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Showing posts from August, 2012

Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Total Rip-Off Tuesday

Wherein I "rip-off" another writer. Not taking credit, just sharing good stuff. Today's choice: a terrific interview with author Eric Metaxas, where he addresses the current HHS mandate:

So in the case of the HHS Mandate, it is as if the Obama Administration is asking: how many divisions does the Pope have? Who are these hyper serious, ridiculous Catholics who care about contraception? The administration doesn’t care about them. These faithful Catholics do not matter to the state. They act as if they don’t need their support. They are probably not
going to vote for us anyway, so we can pick them off, and we can confuse the theologically ignorant Catholic population and the Protestant population into thinking that this issue does not matter to them. This is where we have to say no. The government is making a mistake, a terrible mistake which threatens America itself, not just religious freedom.

As you go off to college...

Curly-haired Daughter leaves for college on Thursday. I am excited for her. Really. No, I mean it. I am.

But I'm really gonna miss her.

I've been thinking about how excited I was, 30 years ago (dear heavens....) when Mom and Dad and I packed up the station wagon and headed off. It was really foggy that morning, and Mom and Dad seemed very quiet. Now, I know: they were excited - their last kid was out of the house. They were probably both wishing the dog would die soon so that they'd finally have some freedom....

I was excited, and scared, and nervous. I thought I'd be the stupidest person at college and unable to keep up. I didn't know a soul at this college - one of the reasons I picked it - but would anyone like me enough to be my friend? Would my roommate and I be able to stand each other? (We did, but just barely...)

Now, I'm the one in the front seat of that car, steered toward a future.  I have a few things to tell my daughter before she goes, though:

1.…

Giddy with Art(Prize)

Grand Rapids, MI, is a great place to live - for many reasons. However, a couple of years ago, with the backing of Rick DeVos, a social and artistic experiment known as ArtPrize began, and has made GR a truly exciting place. ArtPrize takes art to the streets in a huge way: exposing the public to art - in so many forms - and allowing people to interact with not just the art but the artists.

If you'd had the chance to take part in ArtPrize (you don't just "go" to ArtPrize; you participate), count yourself blessed. If you haven't, plan a trip to GR. Not only would we love to have you, you'll be amazed at the art, the city, the atmosphere that is ArtPrize.

"Gee, I've always wanted to learn more about the Catholic faith, but I'm too afraid to ask"

Fear not: there is a solution!

Free (yes, free!) online course! No need to get in your car and drive to Our Lady of Perpetual Responsibility and sit in a classroom. Nope, you don't need to wonder if you'll have to ask that question you think is embarrassing. You don't even need to fill up your cart at the local bookstore and try and figure out which writer knows best. Just check out "Pillars of Catholicism" from John Paul the Great Catholic University.

This is a terrific tool for people who want to learn more about their own faith, are maybe considering joining the Church, or for folks who've been away for awhile. Pain-free, truthful and easy to access.

"Something important" and babies in the backseat

Apparently, we Americans can't seem to remember we have kids in the backseat. Eight kids have died of heatstroke in August alone in this country, all because someone left them in the car - sort of an "oops". In order to combat this idiocy, the government has started a "Look Before You Lock" campaign. One of the tips of the campaign is to put something important - something "you need" - in the back seat with the kid - like your cell phone or briefcase. Hey, you won't walk away without that cell phone, will you? No! Grab that iPhone and don't forget your baby!

Uh, isn't your kid something you need...something important? Sweet Jesus, have mercy on us.

Three Good Things Thursday

(Is it Thursday already? Also, please be encourage by this weekly post to think about three good things in your life!)

1. Miracle! Some friends of ours recently suffered a family tragedy and their young adult son had a serious brain injury. He seems to be recovering! It is truly a miracle - even those sober doctors think so!

2. Feast of the Assumption. I made my consecration to Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary 32 years ago (geez....), and last night I was so conscious of Mary's love and protection for me all these years. I am so grateful for the love of a Mother.

3. Excitement abounds: Curly-Haired Daughter moves into her dorm a week from today!

Joe Biden and the Political Silly Season

I do not relish the time between here and the election: it's gonna be ugly. However, I do know that between here and now, Joe Biden's ability to stick his foot in his mouth will be the gift that keeps on giving.

"I promise you, the president has a big stick. I promise you." --Joe Biden, citing Theodore Roosevelt's famous quote, "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far."

 "An hour late, oh give me a f*&^%#@ break." –Joe Biden, caught on a live mic speaking to a former Senate colleague after arriving on Amtrak at Union Station in Washington, D.C., March 13, 2009

"Look, John's last-minute economic plan does nothing to tackle the number-one job facing the middle class, and it happens to be, as Barack says, a three-letter word: jobs. J-O-B-S, jobs." --Joe Biden, Athens, Ohio, Oct. 15, 2008 

"You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent.... I'm not joking."…

Feast of the Assumption

“Mary is the fruitful Virgin, and in all the souls in which she comes to dwell she causes to flourish purity of heart and body, rightness of intention and abundance of good works. Do not imagine that Mary, the most fruitful of creatures who gave birth to a God, remains barren in a faithful soul. It will be she who makes the soul live incessantly for Jesus Christ, and will make Jesus live in the soul” - St. Louis de Montfort

Two Women's Death and Legacies

Two notable women passed away in the past few days - no coincidences in God's world, remember: Helen Gurley Brown and Nellie Gray.

Helen Gurley Brown was the "long-time editor of Cosmopolitan magazine, the saucy sparkplug for a sexual revolution, and the originator of the notion that a woman could “have it all.” Controversial and charismatic, she championed female empowerment and taught generations of women to embrace their feminine wiles and have fun in bed (married or not)." A quote from her: “If you’re not a sex object, you’re in trouble.”

Nellie Gray was the  "founder of the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., the largest annual pro-life event in the country", "an ubiquitous figure at the pro-life march, her slight frame standing at the podium at stage centre, introducing the many luminaries who addressed the crowd of several hundred thousand during the rally before the march." A quote from her website: "...the right to life i…

Total Rip-off Tuesday and Feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe

"...if God asks something from us, he surely provides us with the energy we need to carry out his will, on condition that we do not neglect to do our part. [emphasis added]

We require God's grace in order to function, and our soul can surely obtain that grace through prayer."
- St. Maximilian Kolbe

Would you know modern-day slavery or trafficking if you saw it?

We tend to think that slavery takes place in shadowy places far away - a girl in a developing country sold into slavery by desperate parents or a child kidnapped into a sex-slavery ring.

Not so. It takes place here in the US, in alarmingly frequent numbers. Please read this blog post from Yorbel Market:

It's a buzz word: Human Trafficking. 
If you haven't heard it lately, you will soon.  There is so much good material out there on the subject that I'm a bit hesitant to attempt an addition.  But I keep having this same experience, and it makes me wonder if you are too.  And if you are, you probably have had some of the same questions that I have, or perhaps you have not yet recognized it for what it is.  

 You see we think of trafficking as being an overseas phenomenon, something we can remain fairly insulated from by avoiding Asian and Eastern European countries.  Some of us are becoming aware of the estimated 200,000 men, women and children thought to be ensla…

Modern Art Monday

Sitting with the God of Silence

We normally don't think of God as silent. After all, most of Scripture is filled with God telling people things: go build an ark, go tell Pharaoh to let My people go, prophesy to the people, come and follow Me. We turn to Scripture and prayer over and over to listen to what God has to say to us.

Except when He doesn't say anything.

Sometimes, God is silent. We pray, we implore, we wait. And He remains silent. It's not a very comfortable place to be. We get impatient and angry. We shout at God, hoping He will hear us and answer. And He remains silent.

We remind ourselves that God is good, and He is with us in that silence, but it often feels as if He's not silent, but rather ignoring us. "Answer me! I'm trying to be faithful! I just want to know that You're there!" We try to be patient and sit with this God of Silence. We struggle to be comfortable in the silence, as we are in the silent company of a dear friend. Yet, the silence wears on us. We want …

Sacred Place

Prayers please

One of my family members is in need of prayers. Lift him up, please!!

Thoughts from Condoleeza Rice

x I am privileged to be attending the Global Leadership Summit for work and enjoyed hearing Condoleeza Rice (she wore a really great suit!) speak this morning.  A few thoughts:

Every life is worthy, and every life is capable of greatness.
The best thing you can do for someone is give them control over their own future.
"It is a privilege to struggle", and she referenced Romans 5.

Three Good Things Thursday

1. Global Leadership Summit. I am attending this very large conference for the first time, representing PovertyCure and the Acton Institute. I am excited to see what the next two days bring, what I learn, and meeting some great folks!

2. A praying mother. Knowing my mom is praying constantly for me and my family is a great blessing.

3. Being able to chat with both my daughters, even though we are in three different places in two different states. Say what you like about technology; I will take it!


Reminder about comments

I've had a number of anonymous comments lately. I won't post them. I appreciate all your thoughts, but I've had problems with a stalker in the past, and I also believe you should stand behind what you say. It doesn't take but a moment to create an account.

Just so ya know!

Olympic fever

Yep, we have Olympic fever at my house: watching everything from badminton (who knew THAT would be the big scandal this year??) to soccer to beach volleyball to archery to boxing.

I love most of the sports, but I must admit I can't watch balance beam. It makes me too nervous for those young women. I get anxious. I hide my face. I can't imagine if it were my daughter!

There are always glorious Olympic moments that stay with us forever. I'm still accumulating mine, but top of the list is Oscar Pistorius, the South African man born without legs who participated in track. Running? No legs? Yeah, that's great.

One of the joys of the Olympics is watching men and women use the bodies gave them to excel. If you remember the movie "Chariots of Fire", you will remember that one character (based on a real person), Eric Liddell was a deeply Christian man. He said, "I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.&q…

Work, work, work

Not that I'm ignoring you, but I'm busy-busy at work. No need to worry if there are little to no posts the next few days.


My soul shall be healed

I made a mistake on Sunday.

To be honest, I probably made 10,000 mistakes on Sunday, given the sinful mess that I am, but I'm only going to talk about one of them.

Some friends of ours have experienced a tragedy in the past week or so, and that is weighing very heavily on our family and our circle of friends. We ended up offering Mass for them with our dear Franciscan Sisters on Sunday afternoon. It was an emotional Mass.

Last week was pretty awful. The word of this tragedy for our dear friends, having three meetings for Dark-haired Daughter's on-going recovery, lots of stuff at work, recognizing some problems with Youngest Son that are larger than we previously thought, a bunch of teens who think they know more than me about everything from finances to time management to parenting...well, I was more than weary. Closed to crushed.

I had hoped that Mass was going to offer some miraculous fix. That was my mistake. I thought that maybe just by sitting in that chapel and being in…

Breaking bread with the "enemy"

I swore I wasn't gonna write anything on Chik-Fil-A, but this post really isn't about that.

I am so disheartened by the level of animosity, distrust, meanness and unkindness that is now so pervasive in our American culture. I support traditional, Biblical marriage. I don't hate gay people. I understand that lots of people hate the Catholic Church, and therefore, hate people in the Catholic Church. I still wanna invite them over for dinner.

I hope - and this is just me - that I will always, always, always be willing to sit down and have a meal with someone I don't agree with. I hope that we can enjoy each other's company, find common ground, express our differences of opinion, share our stories and our souls a bit.  Gandhi said to be the change you want to see in the world. So, I'm not gonna boycott, I'm not gonna hate or call people evil, I'm not gonna protest and hold a sign by the side of the road.

I will continue to speak the truth, and I will invit…

Three Good Things Thursday - The Musical

Every morning and evening in my daily commute, I listen to Christian radio. It's one form of prayer. I can't tell you how many times this has uplifted me, sustained me, gotten my through. So today, lyrics from three of my favorites:

1. Lift up your face, lift up your face
Salvation is calling, salvation is calling

You have fallen so far now
You don't even know how, you are going to survive
(But) Just above the horizon
A new light is shining, breaking through the darkest night
Love is coming and it's calling out your name
(Third Day, "Life Up Your Face")

2. Lord, we remember You
And remembrance leads us to worship
And as we worship You
Our worship leads to communion
We respond to Your invitation, we remember You

See His body, His blood
Know that He has overcome every trial we will face
None too lost to be saved
None too broken or ashamed, all are welcome in this place
(Matt Maher, "Remembrance")


3. We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful,…

Shamelessly begging for prayers

Some dear friends of ours are dealing with family tragedy. I am begging for prayers for them today.

Heavenly Father, you're close to people whose hearts are breaking, those who are discouraged and have given up hope. May You who see their troubles and grief respond when they cry out. When they're hurting, help them find their joy in You, for Your joy will be their strength. Help them to trust You as their God of hope. Fill them with Your joy, peace, and hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.