Friday, April 29, 2016


I love John Allen.  I loved him more when he was with the Globe, but I love him still.  I was reading Crux, the Knights of Columbus' independent Catholic news site, where John Allen is editor and read his article,   where I learned that goliards were bum clergy who mocked the church and went around holding blasphemous ceremonies.  Their lifestyle was sheer depravity and they reveled in it.

They were around in the medieval era.  It seems that some men of noble families, who weren't first born were sent off to be priests when they really didn't have a vocation.  They had nothing else to do.  They must have thought they were pretty smart and showed off their knowledge and humor and mocked what the populace considered sacred.  They must have thought they were above all that.

Anyway, it's back.  It seems that in Italy, as many as 60 people have been holding parodies of religious ceremonies.  The police have arrested them for offenses against religious laws.  The accused did it out in the open.  It was even advertised on facebook.

Why do people mock what others consider sacred?  Do they think that proves that they're smarter?  Do they think it's funny?

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Jesus Walk With Me

Yesterday's experiment failed.  Bert said that when he asked God, "Jesus walk with me," his head involuntarily popped up.  He couldn't put it back down.  And he challenged me to ask Jesus to walk with me.

I did.

Nothing happened.  My head stayed down and I continued walking with my head down.  I was trying to think if I had said the wrong thing, done it wrong, etc.  Then I thought how silly it all was.  Jesus doesn't come when magic words are spoken.  He's here, all the time.  He doesn't obey us; we obey Him.  We don't command Him--WALK.  So I walked and prayed, meditating upon these thoughts.  So Bert's head popped up involuntarily.  Maybe God was showing him the way.  Maybe Bert should look ahead.  Whatever!  Whatever God is doing with Bert is his business.  And I trust God to show me my way.

Jesus walk with me.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

An Experiment

Last night, my friend Bert, gave me an experiment to try.  He said that his customary way of walking
was plodding along with his head down.  He was praying and the thought came to him to ask Jesus to accompany him.  So he said, "Jesus walk with me."

The minute he said that his head popped up, involuntarily.  He was surprised.  So he did it again.  And again.  He could not put his head back down after he asked Jesus to walk with him.

He challenged me to do the same.  I will.  Do you want to try it?

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

One More Reason Not to be the Last to Leave Mass

This morning I was reading an article, "5 Reasons to Stay Until the End of Mass," by Sister Theresa Aletheia Noble.  Her reasons include:

(1)     Community
          Stay awhile after the Mass concludes and catch up on neighbors' news.  Greet and welcome
(2)     It's rude
          I'll say!!!  Although I never noticed this until I had children singing in the choir.  I couldn't get
          over that the people in the choir are looking at you, eyeball to eyeball, and you turn around and
          leave!  How rude!  Stay and sing. Stay, tell Father, "good homily," tell the Lector, "good job,"
          tell the altar servers, "excellent job," -- you get the idea.  You're in church; you should be
          concerned about your neighbors, not self absorbed.
(3)     Mass is not just an activity
          Mass is not on a "To Do List."  Is kiss your family on a "To Do List"?  Mass is an act of love,
         not a chore.
(4)     There's a final blessing
          Yes, the priest blesses everyone at the end of Mass.  And!  these blessings are very beautiful.
          Listen to it.
(5)     You get more grace
          There's a story told about St. Philip Neri.  He would have the altar server chase after those
          who left before the final blessing.  And the altar server was holding the processional candle.
           So everywhere the parishioner went, he was was followed by a candle bearing altar server.
(6)     You need to wait for the priest to recess out.
           Once the priest has left, kneel down and thank God for the Mass.  You have received a great
          grace.  You are Catholic and have received the precious Body and Blood of Jesus.  Not every-
           body is so blessed.

Monday, April 25, 2016

9:00 News

Paddy and an Englishman were sitting in a Boston bar watching the 9:00 news.  There was an announcement that a man was going to jump off the Zakim bridge.  Paddy said, "$ 20 the man will jump."  The Englishman said, "You're on."  Both men put $ 20 on the bar.

Paddy and the Englishman watched the news and saw that the poor man did jump off the Zakim bridge. The Englishman said, "Well, you won."

Paddy looked at the money and thought. "No, I can't take it.  I saw the 6:00 o'clock news and saw that he jumped."  The Englishman said, "Actually, I saw the 6:00 news too.  I didn't think he'd jump again!"

Paddy took his money.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Rte. 110 in the 1950's

Here we go again.  Another Saturday ride to the beach, where I fight carsickness--squashed in the middle of the backseat. The youngest, the skinniest is wedged between Grandma and Auntie.  There was always some kind of hump on the floor that forced me to place a leg on each side of it.  Sometimes, I’d place both feet on the protuberance and my knees would stick up like straws in a frappe.  My sister drove and Mama and Dad rode with her, in the front.  Are we there yet?

Look the cows are laying down.  Get up! Get up!  Mama would explain that the cows lying on the ground meant it was going to rain.  Sometimes we’d stop—to look at the cows—if nature called—if I felt like throwing up.  Are we there yet?

Somewhere around the corners in Haverhill, hugging the Merrimack River, Dad would turn around and point at me.  “You may think you’re pretty smart, but the man that was born there was wittier.”  Then he’d lower and raise his eyebrows a couple of times, as we passed a sign that announced, “Birthplace of John Greenleaf Whittier”.  We would all groan.  Are we there yet?

Riding on Main Street into the town of Merrimac we’d pick out houses we’d like to live in.  We always picked old shacks for Dad and mansions for Mom.  I always liked long ranches with attached garages—that made them seem even longer.  Are we there yet?

The houses entering Amesbury were spread far apart and I was kept busy by keeping track of which side of the street had the most mailboxes.  Are we there yet?

Actually, we are there. 
The road ends in Salisbury Beach.
See the sun speckled waves
of the mighty Atlantic Ocean.
Car sickness and boredom forgotten!
Swimming, golden sand, fried clams,
roller coaster and arcade.

Saturday, April 23, 2016


The other night I was the last to leave my women's club meeting.  It was abut 9:15 PM.  I was carrying an armful.  My pocketbook was hanging on my shoulder and my hand on that arm was carrying a coffee pot.  My other arm and hand carried a bag with stuff that went with the coffee pot--extension, creamer, sugar, stirrers, and two prizes I had won in the raffle.

I walked slowly and carefully.  I plopped everything on the hood of my car.  "Whew! Made it."  Then I searched in my pocketbook for my car keys.  But when I pushed the unlock button I didn't hear anything or see the lock pop up.  I pressed again.  And again.  Huh?  I wondered if it needed a battery.  I tried the key in the door's lock.  No way would it go in.  I pressed unlock and nothing.  Maybe if I pressed lock and then unlock.

I did.  I pressed "lock."  Just then I heard a beep--from across the street.  I looked.  There was my car across the street all lit up from my pressing every button on my gadget.

All this time I had been trying to get in Father Jack's car.