newborn king of the Jews?
We saw his star at its rising
and have come to do him homage.”
When King Herod heard this,
he was greatly troubled,
and all Jerusalem with him.
Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people,
He inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea,
for thus it has been written through the prophet:
And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
since from you shall come a ruler,
who is to shepherd my people Israel.”
Then Herod called the magi secretly
and ascertained from them the time of the star’s appearance.
He sent them to Bethlehem and said,
“Go and search diligently for the child.
When you have found him, bring me word,
that I too may go and do him homage.”
After their audience with the king they set out.
And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them,
until it came and stopped over the place where the child was.
They were overjoyed at seeing the star,
and on entering the house
they saw the child with Mary his mother.
They prostrated themselves and did him homage.
Then they opened their treasures
and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod,
they departed for their country by another way.
Like the three wise men, we are also called to adore Christ who is the Word made flesh. We can react to His coming in two ways: like the wise men did-- they consciously looked for Him and set out on the path which led them to Him. Or we can be like King Herod and seek to oppose Him, by seeking our own will instead.
The Magi came from afar, traveling in a caravan over days and weeks. It must have been a hardship from the kind of life they were used to leading as kings and rulers. They saw and followed the signs which brought them an epiphany, which means "manifestation". Usually an epiphany comes about when we least expect it. The Jewish people had been waiting for this Messiah for a long time, and yet-- when He does come, He is not recognized by His people because He didn't fit their expectations.
Today in our homily, our priest pointed out that many times our lives are like that. How often do we pray for something and feel like the prayer wasn't answered? Sometimes the answer is No and we just don't want to hear it. Our expectations are very short term, and not always focused on what is best for us Eternally.
The gifts the Magi brought were gold, frankincense and myrrh, which have symbolic meaning.
That they are all ordinary gifts for a king — myrrh being commonly used as an anointing oil, frankincense as a perfume, and gold as a valuable.
That they are prophetic — gold as a symbol of kingship on earth, frankincense (an incense) as a symbol of priestship, and myrrh (an embalming oil) as a symbol of death. Sometimes this is described more generally as gold symbolizing virtue, frankincense symbolizing prayer, and myrrh symbolizing suffering.
To commemorate this day, you could bake star shaped cupcakes, and decorate foam crowns with the kids (that's what we did!)
Another tradition on this day is to mark over the doors of the home with the sign
The letters have two meanings. They are the initials of the traditional names of the Three Magi: Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar. They also abbreviate the Latin words “Christus mansionem benedicat.” “May Christ bless the house.” The letters recall the day on which the inscription is made, as well as the purpose of blessing.
The crosses represent the protection of the Precious Blood of Christ, whom we invoke, and the holiness of the Three Magi sanctified by their adoration of the Infant Christ. The inscription is made above the front door, so that all who enter and depart this year may enjoy God’s blessing.
To bless your home this Epiphany, read the Prologue of Saint John’s Gospel, followed by the Our Father, and the Collect of the Epiphany; then write the inscription for this year above your front door with blessed chalk. (thanks to Fr. Mark's blog for that information!)
Saturday, January 3, 2009
All I have to say is that I'm very thankful that we can go to individual confession and not public confession which is how the early Christians practiced this Sacrament.
Today, I'm locking the dogs out so I can vacuum. They just started attacking the vacuum cleaner attachment one day when I vacuumed their bedding. They really went nuts and now every time I turn it on, they go after it. Before that happened, I could vacuum even right up next to them and they weren't freaking out like they do now. It was not easy to hold the camera and try to vacuum at the same time, but I thought it was so funny that I wanted to upload that yesterday!
Friday, January 2, 2009
Thursday, January 1, 2009
Last night, the kids and I watched a little of the New Year's Eve special but they quickly got bored with that and we ended up clicking around and finding a silly SpongeBob episode to watch until 11:30. I just couldn't keep my peepers open any longer. We headed up to bed, but by the time we brushed our teeth, got in our jammies and read a story, and turned out the light, it was midnight and we heard lots and lots of fireworks going off. Apparently there is a time window on this night when people can set off fireworks (the good kind, not those red devil things). I didn't look it up but I would think that up until 12:30 would be acceptable. We have one over achiever in our neighborhood who was still setting them off at 2:00 am, but then stopped probably because it started raining!
So this morning it was a little of a chore dragging myself out of bed, but I managed to get to the *early* Mass at 9:00. I say it that way because on Sunday the early Mass is at 7:30, but I think being that it's New Year's Day and all, the early Mass needed to be moved up a bit. Since my oldest and I are the only ones in our house who are not currently ill, we went together and left all the sickies at home. I expected Mass to be sparsely occupied but to my surprise, it was like a Sunday. Not quite standing room only, but very full for a New Year's Day morning. It is nice that so many people take fulfilling their obligations seriously. For those who might have stayed out a little late, there was also a noon Mass today, so no excuses for missing Mass today (unless you're sick-- with a virus, not a hangover!)
Somehow I've managed to dodge the bullet, since this crud has been going around our house for about a month now. Busy woodshop hubby is just now today feeling a little more human, after three full days of a nasty cough, headache, chills and lethargy. It is a sad sight to be sure. He is always in motion so it is very strange to see him in one place for any length of time. Today, the two youngest are sick. The oldest had it at the beginning of December and missed a whole week of school, right before Christmas break! I am hoping that I will not get this, because when they all have to start back to school and hubby is back at work and then I will have no one to take care of me! I don't know why I should expect to not get sick when everyone around me is dropping like flies, but thankfully I have been able to take care of them-- it should have a name, instead of immunity, how about immomunity!
Since it is the first and all, I must get to the bill paying. This post has taken me about two hours with all the interruptions!
Happy New Year!
Readings for today:
Collect: Father, Source of light in every age, the virgin conceived and bore Your Son who is called Wonderful God, Prince of Peace. May her prayer, the gift of a mother's love, be Your people's joy through all ages. May her response, born of a humble heart, draw our Spirit to rest on Your people. Grant this through Christ our Lord. +Amen
First Reading - Numbers 6:22-27 The Lord said to Moses, "Say to Aaron and his sons, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them, The Lord bless you and keep you: The Lord make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you: The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.
Second Reading - Galatians 4:4-7 But when the time had fully come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying "Abba! Father!" So through God you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then an heir.
Gospel Reading - Luke 2:16-21 And they[shepherds] went with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. And when they saw it they made known the saying which had been told them concerning this Child; and all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. And at the end of the eight days, when He was circumcised He was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.