Blog of the Year 2012

Blog of the Year 2012

Just recently I was telling my husband that I wasn’t sure if I should continue blogging into the New Year. But yesterday, when I was finally able to get on my site again, I found that some of my blogging friends had nominated me for this award:     What kindness they’ve shown by acknowledging my very meager efforts to give God glory through this medium. In many ways they are part of the reason I keep on. It’s really from them I have gained insights, overcome apprehensions, seen another angle on a point of faith and walked away from the computer screen many a morning replacing a serious frown with a hope filled smile.   Thank you first to Nancy who blogs at  The Cloistered Heart and The Breadbox Letters. I can’t remember how...

Remembering the Precious White Desk

Remembering the Precious White Desk

  A post from Christmas past in memory of my earthly father whom I dearly miss:     I knew a little girl once who loved to write. She asked her dad for a little white desk that would fit in the alcove of her bedroom right under it’s window. In the solitary stillness of a winter’s night, she would slip out of bed and shuffle her pink slippers softly across the floor past her sister’s bed .. to that precious desk. There, she slowly opened the top drawer which held the steno pad and brand new pen her dad said were treasures for a real writer.   What should I write about, daddy?   Write what comes to you from the heart and write it so you wouldn’t be ashamed for anyone to read it, he told her.   So, she held the...

Padre Pio: The sobs and wimpers of the infant God

Padre Pio: The sobs and wimpers of the infant God

  ….were the first offers to God for our redemption.     Far into the night, at the coldest time of the year, in a chilly grotto, more suitable for a flock of beasts than for humans, the promised Messiah – Jesus – the savior of mankind, comes into the world in the fullness of time. There are none who clamor around him: only an ox and an ass lending their warmth to the newborn infant; with a humble woman, and a poor and tired man, in adoration beside him.   Nothing can be heard except the sobs and whimpers of the infant God. And by means of his crying and weeping he offers to the Divine justice the first ransom for our redemption.   He had been expected for forty centuries; with longing sighs the ancient Fathers had implored his arrival....

‘Dear Baby Jesus’

‘Dear Baby Jesus’

    (EWTN News/CNA)  By Estefania Aguirre     A Christmas letter that Pope Benedict XVI wrote to Baby Jesus when he was seven years-old demonstrates his devotion to the Sacred Heart and his desire to be a priest.   The letter is on display this Advent in the village of Marktl am Inn in Bavaria, where he was born. “Dear Baby Jesus, quickly come down to earth. You will bring joy to children. Also bring me joy,” he wrote in the 1934 letter, published on the Church-affiliated Italian website Korazym.org.     “I would like a Volks-Schott (a Mass prayers book), green clothing for Mass (clerical clothing) and a heart of Jesus. I will always be good. Greetings from Joseph Ratzinger,” he wrote in German cursive hard writing...

The Best Weapon Against a Wicked Foe

The Best Weapon Against a Wicked Foe

    There is a war raging. And as long as God’s kingdom is spread on earth, we will never be free of the ‘malevolent spirits under the command of Satan.’  *   Then, what kind of weapon works against such a wicked foe who desires to kill, steal and destroy life in all it’s forms ?   Will a gun work? I had one of those once, I told the story here. I had every intention of using it to defend my body should another physical threat ever become real again. After the terrible tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, news stories now tell of a run on guns, ammo and the state of Tennessee considering a bill to fund training and arming teachers. Gun ownership is a passionate subject, but that’s not the goal of my...

The Infancy Narratives

The Infancy Narratives

      I suppose I’m on a bit of a blogging hiatus. Every now and then, tired catches up with me and I need to find a quiet corner, collect all the books I’ve set aside because I’ve been too busy, and be still enough, especially in this Advent Season to know– that He is God. One of the books I’m enjoying is Pope Benedict’s third and final volume in his Jesus of Nazareth series, this one entitled, The Infancy Narratives. Like my other two volumes it is marked up and starred, reflecting the Holy Father’s ability to unlock the deep wisdom hidden in the Scriptures and writing it in a way accessible to anyone who will open the Bible and follow along.   It is after all, as he says, a story for today as every...

Ineffabilis Deus

Ineffabilis Deus

  (Vatican Radio) On the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception it is tradition for Benedict XVI to pay homage to Mary by the statue of Our Lady near the Spanish steps in the heart of Rome.   A feast day Pope Benedict XVI has often referred to as a great one , highlighting how in her sinless perfection , Mary is a great sign of hope for the Church and for the world. In Pope Benedict’s very words: ” a sign of the marvels that God’s grace can accomplish in us, his human creatures: In these days of Advent, in company with the holy and immaculate Mother of God, let us prepare to welcome her Son into our lives and into our hearts”…   A Feast day which falls each year on the 8th of December, a couple of weeks ahead of Christmas.  ...

St John Damascene Defender of the Faith

St John Damascene Defender of the Faith

  ST JOHN DAMASCENE   PRIEST AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH (c. 675- c.750 )   This is an Arabic icon of St. John surrounded by the words of his hymn in Arabic.   John was the son of a Christian representative to the court of the Muslim caliph. But, after he inherited his father’s post, he resigned his government job to become a monk– then later a priest near Jerusalem. I bet there are a few government workers today who wouldn’t mind trading in their post for a cell in a monastery somewhere. Anyways…   A scholar, who was a renowned homilist, he was nicknamed the “the golden speaker.”  He’s also considered a forerunner to St Thomas Aquinas for the summary of theology he wrote entitled,  “The Fountain of...

St. Francis Xavier and My Boat to China

St. Francis Xavier and My Boat to China

    ST FRANCIS XAVIER, PRIEST (1506-1552) Francis Xavier died in 1552 while waiting to be smuggled into China where he had dreamed of evangelizing. Through a sovereign series of fortunate events he had surrendered his plans to be a scholar in favor of becoming a missionary.   He met St Ignatius of Loyola, as he was about to embark on his career as a theologian and sensed a divine call to join him in the newly forming Society of Jesus. In 1534, he became one of the original seven members of the the Jesuits. One year later he was ordained a priest. Ignatius was about to do what seemed a given; deploy Francis Xavier as a teacher, but reluctantly decided to send him to India to replace a brother who had taken ill.     Unskilled in evangelism...

Ancient Expectancy

Ancient Expectancy

  Henry Ossawa Tanner – The Annunciation, oil on canvas, 1898 Philadelphia Museum of Art   When the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent each year, she makes present this ancient expectancy of the Messiah, for by sharing in the long preparation for the Savior’s first coming, the faithful renew their ardent desire for his second coming. By celebrating the precursor’s birth and martyrdom, the Church unites herself to his desire: “He must increase, but I must decrease.”   —CCC 524     +PAX   h/t  photo   church ladies blogspot  ...

Final Prayer of Ordinary Time

Final Prayer of Ordinary Time

    When I prayed this today, it reminded me of my dad’s exhortation to keep singing in cellar.     Let us sing alleluia to the good God who delivers us from evil   Let us sing alleluia here on earth, while we still live in anxiety, so that we may sing it one day in heaven in full security. Why do we now live in anxiety? Can you expect me not to feel anxious when I read: Is not man’s life on earth a time of trial? Can you expect me not to feel anxious when the words still ring in my ears: watch and pray that you will not be put to the test? Can you expect me not to feel anxious when there are so many temptations here below that prayer itself reminds us of them, when we say: Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass...