Saturday, May 31, 2008

We Can't Have It All

Okay folks, please listen carefully.

I'm telling you this because I care about you.

I don't intend to hurt you by saying this, but if I don't you or someone else might be hurt worse.

Are you listening?

Here it is...

You cannot have it all.

Plain and simple.

Not everybody wins.

In the candy bowl of life, not everyone gets all they want --- or even the kind they want.

That's just how it works.

We make choices in life and out of those choices spring our next set of options. And so it goes from there.

You do not get "do overs" that allow you to keep what you want from your first choice, yet go back for the "goodies" of what were your previous options.

Is that right? Is it fair?

Pretty much so.

Now, don't stomp your feet. Think of the example you are setting for your kids. Just stop it.

Simply put, if you get everything there are going to be others that get nothing.

Today I ran across something that made make a funny face and sigh the words, "Get real."

Perhaps, if it wasn't related to a group that I admire and for which I have regularly played cheerleader for even though not a member of their team, maybe I would have just made the face and quickly moved on. Unfortunately, that isn't the case.

A group that represents homeschoolers felt it necessary to send a letter to the Subway restaurant corporation because Subway excluded homeschoolers from a contest with a prize suited to accommodate a formal school, be it public, private or parochial. $5000 worth of fitness equipment. The letter to the company validly stated the value of homeschooling when it noted that "Homeschooling is a thriving educational option. All the available research shows that homeschoolers are excelling academically and socially." However, it was way off base when it said of the group, "We do not deserve to be overlooked." That is simply feet stomping in an attempt to get the goodies of the previous choices that were not chosen.

The reason homeschooling is thriving is because the benefits of that choice are phenomenal, but in choosing that option a family must know they are forgoing the benies of the other options.

Shhhh... Now hush, just a second. It is my opinion that the greatest benefits are found in the homeschooling option. And not just for the kids and their families. Hushhhh. Please let me talk. I truly believe that homeschoolers, as a group of solidly developed individuals, may be one of the greatest hopes of our society. That said, I have to go on to say that I hope that homeschooling isn't polluted by the whining entitlement attitude so pervasive in our present society. And that letter strikes me as just that.

Yes, Subway is going to cater to the homeschoolers in response to that letter in that they have promised to develop a contest solely for homeschooling families, but what kind of message, really, does that send? It muddies the water of the homeschooling moral float. Really it does.

Homeschooling families make many sacrifices. Daily. It isn't an easy choice, nor is it an easy lifestyle. The long-term benefits are sometimes not so evident when worksheets are spread throughout the house, infants refuse to stop crying during an exam, impromptu science experiments go awry and you can't remember when you last could uttered the words, "Calgon, take me away"and have it mean something. On the toughest of days, it has to get to the parents who are giving their all to give their kids the best they can give. It must be frustrating to know that, in some ways, there are advantages to formal schooling of which your kids can't partake. But the big picture is that a homeschooling family is a family that know the how, what and where of the influences upon the family. I can't see anyone who is thoughtfully raising their kids thinking that whining about a trivial contest is something that they want to influence who the children become.

The Visitation

During those days Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah,
where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.

When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, "Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.

And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled."

And Mary said:

"My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my savior.
For he has looked upon his handmaid's lowliness;
behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed.
The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him.
He has shown might with his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart.
He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly.
The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty.
He has helped Israel his servant, remembering his mercy,
according to his promise to our fathers, to Abraham and to his descendants forever."

Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home. (Luke 1:39-56)

Friday, May 30, 2008

Can You Imagine?

Baby Born After Rare Ovarian Pregnancy

SYDNEY, Australia (May 30) - A woman in a northern Australian city gave birth to a healthy baby girl after a rare full-term ectopic pregnancy, a hospital official said Friday.

Meera Thangarajah, 34, had no symptoms or complications during her pregnancy, so doctors performing a routine Caesarean section Thursday were shocked to find that the baby had developed in the ovary rather than the uterus. Full Story

Pretty amazing stuff. Can you imagine?


Well since people evidently couldn't figure it out on their own, the Vatican had to formally acknowledge the automatic excommunication of the women who are playing priest.

Vatican: Attempted ordination of women incurs excommunication
By Cindy Wooden
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican's doctrinal congregation has decreed formally that a woman who attempts to be ordained a Catholic priest and the person attempting to ordain her are automatically excommunicated.
"Both the one who attempts to confer a sacred order on a woman, and the woman who attempts to receive a sacred order, incur an excommunication 'latae sententiae,'" or automatically, said a decree from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Full story

Women priests do not exist in the Roman Catholic Church - period.

Any female saying that she is a priest is obviously not part of the Latin Rite Church. Services by these individuals are schismatic - they have nothing to do with the Catholic Church and are, therefore, separate from the Church. If an Assembly of God minister called himself a Catholic priest, it would be a lie (plus, his congregation would probably have him institutionalized) just as much as it is a lie for any woman to say she is a Catholic priest.

Just because I might call myself purple, I am not purple - no matter how much I like the color.

World Day of Prayer for Priests

Since today is not only the Feast of the Sacred Heart, but also World Day of Prayer for Priests, please join me in praying for the men who have devoted their lives to serving Jesus by serving His people.
I don't know the author, but I think this to be quite a nice prayer:

Prayer for Priests

O Jesus, Eternal Priest;
keep all Your priests
within the shelter of Your Sacred Heart,
where none may harm them.
Keep unstained their anointed hands
which daily touch Your Sacred Body.

Keep unsullied their lips purpled with Your Precious Blood.
Keep pure and unearthly their hearts sealed
with the sublime marks of Your glorious priesthood.
Let Your holy love surround them and shield them
from the world's contagion.

Bless their labors with abundant fruit,
and may the souls to whom they have ministered to
be their joy and consolation
and in heaven their beautiful and everlasting crown.

O Mary, Queen of the clergy, pray for us;
obtain for us many holy priests.


I'd also like to share a picture with you -->
In it are Fr. Ian Jeremiah of the Bridgeport Diocese and Msgr. Robert Gribbon of the Harrisburg Diocese. Both are "Mounties" in that they studied at Mount St. Mary Seminary; however, more than 60 years seperate their graduating classes.

As of tomorrow, May 31st, Fr. Jeremiah will have been a priest for two weeks. He served our parish during is his diaconate year. We were blessed to have had him. Please pray for both of these men of God.


Sacred Heart Feast Day

Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690), a Visitandine nun, was gifted with visions of Christ. She was to be His instrument.

He told her, "My divine Heart is so inflamed with love for mankind ... that it can no longer contain within itself the flames of its burning charity and must spread them abroad by your means."

Margaret Mary was told to propagate a devotion to His Sacred Heart. Connected to this devotion, Jesus gave twelve promises for devotees:

I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life

I will establish peace in their families.

I will console them in all their troubles.

They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of their death.

I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.

Sinners shall find in My Heart the source of an infinite ocean of mercy.

Tepid souls shall become fervent.

Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.

I will bless the homes where an image of My Heart shall be exposed and honored.

I will give to priests the power of touching the most hardened hearts.

Those who propagate this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be effaced.

The all-powerful love of My Heart will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under my displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments; My heart shall be their assured refuge at that last hour.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Do you want to read about something unusual?

If so, please click on a little berry in the picture:

Adult Stem Cell Research Shows Promise

No disease - not Alzheimer's, Autism, Cystic Fibrosis, Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, Parkinson's nor any other condition - is going to be cured anytime soon by stem cell research; however, I think it is important that we cheer the advances. Most important to me is that people hear that the true promise has been found in adult stem cell research, not emybronic. It seems that we have rushed forward toward what we perceive to be the bravest newest world, while wholeheartedly tangling a major portion of our financial and intellectual resources, without first pausing to analyze all of our options.

I offer this article teaser in the spirit of "Keep the Faith":

Adult Stem Cell Research Shows Gains in Treating Lou Gehrig's Disease
Vancouver, Canada -- A new study shows more success for adult stem cells, an ethical and more effective means of stem cell research than embryonic. A unique pilot study has established a safe pathway for using bone-marrow stem cells to slow down and potentially treat Lou Gehrig's disease. Also known as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), the condition is a fatal neurodegenerative disease without cure.
Dr. Neil Cashman, professor of neurology at the University of British Columbia and director of the ALS program at Vancouver Coastal Health and VCH Research Institute, headed the study. He published the results in the latest issue of the medical journal Muscle & Nerve. In the study he and his colleagues tested the use of a growth factor stimulant in ALS patients and found that bone-marrow stem cells became activated with no adverse effects to patients. “Our idea was to use a growth factor stimulant to increase the number of circulating stem cells from within the body’s bone marrow where they would have the potential to travel to the site of injury and begin repair, slowing down the progression of ALS,” says Cashman. “This pathway, if one day successful, may provide a new therapy that will avoid the ethical debate surrounding embryonic stem cells,” he explained. Full story at


This past week, while I'm on the computer and my husband is in the next room I've frequently heard commercials for a new show coming out this summer, Swingtown.

The premise is that when a family in the 1970's moves to a new neighborhood they find that "swinging" is part of the subculture. The tone of the commercials is that everyone is doing it and if someone isn't then they are missing out on something good.

Swinging does go on, and it did in the 70's. No question, but that doesn't mean that it ought seen as valid fodder for network produced entertainment. I am opposed to it being made to seem as if it is normative behavior. The reason being is that once it is seen as a norm in on a television show, it opens it up to being acceptable in other realms. To promote aberrant behavior is to foster societal degradation.

By choosing to broadcast this show, CBS is showing that there are no boundaries as to what they will put in your home. "Pushing the envelope" isn't a relevant phrase in this case. The envelope has been shred and tossed out with yesterday's garbage --- so as to make room for the biggest pile of trash for which advertisers would empty their pockets.

I don't even want to imagine what will be the next big show to be developed for public consumption.

Unfortunately, this is what we have proven to networks and advertiser that we want. We spend Sunday evening with a bunch of Desperate Housewife, Monday we can hang out with some Gossip Girls then chill at One Tree Hill, on Tuesday we search for souls with the Reaper, hump day finds us with Men in Trees, Thursday offers a Supernatural way to get Lost, the Ghost Whisperer helps us end the work week. I'm not sure if we just don't critically look at what we are offered or if this is really what we want. I hope it's not.

Dear Lord,
Afford us the gift of prudence
Allow that we make choices that please You.

Mother Said...

About Speaking the Truth

We don't like to speak the truth about evil because we're going to hurt somebody. Let me tell you, you are going to hurt somebody, but that Somebody is God. If you would rather hurt God than your neighbor, there is something wrong with your spirituality. It's your obligation to speak the truth and everyone can either take it or leave it. But truth must be in us.
Mother M. Angelica

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Fishers of Men

I liked this sign enough that I just had

to turn the car around to take a picture of it to share with you.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Golden Compass

On the way out the door to go to the grocery store tonight, I was handed this DVD by my husband and asked to return it to the rental site.
I looked at the case. Saw what you see and just looked at my husband.
Before I even formed what I wanted to say, he hurriedly said, "I knew you wouldn't want to watch it," in explanation as to why he wanted it returned without asking me if I wanted to see it.
It was at that point that St. Paul walked in the door, looked at the case and pointedly asked his father, "The Golden Compass - why would you ever rent that?"
Bill defensively answered, "I wanted to watch it."
Even more vehemently, and with greater disdain, Scott asked, "Why? Why would you rent that? Why?!"
I don't know how many times, "Why" and "Because I wanted to," were said before Scott heard me tell him to stop it, but it was quite a few - my ears nearly rung with the words.
I'm not writing of this in order to show animosity between parent and child; rather, it is because, like my husband you might not understand what problem - if any - I might (and did) have with that DVD being in my house.
It comes down to what Scott said in the grocery store afterward. He questioned me as to why his father had rented the movie, then said, "He knows it is against our religion."
Had I known the movie was already in the house, I might have actually watched it to see the propaganda. That doesn't mean I would have ever considered renting it. In fact, had I been with Bill when he got it, I would have tried to dissuade him from getting it - ever.
I didn't like that it was in the house because that meant that my household not only supported the movie financially, but also, since it is still a recent enough release that rental figures are probably still tracked, the rental can be seen as an approval for the movie. Rental statistics might influence not only whether the next book in the trilogy is made into a movie, but also if scripts similar to The Golden Compass reach the screen.
I don't like being even remotely connected to such productions.
Okay, that's my two cents on the matter. Thanks for letting me share.
Oh, one other thing I'd like to mention...
Since the DVD was released, if Scott sees it for sale on a rack in a store he will move it to the furthest back position to lessen the chance it will be purchased. I almost laughed aloud the first time I noticed this subtle bit of subterfuge.

Crowning of Our Lady's Statue

Very nearly immediately after the Rosary Walk, Fr. Jack said Mass in the Grotto.

An open air Mass at the Grotto is always lovely.

To hear God's word and to receive His salvific Eucharist in the grandeur of nature - it refreshes the soul.

At the conclusion of Mass Father asked the children join him to process to the statue of Our Lady.

As they moved forward, Fr. Jack gave the girls each the opportunity to carry the pillow upon which the floral crown rested.

Everyone joined in as Father prayed the "Hail Mary."

Hail Mary, Full of Grace, The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruitof thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of death.

Before ascending the ladder, Father blessed the crown.

When Father came down from the niche, he led a chorus of "Immaculate Mary."

Immaculate Mary, thy praises we sing;
Who reignest in splendor with Jesus our King.

Ave, ave, ave, Maria!
Ave, ave, Maria!

In heaven, the blessed thy glory proclaim;
On earth we, thy children, invoke thy fair name.

Ave, ave, ave, Maria! ...

All received Father's priestly blessing. Fr. Jack made himself available for individual blessings, too.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Corpus Christi

Sacris Solemniis
At This Our Solemn Feast
by Thomas Aquinas

At this our solemn feast
let holy joys abound,
and from the inmost breast
let songs of praise resound;
let ancient rites depart,
and all be new around,
in every act, and voice, and heart.

Remember we that eve,
when, the Last Supper spread,
Christ, as we all believe,
the Lamb, with leavenless bread,
among His brethren shared,
and thus the Law obeyed,
of all unto their sire declared.

The typic Lamb consumed,
the legal Feast complete,
the Lord unto the Twelve
His Body gave to eat;
the whole to all, no less
the whole to each did mete
with His own hands, as we confess.

He gave them, weak and frail,
His Flesh, their Food to be;
on them, downcast
and sad, His Blood bestowed He:
and thus to them He spake,
"Receive this Cup from Me,
and all of you of this partake."

So He this Sacrifice
to institute did will,
and charged His priests alone
that office to fulfill:
in them He did confide:
to whom it pertains still to take,
and the rest divide.

Thus Angels' Bread is made
the Bread of man today:
the Living Bread from heaven
with figures dost away:
O wondrous gift indeed!
the poor and lowly may
upon their Lord and Master feed.

Thee, therefore, we implore,
o Godhead, One in Three,
o may Thou visit us
as we now worship Thee;
and lead us on Thy way,
That we at last may see
the light wherein
Thou dwellest aye.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

May 2008 Rosary Walk

Every Sunday, Mother Elizabeth Ann Seton and her community of sisters would walk roughly two miles from Emmitsburg proper, in Joseph's Valley, to the outskirts - up Mary's Mountain. They would go to Mass at the mountain church, then visit the Grotto.

One of Mother Seton's favorite spots in the Emmitsburg area was the Grotto. When she first moved to the area in 1809, she and her sisters lived for six weeks near what is the present day entrance to the Grotto.

The Grotto was a place of relaxation, a weekly retreat following Sunday High Mass. Mother Seton would regularly catechize her boys and the local children beside the brook whilst sitting upon a large rock that came to be known as hers. Having brought their meal with them, the sisters would cook it, eat, pray and enjoy the splendor of the mountain.

In speaking of time spent there, Mother Seton wrote, "If you could breathe our mountain air and taste the repose of the deep woods and streams. Yesterday we all, about twenty children and sisters, dined in our grotto on the mountain, where we go Sundays for the divine office."

Well, now a days no one has to jump rocks to cross Tom's Creek to get to the Grotto when coming from the Seton Shrine. Nor do they get lost between the two sites. Yet it is still a bit of a hike. Roughly, two miles.

It was those two miles that 30 or so people walked today while praying the rosary. This is a biannual event, in May and October, organized by the chaplain of the Grotto.

The pilgrims were, for the most part, transported by University van from the Grotto to a drop-off point near the Seton visitors center.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son Our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into Hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into Heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Sprit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. Amen.
Our Father, Who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation,but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Hail Mary, Full of Grace, The Lord is with thee.Blessed art thou among women,and blessed is the fruitof thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of death. Amen. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen
Hail, holy Queen, mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this our exile show us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Although I never walked it myself, it certainly seems that the steps from campus up to the Grotto are the toughest part of the walk. Just the same the pilgrims arrived somewhat energized by having walked in the foot steps of a saint.