Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Blues

I was feeling quite bah-humbuggish the past few days.  The demands of the season were starting to take their toll.  And, it wasn't the secular trappings of the holiday that really got me down.  In fact, there was very little of that in my home this year.  I hate to admit this but the real reason for going "all-Scrooge" was actually from the musical demands of my job as cantor and the assignments required of me as a theology student.  In the span of one week, I had to learn 8 different Gregorian chants, which for me, is exceedingly difficult as I am not well versed in the nuances of chant.  And, the stress of knowing that I am behind in my classwork was gnawing at me, consuming any thought I had left availble after learning the chant propers.

As I reflect, however, upon the real reason for my unease this Christmas, I realize that it wasn't the feeling of being overwhelmed but the fact that I forgot to give it all up to God. 

I can do all things in God who strengthens me.

How happy would He have been to come to my aid, especially as I prepared to do His work, if I would have just simply laid down my life before Him?  Here He was, knocking at my door, with outstretched hands, ready to lift my burden, and I kept saying, "So sorry, Lord, I'm too busy to answer right now. I've got too many things to learn."  I suppose I hadn't learned the most important lesson:

I can do all things in God who strengthens me. 

Today, now that I have had the opportunity to worship the Lord and spend a Sunday engaging in the work He wants me to do, laying my life fully before him and asking for his assistance, I have a completely different perspective. I really do understand now...

I can do all things in God who strengthens me.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception


Immaculate Mary, your praises we sing.
You reign now in splendor with Jesus our King.
Ave, ave, ave Maria.
Ave, ave Maria.

How many Catholics believe that the Immaculate Conception refers to Jesus being conceived by Mary by way of the Holy Spirit? I hazard to guess that the number might be higher than we'd like to admit.  This feast, first celebrated in the East in the 7th century, gaining a following in the West in the 8th, and now celebrated every December 8th was officially recognized by the Roman Catholic church by Pope Pius IX in 1854.  I figure if it took the Church over 1000 years to gain a full understanding of the nature of Mary's sinlessness, that is, free from original sin, which was only possible by her immaculate conception (through her mother, St. Anne), it might just take us plain and simple, non-theologian Catholics that long to recognize that this feast is related to the conception of Mary, not of Jesus. 

In the meantime, we should pray to Mary that all hearts be converted to the truth of her Son and His Church, that we may come to a better understanding of the state of her sinlessness and that we may look to her as the perfect example of how to follow God's Will and not our own.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Sanctification, Justification, Salvation

If we just go through the motions of our faith (you know, show up at Sunday Mass, say a Rosary, pray before meals and bedtime, check sacraments off the to do list, bless ourselves with holy water, light a candle, own a Bible, display a cross above our door) and don't LIVE our faith, does it really count?

Not sure of the answer?  Read Paul's letter to the Romans.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

To the honorable men and women who fight for our freedom

To you who serve, who have served, and who have shed your blood that we may remain free, I offer you my deepest and heartfelt appreciation.  There is never a time that a tear is not shed when I behold our mighty flag or hear our National Anthem.  I am forever cognizant of the noble and brave sacrifices you have made for me and my fellow Americans. 

To you, I shout: "THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!"

And, may God bless America.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Is it right to pray for people on Death Row?

According to the teachings of the Church, if one dies "in mortal sin without repenting and acceptin God's merciful love means remaining separated from him for ever by our free choice." (CCC 1033) Also, God does not predestine one to go to hell, for going to hell requires a willful and lasting individual choice to turn away from God to the very end. (CCC 1037).

Our call as Christians is to lead all souls to God through evangelization, including those on Death Row. We also know that God does not want "any to perish but to come to repentance" (CCC 1037).  If we are not able to physically spread the Word to those waiting in a cell for their date with death, we can, through prayer, ask for God's merciful grace to pierce the hearts of the unrepentant that they may heed the call to conversion, to enter the "narrow gate."  In fact, His very church, through the faithful, "implore the mercy of God" in our Eucharistic liturgy and daily prayers (CCC 1037). 

Therefore, it is not only right that we pray for the conversion of souls and implore the mercy of God on those, who, sitting on Death Row, have turned their backs on the Father through their great sinful deeds, it is imperative that we do so. 

If God does not want any soul to perish, then we shouldn't either.  

O Heavenly Father,
You who desire the unification of all souls to you,
through your abounding mercy,
pour out your grace to those who, through their wicked deeds,
have turned against you and await final earthly punishment.
Enlighten their minds and their souls so that they come to love you
and make the fervent choice to turn to you through repentance.
Most especially, we ask you to have mercy on the "DC Sniper", John Mohammad,
who sits on Death Row and is scheduled for execution tonight. 
May he desire to see you face to face
and heed your call to conversion before it is too late. 
We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Amen.

Monday, November 2, 2009

All Souls Day

Today, I am praying for those who have died.  Most especially, I am praying for the souls who are in purgatory, for those who never knew love before they passed away, for those who died friendless, alone and abandoned, for those innoncents taken from their mother's wombs, for those who died because of neglect, for deceased priests and religious. 

I came across this beautiful prayer for deceased servants of God from the Dominican Nuns of Summit, NJ.  If you would, please remember them in your prayers today, too.

O God, creator and redeemer of all the faithful, grant to the souls of your servants and handmaids, remission of all their sins, that through loving supplications, they may obtain the favor they have always desired.  For you live and reign forever and ever.  Amen.

Image:  The Day of Judgement from the center panel of the Memling Triptych in Gdańsk.





http://ceciliaschola.org/pdf/diesirae.pdf

Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Halloween Joke...

What did the vampire have for dessert?
Whine and I Scream.

HAVE A BLESSED ALL HALLOWS EVE!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Creepy, but cool...

I think I remember seeing something like this in one of the Star Wars movies and I'm not sure I'd like to see these roaming the streets of Southern California but, imagine the possibilities this exciting technology could bring!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Today's scripture meditation...

"And I tell you, Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.  What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?  If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"
(Luke 11:9-13, RSV)

Questions for reflection:
  • Many times, people stop reading at verse 10 but to understand it, you must keep reading.  In what ways do I interpret this passage?  Do I ask God for material things and earthly favors or do I ask God for his Holy Spirit?
  • When have I been too proud to ask God for help?
  • Think about the times that God has bestowed His Holy Spirit on you.  How did it change your life? 
  • Reflect on when you have done God's will for you.  In what ways has doing his will made your life harder?  In what ways has it made your life easier?  Is it worth it?
  • EXTRA CREDIT:  Read Luke 11:14-28.  What does this passage mean?  How have you shored up your soul to keep it from being overcome by the devil?

What is Theology?

According to Pope Benedict XVI, "Theology therefore becomes meditation, prayer, a song of praise, and the impetus for sincere conversion."  He also advised Christians to meditate on the Bible daily “so that the Word of God will be the lamp that illuminates our daily path on earth."

For more words of wisdom from today's Pope's General Audience in St. Peter's Square, see:  http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=17513

Monday, October 26, 2009

Being Christ-like...

Here are a few instructions, from God Himself, on how to live a Christian life:

Attaining eternal life
Exodus 20:1-17, Deuteronomy 5:6-21 (The Ten Commandments)
Matthew 19:16-19 (Love God and love your neighbor...)

Prayer
Matthew 6:5-15 (Our Father...)

Attitude
Matthew 5:12 (The Beatitudes)

That's not so hard, is it?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Pope Benedict XVI said...

During his catechesis in front of the General Audience in St. Peter's Square on October 21, 2009, the pope emphasized that theology without faith is a vain intellectual exercise.  In quoting St. Bernard of Clairveaux, a master theologian, he emphasized that our faith needs to be nourished by prayer and contemplation and that God can be sought easier through prayer than through discussion. 

I have personally known people who, though they have no formal theological training, possess an intimate knowledge of God because of their devout faith, ferverent prayer life and personal relationship with His son.  It appears, anecdotally at least, that it takes more than just book study and heady discussion to really know God.  In fact, I would ascertain that intimate union with Him is impossible without faith and prayer. Knowledge, quite simply, is not enough.

As Pope Benedict XVI related, "Faith is above all an individual and intimate encounter with Jesus; it means experiencing His closeness, His friendship and His love."

Friday, October 23, 2009

Patience is a virtue

I have noticed that when I pray for the increase of a particular virtue, I am granted that request through the opportunity to practice that virtue.  Case in point:  Last December I made the decision to enroll in the Masters of Biblical Theology Program.  I could hardly contain myself when I received word that I was accepted into the program in March, especially since returning to school to learn theology has been dream of mine for about a decade.  Though school wouldn't start until the last week in September, in my anxiousness to commence my studies, I purchased a laptop computer in May, and in earnest, began to prepare for my return to college.  I often lamented the fact that there wasn't a summer reading list that I could delve into (though my pastor half-humoredly said that all I really needed to read was the Bible...it is a SCRIPTURAL theology degree program, after all).  I was so excited to start classes and drove down to campus for my first class, only to find out that it had been postponed for three hours (a wait I could not make because of other scheduled appointments that day).  Deflated but not defeated, I decided to look at the bright side.  At least the first class would be posted online within 24-48 hours and I could get caught up in time to attend the second session "in house."  Funny thing, though, that class was not posted until the night before the next session.  By golly, I was not going to have enough time to complete the viewing and homework before the next session.  I was also told that one of the classes I wanted to take was being postponed until next quarter and was offered another class (of course, that class was being held at a time I was not able to make on campus).  No big deal, I thought.  I could easily take up that class online too.  Maybe there was a silver lining in that I could study everything in my jammies and not worry about being called on by the teacher (I don't like being put on the spot).

Now here's where the patience part comes in.  Four weeks have gone by since the start of the quarter and I have discovered that there's no telling when my classes will post.  It appears that there's a technical glitch which is out of the university's control at the moment. I was stressed about getting started.  Even perturbed and feeling downright put out.  After all, I could not wait until school began and I did pay a hefty sum to the school when I signed the enrollment agreement.  But, after some internal grumbling, I came to the realization that I was being given EXACTLY what I have been praying for...patience, in the form of praticing it.  How else is one to learn patience if there is no opporutnity to apply it.  Without the chance to become skilled at being patient, the virtue becomes merely a shallow definition, an intellectual exercise with no experience to make it real and permanent.

So, I am resigned to leave it all in God's hands and in His time. If indeed it is He who is calling me to know and love Him better, He will provide ALL I need, even if it's not to my expectations or liking.  After all, I really do have an eternity to get to know Him.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The answer to fear is...

"Jesus, I trust in you."

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Happiness is...

Remember those "Happiness is..." cartoons?  You know, the ones with the little guy and flowers from the 1970's?  I happened to think about that comic strip series and I decided to create a "Happiness is..." litany here:

Happiness is...

...having my dog immediately roll over when she sees me so I can give her a big ol' belly rub
...the sound of a child laughing
...a blue sky with white wispy clouds
...seeing swirls of Damascus Rose incense rise to the cupola at church and going home and smelling its sweet fragrance in my hair and on my clothes
...kissing hands, kissing head and cuddle time with my sons at bedtime
...a funny knock-knock joke (anyone know one?)
...a well crafted pun
...teaching my kids about Faith, church, life, love and God
...homemade presents for Mother's Day
...a good iPhone app
...a warm bed on a cold and rainy night.
...a loving husband who puts up with all my medical mysteries
...great friends
...a tall mug of hot English breakfast tea in the morning
...being able to drive the kids to school in my jammies
...teasing my husband on Facebook
...making my kids laugh so hard they cry
...making myself laugh so hard I cry
...listening to God
...soft goat cheese and lox on an onion bagel
...the song birds sing early in the morning on a "backcountry" campout.
...a full harvest moon in a partly cloudy, moisture heavy sky.
...a shooting star
...when my son works really hard at making his writing better and comes home with his first "A" on a writing assignment.
...Praying the rosary.
...Eucharistic adoration on Tuesdays before picking the boys up from school.
...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sierra always makes me smile...


I love this dog! She's a terrific companion, so sweet, so loving. She leans against me in her version of a hug just to say "hi, I'm here." When I'm working on my homework, she lays under my desk at my feet, content to hear the click clack of my keyboard, knowing that I will bend down and scratch behind her ear and rub her fat belly every so often. She's been a member of our family since we adopted her in July of 2008 and I can honestly say that I can't remember what life was like without her.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

On the passing of a beacon of Christ's light

Today, Sammi McClellan, Deacon Jayce's wife, lost her battle with cancer and passed from this life into the next. My heart is heavy for the family and friends she left behind. Through their loving marriage, Sammi and Deacon Jayce gave us the perfect example of the meaning of true love; that is, complete sacrifice for one another as the perfection of God's love in them. Their sacred sacramental union, designed by God, is the epitome of Jesus' message in this morning's readings at Mass (27th Sunday, Ordinary Time, Year B). What God joins, may man not separate.

Today, our loss, the passing of a beacon of Christ's light here on our temporary earth, is Heaven's gain.

In paradisum deducant te Angeli; in tuo adventu suscipiant te martyres, et perducant te in civitatem sanctam Ierusalem. Chorus angelorum te suscipiat, et cum Lazaro quondam paupere æternam habeas requiem.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Happy Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, archangels!


Happy Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, archangels!


Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle;
be our protection against
the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray:
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan
and all the evil spirits
who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.
Amen.
Read More at:
EWTN's Saints and other Holy People
The Sacred Scriptures have revealed the proper names

Monday, September 28, 2009

My body's falling apart...Thank God!

Yes, I really mean it. And, no, I'm not being sarcastic. Thank God my body's falling apart. It is finally giving out meaningful clues as to why I am in pain. But deeper than that, I am profoundly thankful for the struggle. In the fight for my health and the quest towards diagnosis, I am finding more meaning and clarity in God's will for me. He has blessed me with innumerable life challenges and this one is no different. Each medical mystery bestowed upon me has me running towards His embrace. It is much easier to remember that I need God for EVERYTHING when I can do very little for myself these days. When my brain has a problem remembering humility, the frailty of my body reminds me. There is no room for "woe is me," no time for "what if?" no patience for "why me?" when the Lord's joyful grace has invaded my mind, heart and soul. He truly is my "all in all." So, I say to life, "bring it on!" and I will offer all that I have, happiness and pain, to God in supplication and in gratitude for all He gives me.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Oremus pro invicem!

Let us pray for one another!

Imagine the world. Imagine it if all of God's children prayed for one another in all charity and truth. It is easy to pray for those we love. It is a more difficult task to pray for those we despise.

If we, in true love, pray for our enemies, however, our hearts are changed. It may take a while or it may happen the instant of your first prayer; at any rate, we begin to see our malefactors as God sees them...His children. When we allow grace to infiltrate our intentions, our Heavenly Father softens our hearts of stone. Our own righteous indignation drains from our souls and light reaches to every dark corner, illuminating our call; the call to love one another as the Father has loved us.

When we pray for those we find difficult, aware of the change or not, we become awash with the virtues of patience, kindness, charity, mercy and peace. Those who annoy us may continue to do so but our perspective is revolutionized and we no longer see them as enemies before us.

Oremus pro invicem!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

So, what does God do for us anyway?

Ever been asked that question? Ever wondered that yourself? Psalm 146, the responsorial psalm for this week (23rd Sunday Ordinary Time, Year B) explains it so nicely, I thought I'd quote it here (in responsory form):

A: Praise the Lord, my soul!
R: Praise the Lord, my soul!

The God of Jacob keeps faith forever,

secures justice for the oppressed,
gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets captives free.

The Lord gives sight to the blind;
the Lord raises up those who were bowed down.
The Lord loves the just;

The Lord protects strangers.

The fatherless and the widow the Lord sustains,
but the way of the wicked he thwarts.
The Lord shall reign forever;

your God, O Zion, through all generations, Alleluia.

R: Praise the Lord, my soul!

Ain't He wonderful? All this for us sinners who don't deserve his mercy!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Doing the unexpected

As I pondered a dinner party that I will be hosting during the upcoming Halloween season, I became wrapped up in all I needed to buy or make in order to make the party the most fabulously Halloween-themed decorated event I've held. It's been the expectation of many of my friends that, being the "Halloween Queen" in years past," I will go overboard in the decor, especially since I did not decorate for the night last year. If left unchecked, I could easily spend upwards of $2500 purchasing new decor to replace the old stuff that was ruined two years ago from the fire ash that blanketed the county I live in. But, to what end? Scripture admonishes us: "Why spend your money for what is not bread; your wages for what fails to satisfy? Heed me, and you shall eat well, you shall delight in rich fare." (Isaiah 55:2).

So, I shall do the unexpected. If I decorate, it will be modestly, using what I already have, for I have more than I need.

I would rather my friends expect me to live modestly, in accordance to God's law, than to expect a spectacle.
__________________________
By the way, if you're interested in the ghosts of extravagant decorating past, click on the short clips below:


video


video

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Father's Love

Whether we're facing seemingly insurmountable obstacles, preparing to scale the "cliffs of insanity" or heading toward a dark tunnel where the end is unclear, God is ready to hold our tiny, child-like hand, if only we are willing to reach up and grab it.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

My dream...

In exploring what I really love to do (and I'm good at), I've discovered a way to put all my passions into one. What do I love? Well, here's the list, in no particular order:

Music
Baking
Cooking for a crowd
Taking pictures of serence places and landscapes
Any craft involving wire and beads
Stacks and stacks of books
Home decorating
Studying Holy Scripture

While my job as a cantor affords me the opportunity to combine two of my loves, I think I could put it all together in a little independent coffee shop or bed and breakfast. I envision a place where live Christian music could be offered on a very tiny stage, where I could serve up delectable items made from my home garden, decorating the place with photos I've taken and "happy thoughts" painted by the family and customers, offer a corner of the place for other artists to display and sell their work, make wired and bead decorated candle holders from recycled glass jars for the tables, have a Catholic Christian book lending library in a small room off the main where I could lead Bible studies and teach craft classes. The venue could be called "Martha and Mary's Place." And, it would be closed on Sundays.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Friends and Acquaintences, Part II

Reconnecting with friends you've lost touch with is a beautiful thing.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friends and Acquaintences

"There are friends who pretend to be friends, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." (Proverbs 18:24)

I've had a pity party of late. Yes, it's true. I'm starting to feel bad about the fact that I don't have hundreds of "friends" on facebook, or for that matter, in the real world. Here I am, a grown woman, feeling unpopular and unloved because barely anyone comments on my status updates or sad that I'm not invited to every dinner party. How stupid is that?!? What, am I, like, in junior high?!? Wah, wah, whatever!!!

There are very few people who love me and accept me for the warped, crazy, God-fearing person that I am, blemishes, weaknesses and all. I never have to pretend around those friends. There is no need to worry about offending their sensibilities when it comes to discussing the Divine. They don't care that I look silly in plaid bermuda shorts or that I'm letting my hair go gray. They enjoy my eccentricities, even sometimes praise me for my unabashed quirkiness. What freedom I have in those relationships! Maybe the reason I feel so comfortable around the few companions I have is because my soul already knows we are called to build up the Body of Christ through meaningful friendships (note the emphasis on meaningful). In living a righteous life, it is imperative to surround oneself with those who will support you in doing God's will; with their counsel, their companionship, their prayers, their love and their character. There is no furthering of the Kingdom without the spiritual help of a true friend.

The proverb is true. It really is better to keep a few friends close than to be surrounded by lots of so called "friends" who really don't give a crap.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Not a stroke of genius but a bit o' luck (and a numb butt)

SPOILER ALERT: This post may contain secrets the professional photographer may not want the average Joe Schmoe to know...
While understanding the photographical concepts of light, f-stops, exposure, color, composition and contrast is important, more often it is crucial to be precisely at the right place at the right moment in order to get that "perfect" shot: Having good luck, if you will, is part of the game. But, sometimes you can create your own luck by using a digital camera with a very large memory card so you can literally shoot hundreds if not thousands of photos to capture that one cool shot. Of course, it also helps to have patience, lots of free time and a good pair of glasses in order to sift through those hundreds of images.
Oh, and you also have be indifferent to the butt numbness that invariably strikes while sitting in front of the computer, staring for hours at those hundreds of pictures in the quest for the best and greatest shots.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Lifelong Bondage vs. Eternal Freedom: A Meditation on Hebrews 2:14

Those who live in fear of their death live in bondage. For it is that fear that causes man to waste time, effort money, spirit in order to avoid death and the process of dying (in the form of aging). We spend much energy to achieve, possess, experience all while in this life. We perform to great effort keeping our bodies to some arbitrary perfect man-made ideal. Yet, it all keeps us in the chains of earthly desire. It is in our dying in Christ, both physically and metaphysically, that we are truly free. For it is in Christ that we have all...the promise of eternal life. The devil has the power of death but Christ has the power OVER death.

So, I pose to you this simple question: Who needs wrinkle cream when the body will be perfected upon its rising on the last day?

Where art thou?

O sleep, most delicious, restful sleep, where art thou? Why dost thou hide thy face from thee? Have thou dost abandoned thee forever? Didst thou subject thee to insomnia's wretched grip? O sleep, come back to thee.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Gotta start using more technology...

iphone...check
hp smart touch laptop...check
ipod touch...check
livescribe pulse smartpen...check
amazon kindle ebook...check
the faith database cd...check
sharper image battery operated alarm clock with nature sounds...check
oral-b cordless toothbrush...check
digital SLR camera...check
yamaha digital piano...check
family calendar on microsoft outlook...check
online banking...check
email, facebook, twitter and a blog...check

If we ever run out of electricity in this country, I'm hosed.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Bragging rights.


Wow! I won a photography contest with this photo at Yosemite that I took while camping with the family in June. I just LOVE this shot and I feel very fortunate that I had the opportunity to shoot it! I especially like the subtle commentary on God and man....in the foreground, something man created; simple, interesting, functional. In the background, something GOD-created; majestic, awe-inspiring, functional.
I think God has every right to brag about this one...not the picture (I merely captured what He created long ago) but the view.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

If you don't know what you believe, then how is it belief?

Many people profess to being Catholic. But, if you were to ask those Catholics what they believe, they might not be able to tell you. They know in their hearts that what they practice is real and will demonstrate their love of God through their holy actions, but they may not be able to explain why they believe what they believe. My pastor, in his homily today, said, "it is necessary for us to awaken our own desire to know our faith better, to understand the teachings and implications of what we are called to believe. Only then can we be credible witnesses of Christ in and out of season." I whole heartedly agree. If we don't know God, then how can we really LOVE Him? Haven't you ever heard the saying, "to know me is to love me?" The same holds true for the One who loved us first and loves us best. God even tells us this in Proverbs: "It is not good for a man to be without knowledge, and he who makes haste with his feet misses the way." (Prov 19:2 RSV-CE). We are admonished in Sirach that before we are to speak, we are to learn. (Sir 18:19 RSV-CE)


Some may say that love is an emotion (actually, some say love, it is a river but I digress). I say that it is an intellectional decision based on factors we may find, on the surface, attractive, but ultimately are grounded firmly in truth. Think back on a time that you were absolutely "in love" with someone. Didn't you want to know EVERYTHING about that person? The same is true for God. If we are to love Him, we are to know as much as we can about Him. Getting to know the Lord seems daunting: Where do we look, where do we turn? But, it's really VERY easy. Though God speaks to us in whispers when our hearts are still, his voice actually thunders in the book of his Word. The fundamental things we need to know are contained in that divinely inspired collection of books. Right now, you may be thinking..."But, how do we know what the things in the Bible mean? It all seems so confusing." That's where Holy-Spirit-guided human intervention is helpful. First and foremost, read what the leaders of the Church (the saints, Church doctors, popes) throughout the ages have had to say about Scripture and its interpretation. Second, don't just go on autopilot during Mass every Sunday. Our priests do a fine job of explaining the Word during the homillies. Third, take classes through your parish or diocese. Fourth, go to RCIA classes. And, last but not least, the more adventurous should enroll in a Master's of Biblical Theology (like the program available at John Paul the Great Catholic University http://www.jpcatholic.com/academics/theology.php).

Be prepared, though. Once you begin getting to know God, your life will NEVER be the same!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

bing, Bang, BOOM!

Three cheers for the old red, white and blue!

Happy Birthday, America!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Is there anything more humiliating?

Ok, maybe there are things more humiliating than shopping for a bathing suit. But, I continue to find it rough, even when my virtual model at Lands End is trying the clothes and modeling the fit for me. I find it both fascinating and sad that my virtual model looks a lot like the real me, sans the cellulite. Couldn't Land End just make her look a little thinner? You know, like department store dressing room mirrors fool you into thinking you're smaller than you are because, in reality, these mirrors come from the fun house mirror supply warehouse?

And, why is it, that at 42 years old, married 21 years and two kids wiser, I am STILL worried about what I look like to other people? Maybe I should just carry a sign that says, "If you don't like the gushy tushy and the blinding glare, avert your eyes."

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Good news, bad news

Good news: My wonderful new doctor prescribed medication to help me fall asleep.

Bad news: The pharmacy has to special order it so I won't be able to take it until four days from now.

Oh well, what's four days when I've been experiencing bouts of insomnia for at least 25 years?

I LOVE my new doctor!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Would you, could you, in a box? Would you, could you, with a fox?

I would not, not in a million years, not for a million triple-dog-dare-ya's, not for a million dollars (ok, maybe for a million dollars)...I would not step out onto one of the Sears Towers' new SkyDeck glass balconies. It gives me vertigo just looking at the pictures:(http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap_travel/us_sears_tower_ledge)

Besides, just imagine how many mojitos could be contained if the materials were used properly; for cocktail glasses...

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Can't believe I'm doing this...

In the midst of life hectic, it seems completely unreasonable to start blogging. But, here I am writing down minutiae that I'm sure no one will read or care about. It's at least giving me something to do in my frequent moments of insomnia. Those who know me will admit to my nature, seemingly conflicted, bouncing between silliness and spiritual seriousness. To those who don't know me, it is important for you to understand that all I do is because God has encompassed my heart completely. You may not always agree with what I have to say or even understand my warped sense of humor, but hopefully there will be something entertaining or enlightening or just plain silly to fascinate you.

To all who visit this blog, welcome.