Friday, August 29, 2014

Generational Differences

I'm getting ready to drive my niece to college.  We're not sure of the way, so I'm going to use the GPS App on my iPhone--WAZE.  So we get in the truck.  I don't usually drive hubby's truck and I have never had need of using the GPS, in it.

I look around for the cigarette lighter outlet. Outloud, I ask, "Where's the cigarette lighter?"

I'm looking on the dashboard.

She's looking on the floor for a bic or something like that.

When she sees me plug my phone in the cigarette lighter outlet, she says with the utmost surprise:

"OH, That's what those are for?"

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Definition of Greed

My "cloistered brothers" and I were talking about greed.  How do you tell whether or not you have an inordinate desire to have money or material things?  We were thinking a sure way to tell would be whether you cared too much.  We were thinking of someone who collects antiques, cars, diamonds, etc.  It could be anything.

If a tornado came and destroyed those things that were dear to you, and that devastated you, does that mean you were greedy?  Some objected.  Some felt that most people would be devastated--the average person would naturally be traumatized.  So that example was discarded.

Next was proposed the idea that people who have money and use it to build a library.  Now that's a good thing, right?  What if they put their name on it, i.e., The John Smith Library?  Does that prove that you have avarice?  Some felt that was a good example because if the donor wanted to give a library, he would have given it anonymously.

The group couldn't agree on a definition.  We came to the conclusion that greed was an interior disposition.  A poor person could be greedy, just as well as a rich person.  It's a matter of conscience and only God knows your heart.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Whisper in the Wind

Guest post by my "cloistered brother," Mick.

The Whisper In the Wind

Walked into the house of hallowed ground, a small place of peace in the walls of hell.  Where pain has its own story to tell...  The gentle voice of everlasting, quietly it sang to me.  In that place of darkness "Come Home" was whispered in the wind.  give to me your heavy heart and I will give to you a brand new start...  With fear, with shame, my spirit's crippled, my soul is lame.  It's hard to believe I can be whole again...  Speak to me my son.  I already know what you've done, step into the light, let the Father's healing light finish what you've just begun...  With thanks, with joy, like a child with a brand new toy, I sing and dance, laugh, and shout, be glad for the chance, to hear the Lord of the dance, Whisper in the wind...

* from MEK's Pencil in the Hole p. 5

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Five Paths of Repentance

My take on Saint John Chrysostom's homily on his Five Paths of Repentance.

All these paths lead to heaven:

(1)  Know that you have sinned.  If you aren't going to Confession because you can't think of any sins you have committed--that's your first sin!  You have dulled your conscience!  You are living in a world of excuses.  Find an adult examination of conscience for your state in life, and go through it slowly.  Here's a pretty thorough examen,

(2) Forgive.  Forgive yourself for whatever you keep berating yourself for.  Forgive your parents for their sins.  Forgive your friends for their slights.  Forgive your neighbors because they're clueless.  Forgive your enemies - they're ignorant.  Yes, forgive everyone; you want them to forgive you, don't you?  The world will look better if you do this.

(3)  Pray.  Get in the habit of conversing with God, all day.  Greet Him in the morning.  Thank Him at meal times--snacks, too.  Pray for people you encounter.  Pray in difficult situations.  Praise Him for the beauty you see.  End your day with an examination of conscience and thank Him, praise Him, and love Him.

(4)  Be generous.  Buy girl scout cookies, the Knights of Columbus raffles, the Right to Life roses, etc..  Take home your parish's Vocation Cross and pray.  Give of your own time, besides money.  Giving, adds to your own spiritual bank account.

(5)  Be humble.  There's always someone smarter than you, prettier, richer, luckier, funnier, etc..  Everything you have is only temporary.  The bigger you are, the harder you will fall.  God knows who you really are, who are you trying to impress?

"When you are spiritually strong, then you may approach the divine table with confidence.  Glorify Christ, the king of glory, and attain the eternal blessings through the grace, mercy and kindness of Jesus Christ, our Lord."  (Hom. De diabolo tentatore 2, 6: PG 49, 263-264)

Monday, August 25, 2014

Groceries Provided by Satan

Another Fr. Chris homily opener:  an elderly lady came out of her house onto her porch every day, twice a day, morning and evening, and praised the Lord.  "The Lord is good.  All the time.  Alleluia!"

This happened every day.  Even when an atheist moved in next door, the lady continued praising God.  "The Lord is good.  All the time.  Alleluia!"  The atheist complained saying he didn't want to hear it; he was an atheist.  The lady just continued.

One day the lady's social security check didn't come.  She ran out of food.  "Aha" thought the atheist, "Here's my chance to prove to her that there's no God."  So he ran out and bought her a generous supply of groceries.  The atheist put them on the elderly lady's porch and then he hid in the bushes.

The lady came out to praise God.  "The Lord is good.  All the time.  Look at all this food He has provided.  Thank you Lord.  Alleluia!"

The atheist jumped out of the bushes, "No I bought the food.  There is no God."

The lady didn't even blink.  She continued praising and thanking God.  "The Lord is good.  All the time.  He even makes Satan buy food for me.  Alleluia!"

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sunday Snippets - A Catholic Carnival

Martha (Thank You, Jesus)  

Have I ever introduced myself?  Well, I will now.  I'm a grandmother of two, the mother of three adult children, and the wife of a long suffering husband, whom I think of as my "Martha."  By "Martha," I am referring to the parable of Martha and Mary.  (Luke 10:41-42)  Martha does all the work, which makes it easier for Mary to spend her time with Jesus.  Hubby used to cook supper while I taught religious education.  He baby sat while I went to Lay Dominican Chapter meetings.  All in all he puts up with a lot, and I thank God for him, every day.  As to why I blog, well since I belong to a family of preachers (Dominicans), blogging is how I preach.  My aim is to show how a simple grandmother gives witness.  Hopefully, others will be brought a little closer to God.

So what prompted this disclosure?  R'Ann from This And That And The Other Thing blog did. Every Sunday, a group of us bloggers link together and discuss something like "Who are you?"  (see first paragraph) and we tell about what we posted the past week.  If you're interested, click on over to This And That And The Other Thing blog, and read what my fellow bloggers have been up to.

Monday  --  Haiku

Tuesday  --  I met my friend Kevin, coming out of daily Mass, and he was wearing a tee shirt, that shouted exactly who he is.  I just had to memorialize it, in picture.

Wednesday  --  Book review of Polonaise by Piers Paul Read

Thursday  --  A history lesson.

Friday  --  Jean Joseph Lataste

Saturday  --  Karen Rinaldo

How did your week go?  Tell me all about it, 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Inner Vision = Grace


The Cape has been a second home to me for over forty years.  For almost forty years, I have been an admirer of the artist Karen Rinaldo.  Karen is known for her Cape Cod scenes, especially Falmouth.  This Friday, Falmouth's newspaper, The Enterprise, did a feature on Karen Rinaldo, which I read with great interest.  The writer, Theresa Pease did a good job in creating a picture (pun intended) of this local artist.  If you need to reference, it's The Enterprise, Friday, August 2014, Page One A and continued onto Page Three A.  The article ended with this paragraph,

"My mother was always deeply involved with what I was doing," the artist said, "and when she lost her sight I found that I could use only words to convey to her what I was working on.  But before she died she taught me about another whole vision that she called the inner vision.  She told me that when I had a problem, or wanted to recall or create something beautiful, I could shut my eyes and find a path to it.  Now, as an artist, I close my eyes and tap into that inner vision almost on a daily basis."

Ms. Rinaldo is talking about meditation. She is doing it without knowing the correct terminology.  Although inner vision is apt.  Whether one is talking about Buddhist or any Eastern meditation, or Christian contemplation, meditation, centering, lectio divina, etc., the result is a clear path to an answer.  Catholics call this grace.

It's the grace of God that leads us.  Anyone who spends time alone and centers himself, knows whereof I speak.  It's very beneficial and I don't know how people live without it.

I wish Karen Rinaldo would write a book of her meditations.  It would be great if she illustrated it, too.  She could even call it, Inner Visions.  I bet it would exemplify the grace of God.