Friday, December 21, 2007

I've been Blessed (in More Ways Than 1!)

I was blessed by SwissMiss over at St. Monica's Kneeler, and as with any blessing its effectiveness is directly proportional to how well it is passed on. (BTW Swiss, I've been told that the Carmelite way to say Thank-you is to say God reward you with the unspoken, facetious, tongue-in cheek extension as only He can! with all the possible meanings of it intended! ;-) )

Her original posting follows:

I hope that it becomes a means of blessing that you will enjoy bestowing upon others. My hope is that this becomes like the traditional tag game we all play on our blogs from time to time, except that the recipient can only tag three people and that the purpose of this exercise is to see how far this can go and how many people we can bless in the blogsphere.In other words, rather than being a me me me meme, it’s actually all about someone else, which I suspect for most of us, will make a refreshing change.It’d be great if we could stretch it all around the world, it would be like joining hands around the earth’s circumference, only electronically!

But hey, that may be a little ambitious!It’s going to be a slow game.And that’s okay. If all it encourages us to do is to spend five minutes in prayer for someone else and to brighten their day by letting them know that they touch our hearts and minds and souls, then isn’t it worth it even if it only reaches the end of the next bus stop? I reckon so.

So how does it work? While it is my wish to bless all who read this blog, for the purposes of starting this little endeavour it is necessary that I ‘bless’ 3 blogfriends, who may in turn ‘bless’ 3 blogfriends.Let’s use a simple format, and let’s make it even simpler by suggesting that the recipient simply copies and pastes the following section when they become the recipient of a bloggin blessing themselves, as


The idea… it’s a game of tag with a difference, rather than looking inwardly, we look outside ourselves and bless, praise and pray for one blog friend. By participating in this endeavour we not only make the recipient of the blessing feel valued and appreciated, but we are having some fun too. We’re going to see how far the bloggin’ blessings can travel around the world and how many people can be blessed! Recipients of a bloggin’ blessing may upload the above image to their sidebar if they choose to. If you receive a blogginblessin’ please leave a comment on this thread here so that we can rejoice in just how many blessings have been sent around the world!

May God bless:

Puff the Magic Dragon, for being the 1st to put me on a blogroll (thank God she spared me the onions!)

Dawn Eden, for being a blogger who, like me, tries to prove that the pun is mightier than the sword

Stephanie, who is proof positive that God is a dog lover!

A Prayer for Puff, Dawn, & Steph:

May the Blessing of Almighty God;

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit;

descend upon you and remain with you forever.



and that’s it, nearly…

So, all these three have have to do is to:

  • Bless 3 blog buddies each.

  • Include the ‘God Bless you’ image in their post.

  • Explain briefly why they are blessing the people they are blessing.

  • Pray/include in the post the prayer for the recipients of the blessing.

  • The recipient/sender of a blessing should type in the com box of Deb's original post that a blessing has been sent to them so we can keep track of how many blessings are being given. For easy reference a link to her post will make it into Deb's sidebar.

Sounds a bit confusing, I know. But it could be fun, we’ll soon see!Thanks for playing along!

The larger ‘God Bless you’ image can also be sent as an E-Card from Deb's Credo Christian E-Cards website.

God Bless you!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I've Been Meme'd (and It's Giving Me a Case of the Screaming Mimi's)

(For those with inquiring minds, apparently there's quite a history behind the word meme.)

I've been tapped by Puff the Magic Dragon & Bear-i-tone over at The Spirit's Sword. Now, I'm not a big theater visitor when it comes to movies, so I often don't see them until they come on cable. Here's my response to the meme:

100 Film Meme

1. Your favorite five movies that are on the list.
I. Citizen Kane
II. Raiders Of The Lost Ark
III. It’s A Wonderful Life
IV. Dr. Strangelove
V. Blade Runner

Honorable Mentions:
12 Angry Men, Casablanca, The Grapes Of Wrath, High Noon, The Maltese Falcon, Rear Window, Star Wars, To Kill A Mockingbird, Toy Story, The Wizard Of Oz, Yankee Doodle Dandy

2. Five (six) movies on the list you didn’t like at all.
2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, The Godfather, Rocky, Titanic, Tootsie

3. Five movies on the list you haven’t seen but want to.
Only 2: Saving Private Ryan, Schindler's List

4. Five movies on the list you haven’t seen and have no interest in seeing.
Annie Hall, Do The Right Thing, Gone With The Wind, Midnight Cowboy, Pulp Fiction, The Silence Of The Lambs

5. Your favorite five movies that aren’t on the list. (in no particular order. This list could go on much longer than 5)
Scrooged, Harry Potter (all), Casino Royal (with David Niven), Jesus Christ Superstar, Godspell, A Man for All Seasons, Man of La Mancha, Fiddler on the Roof, The Road Pictures (Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Dorothy Lamore), Going My Way & The Bells of St. Mary’s, Lilies of the Fields (the original)…

I think all the bloggers I normally visit have been meme'd with this one. If you haven't been, concider yourself meme'd.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Prayer Request

I was just contacted by an attorney claiming to represent a collection agency about a debt I can't afford to pay. I need some guidance from the Holy Spirit as to what to do next. Maybe St. Matthew (patron of bankers) can intercede too!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Is McGarrett in the house?

(Cue the music, the hula dancer, and the breaking wave...)
Yesterday was my big five-oh.
When I was diagnosed with diabetes when I was two, my mother was told I would be lucky to see my 16th birthday. However, my mother was an RN who had been trained at a nursing school associated with the Mayo Clinic, and had been there when the clinic was doing diabetes studies. In addition, her mother was Polish to the core, so you never gave Mom a challenge she didn't want to hear. So here I am having beaten that deadline 3 times over, and while my health could be better, I have not been a victim of most diabetic side effects of kidney failure, blindness, and loss of digits.
I have always have had fix feelings about the timing of my birthday. Because of its proximity to Thanksgiving, my family often moved the celebration to the holiday so I've had turkeys and pumpkin pies with candles on them. (Parents, if you have children whose birthdays are close to holidays please keep the birthday distinct from the holiday and special in its own right. In my case, the birthday was celebrated second to the holiday so the special-ness was lost).
My worst birthday was my sixth. It was the day after November 22, 1963.
But now after a half century of life, I can appreciate how blessed I have been. I've seen men on the moon, I have been involved with personal computers from the beginning, and I had one of the first money machine cards. I can also proudly say I have never owned a cell phone! (although my phone service is over the Internet. Geek 2 da core!) I have seen my nieces and nephews grow from mere gleams in their parents' eyes to fine young men and women. And I've earned every grey hair in my beard!
Will I see another 50? God alone knows, although my doctors are pestering me into lifestyle changes so I may get the chance.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Faith in These Times of Trial

I see from the dates in my blog that it has been over a month since I wrote anything. I was going over some old reflection I wrote some time ago and thought this might be relevant.

A reading from the letter to the Hebrews
Faith is confident assurance concerning what we hope for, and conviction about things we do not see. Because of faith the men of old were approved by God. By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called, and went forth to the place he was to receive as a heritage; he went forth, moreover, not knowing where he was going. By faith he sojourned in the promised land as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs of the same promise; for he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose designer and maker is God. By faith Sarah received power to conceive though she was past the age, for she thought that the One who had made the promise was worthy of trust. As a result of this faith, there came forth from one man, who was himself as good as dead, descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and the sands of the seashore.

All of these died in faith. They did not obtain what had been promised but saw and saluted it from afar. By acknowledging themselves to be strangers and foreigners on the earth, they showed that they were seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking back to the place from which they had come, they would have had the opportunity of returning there. But they were searching for a better, a heavenly home. Wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. By faith Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac; he who had received the promises was ready to sacrifice his only son, of whom it was said, "Through Isaac shall your descendants be called." He reasoned that God was able to raise from the dead, and so he received Isaac back as a symbol.

The Word of the Lord.
Text from :: Lectionary for Mass
Lectionary for Mass, Copyright © 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; © 1969, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved.

There is a relationship between Faith and remembering. This reading from Hebrews reflects this relationship. The author remembers the key figures from Jewish history and uses their experiences to shape his faith in God’s plan for him. Both Christianity and Judaism are remembering peoples. For the Jewish people there are two great remembering festivals, Hanukkah and Passover. The first celebrates a great victory during which a lamp with but a single day’s supply of oil burned for 8 days. The second celebrates Israel’s deliverance from Egypt.

For Christians the 2 great seasons are Lent (culminating in Easter) and Advent (which leads, of course to Christmas). During Lent one remembers the redemptive act of Christ, and during Advent we remember the loving guidance of God throughout history leading to the Incarnation. We also have the great Sacrament of remembrance, the Eucharist, in which we are requested to “do this in remembrance of me.” For both Christians and the Jewish people the act of remembrance isn’t a matter of history, but an active participation in the events themselves. We aren’t bystanders, but actors in the events we celebrate.

My faith life depends on me to remember what God has done for me. Socrates once said that the unexamined life isn’t worth living. I once applied to join a religious order, and was rudely turned down. For years I was angry with God over having to jump through hoops. Now, however, I look back and see that, although I was rejected by the order for lousy reasons, it was the best result for me. I wouldn’t have been happy in that environment, and, more importantly, God wasn’t calling me to that vocation but I was pushing myself into that life. Now, I try to have a more listening attitude with God, which from my understanding is what faith is all about.

My suggestion is that we take stock of what God is asking us. I doubt for most of us that He will ask us for anything earth shattering. For most of us, including myself, it might be to shut up and listen.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Telling Tales Out of Class...

A number of my fellow bloggers are having tough times, which reminds me of this anecdote attributed to Teresa of Avila.

She was traveling from Carmelite house to Carmelite house making a "Grand Tour". On this particular day it was raining and her mule was acting up. Finally she fell off the mule and landed on her southern exposure right in the middle of a puddle. Looking heavenward with an exasperated expression Teresa muttered, "If this is the way You treat Your friends, no wonder You have so few of them!"

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Another Great Line...

from Amazing Grace
Shit happens...
What's important is how you clean it up.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Good Food Newz!

The AMA had it wrong when they issued their "Food Pyramid". It has been determined that there is a new hierarchy of good foods and I'm the first to announce it. Here is the list of the 5 Basic Food Groups:

Fat - Hey, if it don't taste good don't eat it!
Sugar - Needed for a sweet disposition
Caffeine - If you ain't wired you're fired. Espresso counts as being doubly good for ya.
Salt - So that you'll be well preserved
Chocolate - I know this is covered by at least two of the groups above, but it is soooo good that it deserved a category of its own.

Worthy of honorable mention: Alcohol, but I'm on so many medications that interact with it that I couldn't verify test results, so you'll have to decide on your own!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

From This Blog to God's Ear...

You Should Drive a Porsche

Flashy and a bit of a show off, you can't help but love a car that shouts your high status.

1 of the 5 Basic Food Groups...

What Your Latte Says About You

You are easygoing and pretty simple to please. You don't put up a fuss... ever.

You can be quite silly at times, but you know when to buckle down and be serious.

Intense and energetic, you aren't completely happy unless you are bouncing off the walls.

You're addicted to caffeine. There's no denying it.

You are responsible, mature, and truly an adult. You're occasionally playful, but you find it hard to be carefree.

You are deep and thoughtful, but you are never withdrawn.

I Knew I Was "Spaced-Out"

Which Author's Fiction are You?

Robert Heinlein wrote you - your stranger in a strange land, you.
Take this quiz!

Quizilla | Join Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code

Friday, August 10, 2007

A (Friday) Morning Prayer

Blessed are You, O God of Creation,
Through Your Goodness, we have this doughnut to offer
Born of the fat, and loaded with sugar,
It shall add pounds to the thighs.

Blessed are You, O God of Creation,
Through Your Goodness, we have this coffee to offer
Fruit of the bean, and brewed by human hands,
It shall be our “heavenly” drink.

Query: if Christ used the basic foodstuffs of His time to institute the Eucharist, would He use coffee and doughnuts if He came today? (Inquiring minds want to know….)

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

On Being Vulgar

I used to teach in the RCIA program, and was trained as a Chemist in college (although I had enough units of Theology and Philosophy through the original St. Ignatius Institute at USF to have qualified for a minor in those subjects anywhere else). So I have the (some might say bad) habit to try and look at any subject from as many angles as possible. That does not mean I am a relativist. There has to be an objective reality before one can have a discussion on any subject. One of the greatest disservices done to Einstein was to take relativity out of the physics lab and to apply it to everything else.

Whoops! Got lost there for moment. What I meant to say is that I like to look at things from ail sides, like taking a die to see that each face is numbered differently. Now many Catholic blogs have been discussing the Pope’s allowing greater access to the “Latin Mass”. I, for myself, prefer participating in the vernacular, in the vulgar tongue. While I love the language contained in the tradition (the Papal “we”, “Pope So-and-so of happy memory“, etc.); I have no facility for languages and so have no desire to learn Latin. Those coming into the Church through the RCIA program have enough difficulties (inadequate preparation from bad RCIA programs, pressure from family and friends, etc.) learning the “big-“T” Tradition without having to handle the minor small-”t” traditions (there are some important small-”t” traditions which border on being big-”T” traditions like the celibate priesthood) but I digress again.

It was a bad decision by many bishops to remove access to the Latin Mass, no doubt. Many were alienated because the means by which they were able to commune with God was taken from them. In addition, many, in the name of reform, went far beyond what was outlined by Vatican II (like substituting Jonathan Livingston Seagull for the Scripture; beautiful prose but not God’s Canon according to the community of the Church).

I take a historical (or maybe hysterical) point-of-view. The Last Supper was probably in Hebrew and Aramaic, and there are Catholic rites, which still use those languages. As the Church got more international, the languages of Egyptian (probably used by St. Augustine), and Koine Greek (the commonest language and the language of commerce at the time of St. Paul through to the end of the Roman Empire) became the language of liturgy. Latin became the language to know when Catholicism came out of the Catacombs and entered the courts of the nobility. I have not researched this, but I suspect the purists of the time bemoaned the loss of the Greek (in fact, the term vulgar came into the vocabulary at this time, which is why the official translation of the Bible is called the Vulgate). Latin remained a common tongue in Europe and the America’s until the Second World War (at least among the educated classes). After that, due to end of colonialism, the growth of commerce, and the Internet, English is becoming the common tongue.

Who knows, maybe in the far, far, FAR future someone will be bemoaning, in Esperanto, the loss of English as liturgical language

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

For the Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola: What makes a (Great) Saint?

The great (and toothsome) sinners are made out of the very same material as those horrible phenomena the great Saints.
from Screwtape’s Toast from
The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis

There is a new program on TNT called “Saving Grace”. The title character is an extremely unstable person whose way of life is morally objectionable (The show is rated TV-MA). She is told by a drinking, tobacco chewing angel that she is on the freeway to that hot area extremely south of the Pearly Gates. There is some humor as exampled by a black and white marking resembling a portrait of Jesus (leading to one of the characters to remark “Holy Cow”.

This show got me to thinking about Screwtape’s Toast. It is a possible address of a senior demon to lesser devils after a formal dinner. I recommend it to all, especially if you do not have time to read the whole book. (Also, I do not recommend reading the book if you are depressed or have a case of scruples).

It occurs to me that most of us are not great saints (or sinners) because we do not make the effort. We are complacent to be average, to be mediocre. I think a study of the great saints’ lives point out Screwtape’s observation. Although there are exceptions (like Mother Teresa of Calcutta), many of the saints (like Augustine, Ignatius of Loyola, Francis of Assisi) had rather dubious lifestyles before they awakened to Christ’s influence in their lives. Even the brash Peter and zealous Paul were not immune of this distinction. It makes one wonder what kind of saints Judas Iscariot, Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin would have made if they had converted and used their talents for good?

Of course, the opposite is true as well. Hitler, Count Dracula, and those involved (whether indicted of not, false accusers and guilty religious) with the recent sex scandals, are all examples of gifted people who chose to misuse their God given talents. All talents are gifts of God, but we are free to direct them for God’s Glory or for our own selfish purposes.

What should we do then? First, pray for the Holy Spirit to guide us in our actions. Repent and confess our shortcoming. For those who we think are misguided, pray for their conversion. Do not condemn or judge them, for we do not know what shaped their decisions, and none of us is innocent enough to “cast the first stone”.

Maybe by such actions we will assist in the generation of a new crop of Great Saints (and God knows we need them!)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

My 1st Post!

Every speaker knows that a joke is a great way to break the ice, so I relate a couple of my favorite Catholic jokes:
The Greatest Order
Told to me by a Dominican
The orders of the Catholic Church were arguing about which of them was the best order in the Church, and the argument was getting violent. The Carmelites were citing John of the Cross, and Teresa of Avila, the Dominicans were citing Dominic and Thomas Aquinas, the Franciscans cited Bonaventura and Francis. So the Pope called all the orders together to Rome to pray a novena so that the Holy Spirit would guide him in resolving the issue. Masses, Rosaries, and all sort of prayers were offered for nine days for an inspired answer to the question.
On the ninth day the participants were approaching the front doors of St. Peter's and observed a paper fluttering in the breeze which had been tacked to the door. None dare approach the sheet, but fears of another Martin Luther were foremost in their minds. Finally the Holy Father approached and took the sheet down, and read the letter aloud to the assembled religious:
My dear beloved sons and daughters:
I love all my children equally.
God, S.J.

What the Evangelist Left Out

The men brought the woman to Jesus and told Him that she had been caught in adultery. Jesus told them "Let the one without sin cast the first stone." There was a prolong silence as each man considered his sins. Suddenly, a stone whistled past Jesus' ear and hit the woman squarely between the eyes. Jesus whipped around and exclaimed: "Mother!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"