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Showing posts from May, 2015

The St. Francis of Birdies and Kittens, or the Real Thing?

Pooor St. Francis. He's either relegated to the barnyard, or dancing around in a field, praising the sun. But that's not who he really was. He was a man madly in love with Christ, and wanted others to know that love.

I wanted to draw your attention to two new books about St. Francis that look as if they are worthy of our time. (I haven't read 'em yet, so I'm not endorsing them!) However, they seem to take the saint seriously. We don't do God or his saints any justice by sentimentalizing them.

Tuesday Afternoon Musings, Because: Lazy

1. Really, sheer laziness.

2. We are getting some long-overdue work done on our house. Hurray! I decided to get a head start by recoloring some grout. I thought it would be a simple, one-day project for the holiday weekend. I don't know why I thought that....

3. Spent the rest of the weekend making bridal shower and wedding plans (all via social media!). A small wedding requires just as much planning as a big one. Don't let anyone tell you differently. I am not complaining; I think  having a wedding planner takes a lot of fun out of it!

4. Finally met both the "in-laws." We had met mom, but not dad (they are now living out-of-state.) I now know why my daughter has such a lovely young man as her espoused.

5. We were kidless this weekend. Dark-haired daughter went camping for most of the weekend. It was a little weird rambling around in the house by ourselves. But maybe we could get used to it....

6. Is it bad that we set our Sunday Mass attendance around soccer? Dear…

Shameless self-promotion: The Evils of Human Trafficking

Monday Morning Musings

1. Given the Gospel this weekend, I was sort of hoping our pastor would whip out a rattlesnake and give us some Appalachian Gospel. He stuck to the homily routine though.

2. I am struggling with hope. I am trying to discern the differences and ties between theological hope - the virtue - and the hope of anticipating good here and now. I can't seem to bring myself to hope for anything good, because every time I do, I get slammed to the ground by a 2x4 to the head as I round a blind corner. This past week was an excellent example - huge problem with one of the kids that I thought was on the right track.

3. When you have a mentally ill adult child, you have to learn that he/she must manage their illness. You can't. You also have to put up with all the people who think you are being a bad parent by not stepping in and managing something that A) they don't understand and B) you can't do anything about anyway.

4. General thought: it must suck to be a meter reader in the ci…

A Citizen of the Nation of Chaos

No, Chaos is not one of the cities in a dystopian youth novel. It is a very real place.

There are a lot of people who live in the nation of Chaos. For some, their citizenship is earned because of a loved one's addiction. They never know if they are going to get Nice Dad or Angry Dad, if Mom will be making dinner when they get home or passed out cold.

In Chaos, we pray our children are safe ... not doing something that could get them arrested. If they do get arrested, we feel a sense of relief, because we know that at least they are safe. And then we feel guilty for feeling that relief.

In Chaos, mental illness is a familiar address. Whether it's the creeping darkness of depression, the sleepless, exuberant nights of mania, or the sinister voices in the mind only one person hears, mental illness makes itself right at home in Chaos.

It's hard to make plans in Chaos. A family might get ready for a vacation, and then someone goes off the rails. A car accident - once - makes o…

Mother's Day Monday Musings

1. One of my dearest friends spent her Mother's Day making funeral arrangements for her daughter. Her daughter had battled many health issues since birth, but had made great strides in the past few years: living on her own, getting her degree, landing a job. After a recent surgery, an infection took hold and she just did not have the strength to fight it. Please keep them in your prayers this week.

2. I got a Happy Mother's Day from 3 of my 5 kids. Those are pretty decent odds, given our family.

3. Spent a lovely weekend with Dear Husband doing stuff we love to do: antique shopping, wine-tasting, playing cribbage. Yes, we are dull people, but we are OUR dull people.

4. Our pastor, when he gave the blessings for the mothers at the end of Mass yesterday, reminded women who had conceived and lost a child to miscarriage that they should stand as well. Life begins at conception, he reminded us, and all women who have conceived are mothers. A lovely reminder.

Eternal Rest, O Lord

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Grand Rapids police have identified a body found in the Grand River Tuesday evening.
The body of Terry Douglas Bailey was found around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday near the river's east bank under the Fulton Street bridge.
Bailey, 51, was released from the Kent County Jail on Friday after serving four days for possessing open intoxicants in a city park.
He listed his address as Mel Trotter Mission on Commerce Avenue SW, about a half-mile from where his body was recovered.
Bailey has more than a hundred arrests for misdemeanor charges dating back to 2008, including consuming alcohol in public, disorderly panhandling and trespassing. A cause of death remains undetermined, pending the results of an autopsy.

I don't know this man. I see a lot of men like him every day.

This was one of the saddest things I've read in a long time. I pass no judgement on this man, for I do not know his story. However, he died a sad and lonely death, in what appeared to be a …

News Flash: Catholic Church Hates Women!

At least, that's what New York Times writer Frank Bruni says. Oh, he loves Pope Francis, and was overjoyed to hear the pope call for "equal pay for equal work" (which, in the US, is mandated by federal law), but it really doesn't count if women don't get to be priests.

Pay isn’t the primary issue when the symbolism, rituals and vocabulary of an institution exalt men over women and when challenges to that imbalance are met with the insistence that what was must always be — that habit trumps enlightenment and good sense. Let’s be clear. For all the remarkable service that the Catholic Church performs, it is one of the world’s dominant and most unshakable patriarchies, with tenets that don’t abet equality.
Uh. I'm not sure what to say to Bruni. Oh, wait: I do.

You are wrong.

And you are wrong on many levels.

First, this pope did not decide women can't be priests. In fact, no pope did. Jesus did. If you want to pick a fight with Him, go ahead, but kee…

Monday Morning Musings

1. Highlight of the weekend? (Besides the fact that Michigan is finally warm....) Our pastor's homily. So much great stuff to ponder for the whole week. Isn't that what a homily is supposed to be?

2. I'm thinking weddings. Got a bunch of 'em this year, including my own daughter's. Much to celebrate, much to do!

3. I'm hoping to go to Thailand next year, to help out human trafficking survivors and do research for my next book. If you are of the mind to help, you can!

4. Mother's Day is this weekend! And I get to go away with my husband! We've been ships passing in the night lately, what with his work, coaching soccer and my schedule.

5. From Magnificat, Fr. John Tauler, OP: And now let us consider the true way, and the shortest way leading into the very focus of this heavenly light. Briefly, it is unfeigned self-denial joined to boundless love of God - one's own self in not a single particular and God's honor in all things. Very much worth ponde…