A Minute With Zeal and The Holy Rule

A Minute With Zeal and The Holy Rule

One of my favorite chapters in the Holy Rule: Just as there is an evil zeal of bitterness which separates from God and leads to hell, so there is a good zeal which separates from vices and leads to God and to life everlasting. This zeal, therefore, the brothers should practice with the most fervent love. Thus they should anticipate one another in honor (Rom. 12:10); most patiently endure one another’s infirmities, whether of body or of character; vie in paying obedience one to another — no one following what he considers useful for himself, but rather what benefits another; tender the charity of brotherhood chastely; fear God in love; love their Abbot with a sincere and humble charity; prefer nothing whatever to Christ. And may He bring us all...

Welcome Home

Welcome Home

It’s Monday and I feel like I’ve been in labor since Saturday. The contractions started slowly, like when my sister, who was stationed at the old house waiting for the movers, called to say, Hurry up and get to the condo mom’s on her way. She didn’t want to be there to see the truck pack it all up. Together, my mom and I waited at the other end preparing for the truck to show up. We sat on the only two pieces of furniture there were: Two wing back chairs the former owners had left. I knew we had a long day ahead of us. And the pains kept coming…but no baby yet. My husband had brought flowers there the night before so they would be the first to greet her when she walked in her new place and say, Welcome Home… That’s when...

Hail, Star of the Ocean

Hail, Star of the Ocean

  Hail Thou Star of the Ocean     Tomorrow is moving day…It’s time to move on. The hurricane isn’t coming to Florida….this time, but I feel as if I’m being tossed on the waves. An era is ending, a new one is beginning and I’m ready to continue on the voyage. With a hymn composed in the eighth or ninth century, thus for over a thousand years, the Church has greeted Mary, the Mother of God, as “Star of the Sea”: Ave maris stella. Human life is a journey. Towards what destination? How do we find the way? Life is like a voyage on the sea of history, often dark and stormy, a voyage in which we watch for the stars that indicate the route. The true stars of our life are the people who have lived good lives. They are...

Heroic Catholic Families

Heroic Catholic Families

What does it mean if you sense the intensity of our times? If you realize that; You are feeling the weariness of the battle. As my spiritual director often says (who is also a diocesan priest), “Anyone who is trying to be holy today is going through the fire.” —via~mark mallett My spiritual director (who has been directing for 20 years) told me the very same thing yesterday when I asked her if she’d like to go to Australia with me. It means that ordinary Catholic families cannot survive. They must be extraordinary families. They must be, what I do not hesitate to call, heroic Catholic families. Ordinary Catholic families are no match for the devil as he uses the media of communication to secularize and de-sacralize modern society. No less...

Me and Alexander

Me and Alexander

This is one of my favorite children’s books. And this is basically the kind of day I had. I went to sleep with gum in my mouth and now there’s gum in my hair and when I got out of bed this morning I tripped on the skateboard and by mistake I dropped my sweater in the sink while the water was running and I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. I think I’ll move to Australia” — Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day Today is the one year anniversary of my domain name,” Bell of the Wanderer, ” but guess what met me this morning when I logged in? Server trouble… that lasted two days. Welcome to initiation in the blogging world. It went downhill after that all to the tune...

War With a Bougainvillea…The Difference is More Than an Eyelash

War With a Bougainvillea…The Difference is More Than an Eyelash

One day I decided this needed to go:       It’s pretty, I know. But this beauty has an evil side; it has mad thorns that will rip your flesh with one wrong move. It grows like wildfire and you can’t kill it. What began as a small potted gift from a friend had turned into a fiend that was destroying my fence, yard and innocent flowers.   My husband doesn’t let me use electrical tools in the garden because…well, because I’ve given him good reason not to. So– I have been relegated to do whatever I’d like in the garden as long as I don’t sever electrical wires or send myself to the emergency room.   Every summer in the unrelenting Florida heat, I’d trim it back in tiny increments, but the...

The Queenship of Mary

The Queenship of Mary

Detail From the Ghent Watch over us, O Queen of the dwelling-place of our Lord. Lead and govern all our ways as thou wilt. Save us from our sins. Lead us into the calm harbour of the divine will. Make us worthy of future happiness through the sweet and face-to-face vision of the Word made flesh through thee. With Him, glory, praise, power, and majesty be to the Father and to the holy and life-giving Spirit, now and for ever. Amen. —Sermon I on the Dormition St. John Damascene (b. A.D. 676)...

But What About You?

But What About You?

Who Do You Say That I Am? You are the Christ…. the Son of the living God. +PAX

True Authentic Witnesses

True Authentic Witnesses

    Then said Jesus to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice. —see Matthew 23:1-12   The Pharisees were frequently criticized and challenged by Jesus. The historians give the details of their faith and failings as a sect, but here in the gospel today, we see the Lord level a charge I hope I never hear said about me. Basically, they don’t practice what they preach. That’s a big issue today as we keep reading headlines that inform us of church leaders and lay people who claim to be Christians, but suddenly we come to find out; they have a secret life or they claim to be...

Do Not Be Ashamed of the Lord

Pope Benedict at World Youth Day: “With all my heart, I say again to you young people: let nothing and no one take away your peace; do not be ashamed of the Lord”. This is the message that Pope Benedict XVI has brought to Spain and to the young Catholics of the world, resonant of that other great call “do not be afraid” launched by the founder and patron of all World Youth Days, Blessed Pope John Paul II. Pope Benedict XVI’s generation has found its motto : do not be ashamed of the Lord. —catholic. net...

Anger Management

Anger Management

Anger is an emotion of the soul, which leads us violently to repel whatever hurts or displeases us. — Saint John Vianney I witnessed someone have a major meltdown today and verbally abuse another Christian sister. It was awful. But rather than me write the gory details of what happened, I thought it best to come home and study the Scriptures and what some saints have to say on – anger – One of the seven deadly sins. Whether you witness it or struggle with it, it’s worth the effort to study and pray on how to keep our own emotions in check. Here are a few helps I’ve found today. Scripture Verses on Anger …Memorizing a few of these is probably a good idea. Saints Quotes on Anger Benedictine Catholic Reflections on Anger From the...