Wasted Away in Paradise

Wasted Away in Paradise

My husband and I broke the cardinal rule of residents in the Paradise of the south…NEVER go to the beach during the tourist season. Fighting the traffic and crowds sometimes just isn’t worth it. But it was 75 degrees, the sun was shining in all it’s glory so we chanced crossing the causeway to one of the quiet islands still a bit of a secret to the winter visitors. Apparently, somewhere between the winter exodus of 2010 and the welcome visitors of 2011…someone let the cat out of the bag. We could hardly find a parking place and once on the warm white sands you could see beach umbrella’s three rows deep and miles down the shore. Oh well, that’s life in the Sunshine State. We still got in a good walk letting the warmth of the...

Silence is Better Than Good Words

Silence is Better Than Good Words

As an oblate of St. Benedict, I am continually learning from my brothers the priceless gift of silence. Let us follow the Prophet’s counsel: I said, I have resolved to keep watch over my ways that I may never sin with my tongue. I was silent and was humbled, and I refrained even from good words (Ps 38[39]:2-3). 2Here the Prophet indicates that there are times when good words are to be left unsaid out of esteem for silence. For all the more reason, then, should evil speech be curbed so that punishment for sin may be avoided. 3Indeed, so important is silence that permission to speak should seldom be granted even to mature disciples, no matter how good or holy or constructive their talk, 4because it is written: In a flood of words you will not avoid sin (Prov...

The Surest Way on The Highway to Heaven

The Surest Way on The Highway to Heaven

There is a way that seems right to a man, but it’s end is the way to death. —Proverbs 14: 12 I got lost using my GPS yesterday. That can only happen to me. It was a Christmas present from my sister who insisted that with all the driving and chauffering I do, I needed one. My nephews wrote the sweetest card with it: Dear Aunt Caroline, Now you can be sure you’ll find your way on your Highway to Heaven. I wasn’t thinking of that yesterday as my mom and I sat in a parking lot almost reduced to tears because apparently, it had lost the satellite after I had made it recalculate too many times. See, I liked my route better and tried to avoid some of the highways I prefer not to use. The result was we were lost, late for...

A Loyal Friend

A loyal friend is a powerful defense; whoever finds one has indeed found a treasure. A loyal friend is something beyond price, there is no measuring his worth. A loyal friend is the elixir of life, and those who fear the Lord will find one. Whoever fears the Lord makes true friends… —from the first Mass reading Sirach 6:14-17a  (NJB) I have always been blessed with deep friendships that have helped steer my life ever closer to the Lord. Sometimes, I think they were the healing ointment of the Lord’s own hands. True friends will help you become what you can’t visualize for yourself. Like the woman in this sand art, they will form in you the strokes of a painting you could not have mastered on your own. From a tested friend– even their...

Do Not Delay Your Conversion

Do Not Delay Your Conversion

Delay not your conversion to the Lord, put it not off from day to day. —From today’s first Mass Reading —Sirach 5:7 They say it’s important to never forget where you come from. There’s not a day…not one day– that as my feet touch the floor in the morning I don’t remember from what depths the Lord has delivered me. St Paul was always ready to give witness– that once he was a man who made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison. —Acts 8: 3 NKJV Now, he was an apostle, ‘not from or through man’ ( Galatians 1: 1) but by the resurrection power and grace of Jesus Christ. I think he opens almost all of his epistles with that confirmation....

Theater of Fire and Blood

Theater of Fire and Blood

The Martyrdom of St Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna (155 or 166) Imagine having personal contact with the twelve apostles and probably being appointed Bishop of Smyrna by St John. Polycarp was a revered elder statesmen of the church in the East, who for more than half a century devoted himself to teaching sound doctrine and opposing heresy; a job that seems very popular with the early church fathers. There was a heretic named Marcion who Polycarp snubbed once on a visit to Rome, Don’t you know who I am, Polycarp? he asked. Oh yes, said the saint, I know the firstborn of Satan when I see him. This is the kind of boldness that we in the 21st century redefine as …’so’ insensitive and judgmental. In his time, the Roman persecutions of Diocletian...

Be Faithful to the Chair of Peter

Be Faithful to the Chair of Peter

Since the 4th century on this feast of The Chair of St Peter, we celebrate our gratitude to Peter and his successors for their service as bishops of Rome. The seat of Peter has continued on and is the longest lasting institution in the world. No empire, kingdom or bureaucracy has exceeded it. To Peter was given the ‘keys of the kingdom’, by Jesus Himself. I love my separated brothers and sisters, but as a Protestant, there was no other doctrine I fought harder against other than the perpetual virginity of Mary. Since coming home, these are only two of those I’m most grateful for. There are many Christian houses being built, but none other than our Catholic Church was founded on ‘the rock’ and thereby equipped to withstand the floods...

St Peter Damian’s Book of Gomorrah

St Peter Damian’s Book of Gomorrah

Saint Peter Damian, Bishop, Doctor I’m currently reading the Old Testament book of Jeremiah. I try to read through the Bible at least once a year which I’ve been doing since my conversion as a young woman. I have testimony after testimony of how true it is that; The word of God is something alive and active: It cuts more incisively than any two-edged sword: it can seek out the place where soul is divided from spirit, or joints from marrow. It can pass judgement on secret emotions and thoughts. —Hebrews 4:12  NJB How willing the Holy Spirit is to give us the wisdom we need to apply to our lives if we like children, obey and take Him at His Word. If we are willing to take both His comfort and the cut of the sword of discipline, He is ready with...

Yes, Jesus Means-Love Your Enemy

Yes, Jesus Means-Love Your Enemy

Pope John Paul II forgives his assassin Leviticus 19:1-2, 17-18 1 Corinthians 3:16-23 Matthew 5: 38-48 I don’t think it would be a stretch to say that the the call of Sunday’s gospel, love your enemies, is the the most radical demand and teaching of Jesus. It commands a crisis of decision because, the law of love defines whether or not you are a disciple of Christ. St Thomas Aquinas says; Loving only friends to the exclusion of enemies goes unrewarded by God. Several hours from my home is a prison where a man is serving 2 consecutive life sentences with no chance for parole. My testimony put him there over 30 years ago because of what he did to me. The reverberations of his abuse have forever changed my life and those close to me. He has caused me...

Friday Prayer for Priests

Friday Prayer for Priests

I had lunch yesterday with the priest who 5 years ago welcomed me home to my Catholic faith after 20 years of wandering in Evangelical Protestanism. He was tired and wearing the weariness of his call on the lines in his face and the fatigue in his voice. Father was there for me when I wandered into his parish hungering for the Eucharist I had abandoned in my prodigal days. I was starving.. and he fed me. He never once made me feel anything but the welcoming love of Christ after so many years away. I will never forget him for it. Our priests are struggling, they need our prayers. That’s why a few days ago, a fellow blogger got my attention with a wonderful suggestion. ‘The Little Way’ asked in light of the continuing crisis in the church with our...

The Legion of Mary

The Legion of Mary

The Tessera Daily Legion Prayers Frank Duff founded the Legion of Mary in Dublin, Ireland on September 7th 1921. It is the largest lay apostolic organization at the worldwide service of the church with its twofold purpose being the holiness of it’s members and advancing the reign of Christ through our lady …in every country of the world. Unfortunately, in many parishes it has been set aside as an out of date, antiquated group for little old ladies. Which I am not… I have learned more about the Catholic faith from the system of weekly prayer meetings and works established by Frank Duff than from many in the church who have positions of leadership and teaching. Perhaps as our church faces challenges to orthodoxy and faith in a cultural climate of...