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Friday, May 29, 2009

Will the Real Miss USA Please Stand Up?


Through all of the news coverage of the Prejean "controversy" and "scandal," I felt there was one real scandal the press failed to acknowledge. And that was this: Why on earth was a woman attempting to answer political questions about a serious subject matter . . . while parading herself on stage in a ball gown and a bikini with heels?

Well done Danielle Bean. For the rest of this article visit

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Hold still, you've got something in your hair...



Ever feel like God is really trying to get your attention? I had that happen to me...today. I am not at liberty to provide the details; but what I can tell you is that if you continue to ignore the roadsigns, God may just find other ways to reach out.

On the flip side, if you do fall down go boom, God is waiting to lift you up, dust you off and give you a nice seat at His table. You just need to pick up the phone and make the reservation.

"Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground."

Monday, May 25, 2009

Hansel & Gretel & Cultural Hegemony


Hansel and Gretel

Hansel and Gretel were lost in the woods when they came upon a house made of candy and cake. An old witch invited them in and then captured both of them intending to eat them. Gretel had a chance save both of them by pushing the old woman in an oven but she decided that it would be wrong not to respect the witch's cultural traditions. So Gretel and her brother allowed themselves to be cooked and eaten. The witch was so happy with the children's actions that she invited all of her witch friends to the area. Soon thereafter, they ate every child in a hundred mile radius. Soon the whole area was filled with nothing but child eating witches and all the witches were very happy!

The Moral of the Story: You must respect the culture of others, even at your own expense!

Thank you John Hawkins of Right Wing News http://rightwingnews.com/

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Deus Meus et Omnia



As I mentioned in previous post, I got the opportunity to roadtrip out to BCC today to visit the Poor Clares. I'm so glad I did. Here's a little background:

The Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration of Our Lady of Solitude in Black Canyon City, Arizona is located about 40 miles north of Phoenix. In the beginning of May 2005, the little Community of five Sisters traveled on a "cross-country" adventure which led them to their new home on a mountain-top in the heart of the Arizonan desert. The Founding Monastery (Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in Alabama) is overflowing with vocations. They were literally bursting at the seams with over 40 Sisters. And so, following the lead of Divine Providence and at the kind invitation of the Bishop of Phoenix, Most Reverend Thomas J. Olmsted, they have been blessed with the awesome opportunity to establish a Throne for Our Eucharistic King in the West.

The desert nuns are a Cloistered Community of Contemplative Nuns, known as the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration. Eucharistic Adoration is their apostolate, for as their Foundress, Mother Marie of St. Claire, once said: "We are adorers of the Most Blessed Sacrament and the purpose of our adoration is thanksgiving." Essentially, we begin to do on earth what every blessed soul will do for all eternity: praise, adore, and offer thanksgiving to our God.


Here's a snapshot of a visit from a crack journalist:
The monastery is located about 17 miles north of the 17 freeway/Carefree Hwy intersection. Exited on Black Canyon/Rock Springs Exit.
Rolled past St. Joseph's Road.
Thought to myself: "hmmm, should have turned there with a name like that"
Got lost briefly
Turned back to St. Joseph's road. I am a genius.
Found my way up the hill to the chapel. It's familiar now.
Road is very skinny. Makes your butt pucker a little. (blessed by a father with many colloquialisms)
Parked behind priest. Am in the right place.
Letters above door to chapel read Deus Meus et Omnia. I google them later to learn they mean the Franciscan motto: "My God and My All"
I pull on door. Tis locked.
I reflect on Mt 7:7 ask-seek-knock. And I knock.
door opens--I am an uber genius.
Greeted by Sister Mary Fidelis. Breath of sunshine.
Welcomed by Sister Augustine Marie (they are all full of JOY)
Scanning round chapel. Eyes drawn first to tabernacle. I genuflect
It is poised in front of a large picture window overlooking the mountains past the highway. Spectacular.
Panning from left to right: organ, 6 stations, Madonna and Child statue, Relief of St. Michael the Archangel, Infant Child of Prague, BVM bust with crown of roses just above tabernacle, Good Shepherd statue, pieta, remaining stations, St. Joseph, St. Clare, more St. Clare and St. Francis icons. Beautiful.
Sounds only of the movement of the rosary beads and their medals as they silently prep for Mass. Heavens to Betsy...there is no sacristan!
Sisters are adorned in there very heavy robes/albs/scapulars. This is full regalia for Mass. They look amazing.
Mass is prayed w priest facing away from us.
Bells are rung at the appropriate times.
The singing is angelic. Just like EWTN. No instrumentation. No one is off key? Wa?
Alto and soprano parts are sung in Choir one and two respectively.
My harmonies are arrogant. (So I stop)
It is a perfect offering.
Homily is on my patron saint. (major God moment)
I consume the Blessed Sacrament. Day is now complete.
I am at peace and do not want to leave.

Silverclouds have Silver Linings



What a great day it was. Bucketlisted indeed were a few things that were not on my list but can I cheat and stick them there so that today I can say I accomplished them?? Okay, thanks...

1. Day started out in Black Canyon City and a visit to our beloved Desert Nuns: The Poor Clares. I love them all. Sr. Augustine Marie is dear to me; a spiritual fireball and I have felt her prayers. The sisters are a profound treasure to the valley; a trip here would be incomplete unless you pay a visit up St. Joseph's Road (not kidding-and I do mean UP)to visit the site of Our Lady of Solitude. Here's some bio info, but be sure to visit their website and Blog: http://www.desertnuns.com/index.htm

2. Some dear friends had their marriage blessed in the church. Ron and I witnessed their sacramental professions during a very short but sweet ritual at Our Lady of Joy. These folks are fine examples of courage, devotion and the centering of their lives on Christ. I am humbled. Congratulations Don and Theresa!
Bucketlist Item #1: I am finally a Maid of Honor at age 43.

3. Bucketlist Item #2: Got to ride in their 1964 Bently Silver Cloud, replete with reversed british steering. What a nice ride. I want one.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Somersaults around Fear




High Flight


Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth


And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;


Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth


Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things


You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung


High in the sunlit silence.


Hov'ring thereI've chased the shouting wind along, and flung


My eager craft through footless halls of air.


Up, up the long delirious, burning blue, I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace


Where never lark, or even eagle flew -And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod


The high untresspassed sanctity of space,


Put out my hand and touched the face of God.



Pilot Officer Gillespie Magee


No 412 squadron, RCAF


Killed 11 December 1941


I was going to title this post "Death of a Dream" but found that burst of creative angst a bit too melancholy. This poem hung in my bedroom from about age 8 until the time I left for college at age 17. I still have it. Brown around the edges. It represented a time where the dream of pursuing an aviation career loomed very large on my horizon. In fact, I wanted to to be an astronaut. (ok, enough of the space cadet jokes already :-P). My folks took me down to Dayton, OH to the air and space museum where I found this poem and many other things to delight my fancy. I fell in love with the idea of space travel and adventures in galaxies far away from this one. I don't know why I never pursued it; a few bouts of claustrophobia, ideas of joining peace corps, boyfriends, difficulty in math/science. Who knows. I stopped short. I was in fear. This happened a few more times in my life and began to convince me that fear was sort of a thing to be avoided. (same with guilt, shame, anger and other sundry emotions probably more well-intentioned to get us off of our butts and help us grow.)
If we explored the realm of fear as we possibly could explore the realm of space, we might discover a few things about ourselves that might surprise us. Fear is many things, to be sure. To name a few:
Fear is not necessarily an absence of faith. It might be it's very beginnings.
Fear is an emotion to be dealt with, not relegated to a safe corner for unsafe keeping
Fear is meant to inspire us to courage
Fear is an an emotion, nothing more, nothing less; it too, shall pass.
And finally this:
My freedom from unhealthy fear hinges on my belief in an all knowing, all loving Creator who is all power, justice and love; a God who intends for me a purpose, a meaning, and a destiny to grow, however little and haltingly, toward His own likeness and image. ((As Bill Sees It, 51)
I would hope that just as our fallen hero above discovered his ultimate freedom on the day of his eternity: that I too might be able to draw victory from the death of a bugaboo named fear:
FEAR
Killed, at some near date in the very near future.
Til then, I'll get out my grappling hooks and hang on for the rest of the excursion.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Small step for mankind

My husband, Ron will be making his radio debut in the great state of Iowa tomorrow morning with your Sentinel for Online Catholic News: Catholic Edition. He will be broadcasting a 10min segment of a Catholic Radio program (Bill and Rich in the Morning) to give the lead on a bunch of stories we’re posting to our site. He’ll be doing this EVERY DAY, at 4:30am. (Yay Ron!) This ought to really tick off the farmers. Swine flu has nothing on us.

It is my delight to let you know that 3rd story out of the shoot is the ADF / Michigan Church Invasion Group in Delta Twp. I’m not sure if this will drive lots of donor dollars to ADF or not, but I do know that it will further convince Iowans that people from Michigan are loopy.

Loyal readers and friends. If you happen to be awake at 4:30am, think of Ron and the poor farmers.

Yours in print, radio and beyond…
Pax et bonum

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Gr8ful

I have a beautiful mom.
She is 79 years young and living in Iowa with my Brother Jeff, Sis-in-law (sister!) Anne and niece, Chloe. I have very few regrets, but one of them is, without a doubt, that our family is so spread out that we do not get together very often. (Some might say that this may not be such a bad deal, but I digress).
Mom was born in Harrisburg PA to British-born immigrants. The middle child of 3, mom grew up in the depression era and took on odd jobs at early age to help the family make ends meet. She met dad in the 5th grade after they'd moved to Columbiaville, Michigan (yes, it is as small as it sounds). Friends through elementary and High School, they never dated until Dad was enlisted in the Navy; they communicated by postal service and married in 1949, just shortly after Dad was discharged.

Mom is a homebody, by preference, though she did start back to work when I was in Grade 5 in order to help afford putting 3 kids into college. They did not believe in student loans. Fiercly loyal, she remained in her AAA of Michigan job as a claim agent for over 25 years. I can only remember mom calling in sick one time; that was when she broke her nose falling down a flight of stairs on her way to taking her lunch break.

Mom was well-liked. She was comfortable to be around. She was even Mrs. Riverview! (circa 1970). She could laugh with others but more importantly, she could laugh at herself. One time at a Buick Open, mom had to use the port-o-potty...badly. The only mobile potty unit without a line was a handicapper. Feigning a limp, she hobbled down the steep grassy bank as all of us in line observed. After several minutes, mom emerged and bounded up the steep bank: an empty bladder AND a miraculous healing.

She loved to clean, she loved to brag on us, she loved to be a mom. She cooked average meals but she had an extraordinary devotion to us as kids. She was VERY concerned that we always had clean underpants. They came gift-wrapped under the tree every Christmas, Love Santa. She NEVER forgot a birthday, anniversary, get well occasion, retirement yadda. She could spend literally hours in a Hallmark Store. She was strict and had high expectations of our moral character. Yes, I was paddled. Yes, I learned from it. She never claimed any major achievement (other than the coveted Mrs. Riverview title) however, she is my ace in the hole. She was always there. She is still.

In a different way. I miss mom. Her memory has been hi-jacked by altzheimers and so the woman who I would prattle away the hours in conversation with can no longer remember me. She pretends well though! Just like at the Buick. My mom is still the beautiful woman that she was; the difference is in the care-taking. I have a brother and sis-in-law that continue to amaze me by what they have been able to accomplish in the two years since dad died. Daily they show up and do the deal. The roles have reversed. Child is parent - parent is child. They provide a stable, tranquil environment where nobody gets paddled! The universe has truly shifted. I know there have been really hard days, hard weeks. I do confess that I have guilt over lack of participation in the dark realities of caring for and living with aging parent. We are also painfully aware that the day will come soon when Mom will require more ongoing care from the professional community ....this is the next agony. Real love requires great sacrifice and the very best teachers have existed in my own family. I am humbled by these giants around me. Perhaps the genius who determined we hailed from horse thieves was incorrect.

I have a beatiful mom. I think she would say that we turned out alright.
I love you, mom.
I am so grateful.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Practices of Effective Catholic Leaders

From Catholic Edition
Dr. Jaime Pedro

"What is as hot as a Red Sabina Habanero and badly needed in the world today? More effective Catholic leaders! It has been said that the most important religious event of the 20th century was the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council. In its formidable document on the laity, the Council loudly proclaimed that we must "broaden and intensify the work of the laity, create powerful proclaimers of the faith, (and) penetrate, perfect, and totally renew the temporal order of society…" No wonder our United Startes bishops have said that laymen must be leaders in the Church and in society."

Full article continues...

http://catholicexchange.com/2009/05/07/118326/

Monday, May 4, 2009

And Lest We Forget...It's Still Easter



My musical friend and Mistress of the Ivories sent me this back when I couldn't post it...in Lent. My memory stumbled over it the other day and I can't resist posting it up to share with you. Extraordinarily clever.

We, Free Radicals...ND Response

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Population Stats our Grandchildren Will Inherit



Islam will overwhelm Christendom unless Christians recognize the demographic realities, begin reproducing again, and share the gospel with Muslims.

I thought it was helpful to know that our maintainability ratio is helped by Mexican immigration, especially if those immigrating are friendly to Christian beliefs.

There is also a great read by Mark Steyn titled America Alone that reiterates these sobering statistics.