Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I Must Be Doing Something Right...

...although I can't take all the credit.

My 12 yo son pounded the pavement Saturday afternoon, looking for someone, anyone to pay him to mow their lawn.  In our neighborhood, that is very hard.  Most people around here pay these roving "services" that pop up every summer, because "they have a family to feed."  What was once a great summer job for teens is now a going concern for adults.  Not that I begrudge anyone a job.  It is just that my teens have no other way to earn money before they're 16. 

Back to my 12 yo.  He finally found a job and got paid $17 dollars.  He gave his friend $2 for going around the neighborhood with him--his friend did not mow.  He came home with $15.  What did he want to do with it?  Buy a toy?  Nope.  Buy a video game or magazine?  Nope.  Some kind of treat for himself?  Nope.  He went straight to the video game store to buy a special video game book for his brother's birthday on Friday.  He knew we didn't have the money to buy presents "from" everyone in the family--so he did it himself.  I am soooo proud of him right now.  He has got a rare work ethic that I hope he learned from his father and me. 

Not to take anything away from him, but my daughter started her own enterprise this summer also.  She started her own little "business".  Her net total profits thus far--$30 dollars.  Not bad for a 10 yo.  Don't want to say what the business is because I don't want to give anyone any ideas and shut her out of her very small niche market.  Suffice to say it was all her idea, she did a great job, and went out and sold her product herself.  She is a wonder.  And, yes, she too bought her brother a gift--actually a birthday card.  She's saving up for "something special".

God Bless them both.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (or Corpus Christi)

Tomorrow, Sunday June 26, 2011, is the Solemnity of Corpus Christi.  For Catholic (and I would guess our sister Orthodox) Christians this is an especially solemn day of celebration.  It is the day we celebrate the Real Presence of Jesus Christ Our Lord at Mass.

The first reading is from Deuteronomy 8:2-3; 14b-16a.  It tells the story of the manna in the desert.  The people were in the desert starving.  God provided food in the form of manna which tasted of honey (a preview of the land "flowing with milk and honey") and looked like coriander seeds.  Manna literally means, "What is it?"  It has been called the bread from Heaven.

Manna in the desert gathered up by the people.
 Moses said to the people:  "Remember how for forty years now the LORD, your God, has directed all your journeying in the desert, so as to test you by affliction and find out whether or not it was your intention to keep his commandments.  He therefore let you be afflicted with hunger, and then fed you with manna, a food unknown to you and your fathers, in order to show you that not by bread alone does one live, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of the LORD.
"Do not forget the LORD, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery; who guided you through the vast and terrible desert with its saraph serpents and scorpions, its parched and waterless ground; who brought forth water for you from the flinty rock and fed you in the desert with manna, a food unknown to your fathers."

Notice how this passage ties in with the Gospel reading:

Jesus said to the Jewish crowds:  "I am the Living Bread that came down from Heaven; whoever eats this Bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is My Flesh for the life of the world."

Jesus offering us His Body and Blood
 The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"

Jesus said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you do not have life within you.  Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life,
and I will raise him on the last day.  For My flesh is True Food, and My blood is True Drink.  Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood remains in Me and I in him.  Just as the living Father sent Me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on Me will have life because of Me.  This is the Bread that came down from Heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this Bread will live forever." 
John 6:51-58

There is nothing ambiguous or symbolic in what Jesus is saying.  "I AM the bread from Heaven."  "Whoever EATS MY FLESH and DRINKS MY BLOOD has eternal life."  He didn't say whoever symbolically eats my flesh or symbolically drinks my blood has eternal life.  There is nothing wishy-washy or symbolic about his language.  It is a wonderful mystery just as the Blessed Trinity is a mystery.  The Mass is a mystery.  I love God in all His majesty and mystery. 

Jesus, I trust in You!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Goodbye, Father Corapi, Hello Black Sheepdog

Dear Father Corapi,
We will miss your humor, your truth, your powerful messages inspired by the Holy Spirit.  I'm sorry this has happened to you the way it has.  While I am a Catholic faithful to the Magesterium, I do have problems with the American Bishops at times.  Just when you think things are looking up for the American Church, things like this happen.  It is a terrible injustice.  Yet, we know you are still a member of the Body, and we look forward to your future work.  I plan to take advantage of your book sale and reading any of the books I have yet to read.  Satan may seem to win now, I am confident (as I think you are too, from what I read) that he will not win in the end.  God bless you, Father. (Click to go to his website and message)


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Blessed John XXIII's Prayer for Fathers

As Father's Day is coming up, I thought I'd share Pope Blessed John XXIII's prayer for fathers with my readers.  Pray this for your father so that he will know what a special place he holds in God's plan.

Saint Joseph, guardian of Jesus
and chaste husband of Mary,
you passed your life in loving fulfillment of duty.
You supported the holy family of Nazareth
with the work of your hands.
Kindly protect those who trustingly come to you.
You know their aspirations,
their hardships, their hopes.
They look to you because they know
you will understand and protect them.
You too knew trial,
labour and weariness.
But amid the worries of material life,
your soul was full of deep peace
and sang out in true joy
through intimacy with God's Son entrusted to you
and with Mary, his tender Mother.
Assure those you protect that they do not labour alone.
Teach them to find Jesus near them
and to watch over Him faithfully as you have done.

Monday, June 13, 2011

God's providence

It is such a pain in the *** to get up and take your husband to work at 6 AM.  His car wouldn't start; it was dead.  Even jump starting it didn't work--there was nothing wrong with the battery.  So, instead of my kids missing their daycamp--my daughter in a sewing class and my 5 yo son in "All Sports"--I got the kids out of bed and took my hubby to work.  The whole time both my 5 yo and I were grumbling about it.

Well, I called the tow truck and had it towed to our mechanic about a 1/4 mile from our house.  The mechanic calls 30 minutes later and says, "It's fixed."  Needless to say I was very surprised.  I was waiting for a two hundred dollar bill or something.  It cost $35.  There was a loose connection to the starter and there was no oil in the engine.  If my husband had driven to work, the engine probably would have seized and would have cost us hundreds. 

God watches out for us.  He is good.

Pope Blessed John XXIII

Wow did I see a great movie on Pope John XXIII: The Pope of Peace yesterday.  I knew virtually nothing about him until then.  Words cannot describe how much that film moved me.  He was a brilliant man; a man with humor and heart.  He moved the Church to start an ecumenical council in just two short years--Trent took 25 years to organize!  He moved people with love and understanding.  Moved by his experiences in World War I and II and the cold war, he worked hard to talk to nations about peace.  If you ever get a chance to see this film you should.  Also, read his famous encyclical Pacem in Terris (Peace on Earth).  It has moved millions.  He died two months after the publication of this important encyclical.

Pope John XXIII was beatified on September 3, 2000.
God Bless

Saturday, June 11, 2011

VBS Blues

Today I was feeling pretty good about how things were going this summer.  I have successfully navigated my son's SAT last Saturday, his taking the ACT today, one day camp, two son's apprenticeships at the science museum across town, worked on finishing up the school year, and worked on my own theology class assignment.  Whew!  Then today, I got the news--I am not cooking for VBS.

I teach my five kids all year, I teach RE to 20 kids during the school year, this year I didn't want to teach VBS.  I volunteered for cooking.  I love to bake and make treats.  To me, it is relaxing and fun.  When I volunteered to do it, I got a very good response from two of the three ladies "in charge".  I started to get excited and bought some decorations at a local Christian book store (yes, it is yet another warmed over Protestant VBS in Catholic clothing).  I researched prices, and I even researched sites to buy gluten-free, peanut-free, nut-free, milk free cake and cookie mixes.  The same site also has nut and peanut free granola, believe it or not.  All I was waiting for was my budget.

Well, apparently, the third lady gave the job to someone else.  Now, I don't think it was out of spite.  I think the problem is with having three "chiefs" so-to-speak.  So, I guess I am the nice one, the one that "won't mind" that they gave my job to someone else.  The one that won't make waves, because they want me to do the oh-so-"important" job of telling the kids how the snack ties in with the theme of the day.  Like a wimpy milk toast girl I said okay.  Well, the more I think about it, the more I am saddened and disappointed.  And, ya know what, I don't think I am going to take it.  I didn't want to teach this year.  I wanted to do something not-teaching and fun.  I wanted to be the funny, quirky lady with the apron on in the kitchen.  They are going to have to have someone else tell the kids how the food ties in with the theme.  I'm out.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Early Morning Meanderings

Last night we had a "slumber" party for my daughter.  She being the only girl (with four brothers) compensates by being the one who brings friends home frequently.  This would be fine if the friends, when they came over for a slumber party, slept.  One of the girls wandered the house and woke me up more than once.  Finally she said she wanted to go home--at 5:30AM.  I talked her into waiting until it was light out at least, and turned cartoons on.  So she has settled in for corn flakes and hot cocoa until the others wake up.

Now, I think about all the times I've wanted to write.  I am so busy, though, that I can't take the time to sit down and write...

For instance, my son and I are reading "Paradise Lost" by John Milton.  Most people I know groan when they hear the title.  It has a really bad reputation.  I remember my college fiance talking about it.  It sounded dreadful.  I had vowed never to read it.  Well, guess what?  Here I am reading Milton with my high school junior, and I am enjoying it.  Since I grew up reading the King James Bible (I am a former Baptist, after all), the language really isn't that hard for me, with the exception of  a few outdated words that are, thankfully, explained in the footnotes.  Also, we've read a lot of Shakespeare and my son had enjoyed it, so I thought my junior would have no problems with Milton.  Actually, I think it bores him.  I'm a little frustrated by that.  However, I am have a great time reading this book.  Yes, Milton slips in some snide anti-Catholic nonsense every once in a while, but for the most part it is a fascinating look at the beginning of the world, Satan, and sin.  May be I'm just weird.

I'm also taking a theology class this trimester called God, Man, and the Universe.  The final paper we have to write is scaring me a little, mostly because I don't have a lot of free time right now to write--I don't even seem to be able to make time to keep this blog up to date.  Also, I haven't written a term paper in decades.  However, I am learning so much from the class, the stress is worth it.  Just learning about atheism, polytheism, and heresies in the past and modern ages is helping to better equip me as a Catholic apologist.  It also helps me see that most of the heretics I "talk to" online have nothing new to say.  Every false and silly they have to say about God, His Church, the Bible, salvation, etc. has been around before--and defended against and defeated before.  So, it is really nice to get some more ammo in the arsenal against heresies.

For instance, their is a silly woman on one of my debate forums who claims that the Church's belief in the Real Presence in the Eucharist can't be true because Jesus is on His throne in Heaven.  She says He cannot be in Heaven and everywhere in the Eucharist at the same time.  She still hasn't given me a straight answer on whether she believe Jesus is God or not.  This particular heresy, modalism, that is one God manifesting Himself in different modes, has actually popped up more than once in Church history--In Manicheism, fought against by St. Augustine, Sabellianism, and now by crazy lady home 'churches' apparently.  Oh, and she also believes the "Word" in St. John's Gospel chapter one is the Bible and not Jesus, and that the Holy Spirit is just God's soul, so to speak--really?  I don't understand where people get their crazy ideas.  That is the danger of "Sola Scriptura" or Scripture as the final authority.  If there is no one authority to steer you in the right direction concerning Scripture, you get screwy ideas like hers (or even Mr. Camping's).

Studying factual Church history and theology will (and did for me) lead one to the true Church, the one Our Jesus Christ established through His apostles.  He gave those men His authority and gave the leadership to it to St. Peter--that is not only clear in Church Tradition, which predates the Scriptures, but is clearly seen in Scripture.  I thank the Baptist church for the upbringing in the Scriptures and for my love of Our Lord Jesus.  I praise the Holy Spirit for leading me to His true Church and giving me Tradition, history, an appreciation and admiration for the Mother of God (a reference to Jesus' Divine Nature-PERIOD), St. Mary, and most especially for giving me Jesus Christ Himself in the Eucharist.  He said, "This is My Body...this is the cup of My Blood."  I believe Him.  I can't say enough about the Eucharist.  I can't believe I lived over 35 years without it.  Now I get to have Him the rest of my life--then eternity.  Praise God!

Well, time to take my son to his SAT.  I'm sure he can't wait--ha, ha!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Looking for some good reading this summer?

I found a good list on Catholic Summer  It is sponsored by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.  The reading list includes some wonderful adult Catholic books, both fiction and non-fiction, teen books, and children's books.  I had been looking for some good books for my kids to read this summer.  I am grateful to find a Catholic list.  I am also happy to find an adult list.  If I have extra time this summer, I plan to hit one or two of the books listed.  I would really like to read "The Godless Delusion" by Patrick Madrid and Kenneth Hensley, "Kristin Lavransdatter" by Sigrid Unset, or "The Bridge of San Luis Rey" by Thornton Wilder (actually from the teen list).  So, if you have some time and the inclination, read some good Catholic literature this summer--and get the kids involved.

Link for the reading program will be on the right column throughout the summer.