Monday, December 30, 2002

From a Reader of my latest book:

Finished your How-To book of the Mass yesterday.

I'm a revert Catholic and have become very critical of my new-age feminist Catholic grade-school/CCD upbringing and my childhood parish - especially when visiting family and attending Mass over the Holiday.

Your book is what I needed to put the Mass back in perspective and appreciate what is there and not concentrate on the abuses. Thanks for the section on how to experience a great homily every time - it worked!

I'm attending an RCIA class and will pass your book along as a recommendation for reading for all.

You're a great writer - thanks again!


Saturday, December 28, 2002

A Saint's Name for Your Next Child-- St Quodvultdeus

From the Office of Readings for today from a sermon by St. Quodvultdeus:

The children die for Christ, though they do not know it. The parents mourn for the death of martyrs. The child makes of those as yet unable to speak fit witnesses to himself. See the kind of kingdom that is his, coming as he did in order to be this kind of king. See how the deliverer is already working deliverance, the saviour already working salvation.

But you, Herod, do not know this and are disturbed and furious. While you vent your fury against the child, you are already paying him homage, and do not know it.

How great a gift of grace is here! To what merits of their own do the children owe this kind of victory? They cannot speak, yet they bear witness to Christ. They cannot use their limbs to engage in battle, yet already they bear off the palm of victory.

Friday, December 27, 2002

The weather...

One of my favorite subjects. None of the weather forecasters were correct in their predictions with regard to us. Even the local television stations were predicting a mere dusting a few hours before the snow actually fell. Contrast that with a week before when they were predicting a more substantial dumping and nothing--absolutely nothing fell. With all their computer simulations, satelite imagery--the weather people are still fairly dumb as a lot. Perhaps a better indicator that something was about to happen here was the racoon who appeared in broad daylight in our backyard midafternoon on Christmas Eve either headed for Christmas dinner somewhere or preparing for an oncoming storm that would dumb close to 9 inches of snow here.

Wednesday, December 25, 2002

Christmas Day...and

we have a ton of snow...lots more than the weatherman predicted.

Mass was sparsely attended...the pastor remarked that the same was true last night at midnight.

Daily reflections on the reading continue to be posted here.

Here is a reflection on the past year.

Monday, December 23, 2002

An Interesting Column about War and its Lingering Effects

National Catholic Register
A Story for Christmas

Bruderhof Communities - Brother Robber by Helene Christaller
Country life in the city

Sunday morning we awoke to find an injured bunny lying in front of our picture window. I went out and offered it some water and carrots. We then trucked off to Mass. Upon our return several hours later, Amy announced "well this will offer some diversion to your football viewing this afternoon." Walking into the living room there was the poor rabbit being picked apart by a gigantic hawk.

I scurried the hawk away and then flung the rabbit carcass into some brush (out of direct sight). The hawk flew back to the spot of the crime about an hour later looking for the rabbit. I was amazed that he had such difficulty finding it. He kept pacing around where he had left it, looking quizzically around. Sort of "who moved my rabbit?"

After about thirty minutes of persistence he finally found it and started tearing away at it's flesh again. I went back to watching football.

Friday, December 20, 2002

Here is the story

Pope to approve Mother Teresa miracle
Mother Teresa Moves Another Step Toward Sainthood

Pope John Paul II has approved a miracle attributed to the intercession of Mother Teresa. Look for her to be Beatified sometime in the coming year.

Thursday, December 19, 2002

Interesting Gallup Poll data

Covers both Protestant and Catholics. It is interesting to see the changes since 9/11 and for Catholics since the scandals have been in the news this year

Gallup Poll Analyses - Catholic Church Attendance Drops This Year in Midst of Scandal

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

The "O" Antiphons Begin today

The "O" antiphons are known by most people from their inclusion in the song "O Come O Come Emmanuel." They are actually the antiphons said before the Magnificat at Evening Prayer from Dec. 17-23. Today's antiphon is:

O Wisdom, O holy Word of God, you govern all creation with your strong yet tender care. Come and show your people the way to salvation.
The Image of Christ on a No Parking sign?

Alpine Observer > Image of Christ?

Violators will be Hell!
Another Christmas Story provided by the Bruderhof

Willibald's Trip to Heaven by Reimmichl

Friday, December 13, 2002

Looking for that special Christmas gift?

Try using Froogle: Search Results

Froogle is a google beta test, kind of neat!
Today's Photo of Cardinal Law and the Pope

From Yahoo! News - World Photos - AP
What next?

For those who have watched CBS news dating back to the Walter Cronkite days with his trademark "and that's the way it is", you may have picked up that Dan Rather has never quite figured out how to end his news cast. His latest attempt is a rather lame if not outright funny "what's next" after some late news story.

Anyway today's news of Cardinal Law's resignation elicited a "what's next" in my head spoken by Dan Rather. But it is not so much a surprised "what's next" but rather a serious "let's move ahead, planning our next step--what's next."

Who will the Pope name as the next Archbishop of Boston? Will the other auxiliaries soon follow suite? Will the Vatican move in and try to clean up shop in the U.S. realizing that this crisis is doing terrible damage to the faith of those on the periphery of the church?

Who knows "what's next."

Thursday, December 12, 2002

Today is the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Here is a Trappist monastery dedicated to the site: Our Lady of Guadalupe Trappist Abbey

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

What does it say?

When the United States wants to make sure that other countries do not have weapons of mass destruction and in the process we threaten to use them?

U.S. strategy includes ‘all options’

Saturday, December 7, 2002

Spirit Daily - Daily spiritual news from around the world Reports that the Pope unexpectedly was not in attendance for the beginning of the annual Advent retreat.

Friday, December 6, 2002

Some Advice for Bishops from St. Augustine

From the Office of Readings:

So the shepherds of Christ’s flock must never indulge in self-love; if they do they will be tending the sheep not as Christ’s but as their own. And of all vices this is the one that the shepherds must guard against most earnestly: seeking their own purposes instead of Christ’s, furthering their own desires by means of those persons for whom Christ shed his blood.

The love of Christ ought to reach such a spiritual pitch in his shepherds that it overcomes the natural fear of death which makes us shrink from the thought of dying even though we desire to live with Christ. However distressful death may be, the strength of love ought to master the distress. I mean the love we have for Christ who, although he is our life, consented to suffer death for our sake.

Thursday, December 5, 2002

Something to Read and Reflect on:

The Carpenter's Christmas by Peter K. Rosegger

Each week the Bruderhof Community will be posting an Advent story.

Wednesday, December 4, 2002

From the Office of Readingsfor today:

From the declaration of faith of St. John Damascene:

O Lord, you led me from my father’s loins and formed me in my mother’s womb. You brought me, a naked babe, into the light of day, for nature’s laws always obey your commands.

By the blessing of the Holy Spirit, you prepared my creation and my existence, not because man willed it or flesh desired it, but by your ineffable grace. The birth you prepared for me was such that it surpassed the laws of our nature. You sent me forth into the light by adopting me as your son and you enrolled me among the children of your holy and spotless Church.

You nursed me with the spiritual milk of your divine utterances. You kept me alive with the solid food of the body of Jesus Christ, your only-begotten Son and our God, and you let me drink from the chalice of his life-giving blood, poured out to save the whole world.

Monday, December 2, 2002

From the Office of Readings

From a pastoral letter by St. Charles Borromeo:

This is the season that the Church has always celebrated with special solemnity. We too should always observe it with faith and love, offering praise and thanksgiving to the Father for the mercy and love he has shown us in this mystery. In his infinite love for us, though we were sinners, he sent his only Son to free us from the tyranny of Satan, to summon us to heaven, to welcome us into its innermost recesses, to show us truth itself, to train us in right conduct, to plant within us the seeds of virtue, to enrich us with the treasures of his grace, and to make us children of God and heirs of eternal life.