Thursday, March 31, 2011

Today's reflection

 The Imitation of Christ
Passage from Book Two, Chapter One

Interior conversation

He who learns to live the interior life and to take little account of outward things, does not seek special places or times to perform devout exercises. A spiritual man quickly recollects himself because he has never wasted his attention upon externals. No outside work, no business that cannot wait stands in his way. He adjusts himself to things as they happen. He whose disposition is well ordered cares nothing about the strange, perverse behavior of others, for a man is upset and distracted only in proportion as he engrosses himself in externals. If all were well with you, therefore, and if you were purified from all sin, everything would tend to your good and be to your profit. But because you are as yet neither entirely dead to self nor free from all earthly affection, there is much that often displeases and disturbs you. Nothing so mars and defiles the heart of man as impure attachment to created things. But if you refuse external consolation, you will be able to contemplate heavenly things and often to experience interior joy.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

for your reflection

In Lenten terms, I hope I am as close to blooming as these are!

I thought I would share a few of the passages that have jumped out at me during my Lenten reading these past weeks.

This one is very reassuring, to those of us still working out the knots; from Francis De Sales' Introduction to the Devout Life.

   A slow cure, as the maxim says, is always surest. Diseases of the soul as well as those of the body come posting on horseback but leave slowly and on foot.

And, from The Imitation of Christ, by Thomas à Kempis,

The Value of Adversity

It is good for us to have trials and troubles at times, for they often remind us that we are on probation and ought not to hope in any worldly thing. It is good for us sometimes to suffer contradiction, to be misjudged by men even though we do well and mean well. These things help us to be humble and shield us from vainglory. When to all outward appearances men give us no credit, when they do not think well of us, then we are more inclined to seek God Who sees our hearts. Therefore, a man ought to root himself so firmly in God that he will not need the consolations of men.
When a man of good will is afflicted, tempted, and tormented by evil thoughts, he realizes clearly that his greatest need is God, without Whom he can do no good. Saddened by his miseries and sufferings, he laments and prays. He wearies of living longer and wishes for death that he might be dissolved and be with Christ. Then he understands fully that perfect security and complete peace cannot be found on earth.

 I admit, I have never gotten to the point of wishing for death. I have, though, realized that during times of trial, I do "lament and pray," and when things are swimming along, I sometimes forget God in my daily moment to moment. I do seem to have a pretty steady flow of things to keep me praying, so God has my number on that point.

I also was strangely touched by Chapter 23,Thoughts on Death. I have a version that has Old English. Sometimes it emphasizes the meanings of the words. I linked the modern version. I don't understand yet why that chapter grabbed me.

Blessings and Peace, 


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

a sunny morning

It is a nice morning in my house. Quiet, and a sunny day for a change! I have at least sixteen things on my To Do list on any given day, but the morning light always captivates me, so I stopped to take a few photos.

If I could paint, I would do things like this. I like how the light and shadow make for kind of a joyful stillness.

 Malaika left these on the ledge outside and forgot about them. They came back to life nicely with a little trim and some water.


These pictures of Malaika and Ben were taken about two years ago. I really am blessed with good kids.

Here is my grandson before he got to be all grown up. (He is three now. I am attempting to get out to Michigan to visit them, but the airfares! yow~)

Colors just look better in the cool light. Fresher, somehow.  The afternoon has a warmer tone.

I am excited to plant something in the planter out front. I am waiting for the nights to quit getting so cold! The hyacinths out back are still plugging along, they are in a pretty sheltered spot. I even thought I smelled them a little earlier when I was out there! I can see that one is purple. So exciting! I am easily amused. I make the whole family go and look whenever anything blooms out there. I also see the mint popping back up. We can have mint tea this summer...if I were a little more adventurous, I would try mojitos.They are too expensive to buy. I guess I could watch a you tube video to see how to make know you can find a you tube for just about anything, right? Bob fixed our garbage disposal that way. I also saw one for how to get Sarah Palin's hairdo.

Well, I know this was a tad rambly. But I find these kinds of moments are gifts from God, that help still and settle me, and remind me of all the good in my life, and I can give Him thanks.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

let's see how many things I can jump into this Lent

Well, I have to paint any pictures on this post mostly with words. I forgot to take my camera with me for the past several days. Well okay, I might upload a few web pictures, just for oomph. cause I don't have any! Oomph, that is. I have been going non-stop all week and am ready. to. stop.

 Here is my next un-thought out project.
Yes, folks. Kelly is dragging out the old bassoon. It all started with volunteering to sing in a group doing the Mozart Requiem. Then while at rehearsal, I heard the leader mention the orchestra that he will have come in for the performance, which led me to think that playing this piece would be a sight easier than singing it. So I sidled up to him after and asked if he would rather have a bassoon player than just one more alto. To which he got pretty excited and made a phone call.

Now I am~
1. still singing in the original performance cause that one doesn't have an orchestra.

and 2. playing for another one in East Japip-ville, that I wasn't previously going to, AND , yes, still getting up to sing whenever I am not playing.  So hah, the joke's on me!

And really after all those words up there that seem like complaining, I am pretty happy. Cause, unlike my foray into flute playing, I actually was half decent on bassoon once, and have some reserves to call upon. But I am still scrounging around to get a good reed or two.

Here are the keys that are for the left thumb alone. There are ten. For one thumb.

Bassoon is one crazy instrument. After I get my fingers all limbered up, I will challenge any takers to a thumb wrestling match. Left Thumb Wrestling. The right thumb only has four or so keys.

Mozart for bassoon isn't really all that hard. Word on the street is that Mozart liked writing for the bassoon. I played his bassoon concerto for my recital at college. It was o-kay, not my favorite, but kind of a standard, have- to- get- it- in- your- repertoire kind of thing. I definitely think he was not as fond of altos.

Now I have to go and sit somewhere with my feet up and do nothing more taxing than a crossword,  or stare or something.

Wishing all a lovely Sunday evening, and a not too bad Monday.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

letter from Relevant Radio about Father Corapi---Update---

 As you may be aware, Fr. John Corapi made an announcement via his website that he has been placed on “Administrative Leave” by his superiors while allegations against him are investigated and resolved. “Administrative Leave” for a priest means that he may not publicly exercise his priestly ministry.

Because of this action by Fr. Corapi’s superiors and out of respect and obedience to their God-given authority, Relevant Radio has suspended Fr. Corapi’s daily programs until further notice, since these broadcasts are deemed a part of his public priestly ministry. This decision was made in prayerful consultation with members of the senior management team, board members, and ecclesiastical authorities.
In the interim, Relevant Radio will air a Lenten Series for the remainder of March and April in the 10-11 AM CST time slot.

Fr. Corapi's preaching has brought many souls back to the Church, and we pray for a speedy resolution to this situation. It would be good for us to keep in mind that St. Padre Pio was placed on Administrative Leave for the very same reasons, and he humbly submitted to his authorities and encouraged his followers to do the same, while using this opportunity to further sanctify himself and offer his sufferings for the Church, serving as a model for us all. Let us have hope and pray for Fr. Corapi and all involved, that the Truth and Peace of Jesus Christ will reign.
Yours in Christ and Our Blessed Mother,
Rev. Francis J. Hoffman
Executive Director of Relevant Radio 
Prayer for Priests by St. Therese of Lisieux

O Jesus, eternal Priest,

Keep your priests within the shelter of Your Sacred Heart, where none may touch them.

Keep unstained their anointed hands, which daily touch Your Sacred Body.

Keep unsullied their lips, daily purpled with your Precious Blood.

Keep pure and unearthly their hearts, sealed with the sublime mark of the 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 minister be their joy and consolation here and in heaven their beautiful and everlasting crown.


O Mary, Queen of the Clergy,
pray for us!



Statement of Santa Cruz Media, Inc. Relative to Fr. Corapi’s Suspension

  Santa Cruz Media, Inc. is the owner of all of Fr. John Corapi’s intellectual property and the DVDs, CDs, and books that flow from it. We are a secular corporation and not affiliated with the Catholic Church in any way. As such, we are not under the jurisdiction of any bishop or other official in the Catholic Church, although we have the utmost respect for Church authority.

We fully support Rev. John Corapi in this terrible trial, not surprisingly having begun on Ash Wednesday. Through the sacrifice and struggle of the desert and all of the dark moments that this entails, we are confident that the glory of the risen Lord will shine forth from the power of the Resurrection and Easter.

We have consulted with a number of canon lawyers. They have assured us that the actions of the Bishop of Corpus Christi, Texas are, on several points of canon law, illicit. It is our fervent hope that The Dallas Charter will be changed because of false accusations like this. There is no evidence at this time that Fr. Corapi did anything wrong, only the unsubstantiated rant of a former employee, who, after losing her job with this office, physically assaulted me and another employee and promised to "destroy" Father Corapi. We all continue to pray for this person, and we ask you to do the same.

We sincerely believe that the work Fr. Corapi has done is of greatest value to the Church, hence hated by the devil. We fully intend to make Fr. Corapi’s material available as a service to the Church and the world for as long as we possibly can.

The Church provides no financial support to Fr. Corapi. He has to pay for his own legal representation, medical costs, food, housing, etc. We have never accepted donations or charitable contributions of any kind. We are supporting Father’s efforts to defend himself. Your purchase of products from Santa Cruz Media helps provide the funding for Father's continued work as well as the legal expenses he continues to incur as a result of these malicious allegations.

Father Corapi and all of us here at Santa Cruz Media, Inc. greatly appreciate your kindness, support, and prayers. Please continue to pray for Father Corapi and his accuser, as well as all priests who find themselves in this unfortunate situation.

 Sincerely yours in Christ,

  Bobbi Ruffatto
Vice President of Operations
Santa Cruz Media, Inc.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

home news

 Please don't look at my dirty windows. Instead, notice the flowers Rachael picked while at the park on Sunday. We're getting there!

The hyacinths progress.

my little patch of earth, lol!

 I hope to put flowers in the planter out front, and maybe some out here, too. This is out back.

And last but not least, Corrie's twenty first birthday! She was born just an hour or so after midnight on March 18th, so we consider her the most Irish of all of us. She usually gets a St. Patty's Day theme. Which she did this year, but mixed with  Pirate and Princess undertones. And a little Mardi Gras thrown in. We had corned beef and cabbage for dinner. everybody ate it up so fast, I didn't get a chance to take a photo.

First, the preparation. The hat and mask didn't want to go together well.

The blaze! Geez, Cor you must be getting old.

Attempting to blow out the blaze through the feather mask, and not catch on fire. Tricky.


                                  Corrie's beautiful smile

A few nice gifts!

A cupcake tribute to the Irish flag.

A little nest of Irish Potatoes

Here are the leftover Saint Joseph cakes. Surprisingly, no one seemed to care that they were "leftover."

 a better shot of the hat. oh yes, and the lovely trash can. 

 some random silliness

the view if you are a crumb

 Ben was shooting stuff with the princess wands.

Melissa wasn't feeling well  :( 
I don't know what Adam was doing :P
The aftermath. We were really full. Two days off our fast, and bam! lead.

Happy Birthday, Corrie! You're beautiful, even blurry.

Monday, March 21, 2011

A prayer for today

~please pause the playlist before starting~:)

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

St. Joseph, pray for Fr. Corapi!

Saddened, but not surprised. The Church is and has been under attack. Fr. Corapi knows this about as well as anyone.. I will be keeping him in my prayers more now that ever. He is now in the company of saint Pio, who underwent such accusations also.

For anyone who may be wondering, the flute Ave Maria  went well this morning. I was afforded enough grace to offer whatever ability given me, and offered it for the babies going to their deaths at the Planned Parenthood today. And now I am adding on Fr. C. The Saint Joseph cakes won't taste quite as good today.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Lenten Friday, #2

A Blessed Lenten Friday!

Today I am going to tackle some housecleaning. As I still am practicing for tomorrow mornings flute-a-palooza, and also today is my daughter Corrie's birthday, AND just for extra fun, the skin around my eyes decided to get puffy, red and dry (this happened once before) so that not only am I a bit stressed out inside, now I also look like it. Or like I got in a fight. I guess I kind of am in a fight. After all it's Lent and those roots that live in me don't die without a fight.

So, wishing you all a holy and productive Lenten season. Mine must be going well, cause the attack is on! Hang tough, all, Easter is coming!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wasting time with Jesus

 This was a tongue in cheek saying Father Terry used to use when referring to giving our time to spend with Jesus. :)

 While on retreat at the Carmelite monastery, we were graced with four talks given by Father McGoldrick. They were entitled;

1. Finding our place on the Sea of History
2. Duc in Altum (cast into the deep)
3. Lectio Divina
4. Drawing our life from the Eucharist

The whole day was based on JPIIs plan for the new millennium, beginning with the year 2000. Everything was so cohesive and all that we heard and learned so full of the Holy Spirit, that my rendering of any of it will be hard pressed to reflect accurately the tone or atmosphere that accompanied the day.

I don't know if I will be able to summarize and address each talk, though I took enough notes for you and for me. But the one I want to tell a bit about today is Lectio Divina. (pronounced LEX ee oh  Dih VEE nah).

 Now, any of you who know about this already, feel free to chime in. I am new to it. As an Evangelical, I read and studied my Bible. I had an NASB study bible that I loved; I used my concordance, went to weekly bible study, read through the Bible at least twice. However! Interpretation was all up for grabs. Since converting, I admit , I have been relying on the readings at mass for my scripture intake. I was a little afraid I would not know how to think about the scriptures in a "Catholic" way. Also, I got lazy. But before Lent began, I borrowed my daughters St. Joseph edition and decided I would pick up reading scripture and ask questions if I got bogged down. Next thing I knew I was at the retreat, and dear Father McG. taught us a beautiful way to read scripture. A gift.

Basically, Lectio Divina (sacred Reading)  is reading the scripture in a prayerful, personally involved way that will highlight different parts of the reading at any given time one reads it. There are preparatory prayers that help to dispose our minds and hearts to what we are about to do.

Here are Fathers suggestions, though they do not have to be these exact prayers;

Prayer to Jesus
When in the presence of the Eucharist: Jesus I make an act of faith in your Eucharistic presence, I believe you are here with me. As you sat with your disciples and revealed your mysteries to them, so now, as I sit with you and read your word, I beg you to reveal your mysteries to me.

When not in a church or chapel: Lord Jesus, in you "we live and move and have our being." I place myself humbly in your presence and beg you to make me more aware of your presence throughout the day.

Prayer to the Holy Spirit
Come Holy Spirit; teach me how to pray, for I do not know how to pray as I ought. Come Holy Spirit; come by means of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well-beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit.

Prayer to Mary
Mother Mary, give me your heart that I may, as good soil, receive the Word, that I may ponder these things as you did, that I may come to know Jesus as you did, that I may love Jesus as you did. Mary, it was in your womb that the Word was made flesh, give me your spirit that HE may take flesh again in me.

Prayer to the writer of the Gospel
St. [N], pray for me; teach me; share with me your own meditations on the mystery of Christ as you wrote down this Gospel.

Then choose a passage of scripture--a Gospel is a very good place to start. (Do re mi!, whoops!) Then read it closely and prayerfully. Very. Slowly. Stop. Between. Words. And. Pay . Attention. to. Them. Put yourself in the scene. Use your imagination and experience all the senses in your mind. The heat or cold, who you may be in the scene, etc. Read a small part over more than once. Repeat any part that jumps out at you. That may even be the first line; you may find yourself touched by God in some way. We are to just allow this to happen, not to be in a rush to get though the whole reading we have chosen. God may choose to meet us at that the first sentence.

Now Father went though a scripture passage with us to demonstrate. As many notes I furiously scribbled throughout the rest of the talks-- this time, aside from a few words, I couldn't. I was transfixed at how Father read and experienced that passage--and took us along with him. He read from the Gospel of John, the part where Jesus is carrying the cross and up to when He was on the cross saying His last words. Un.Believable.

Okay so that's the Readers Digest version. Yesterday afternoon, I thought I would give this a try. I thought, "I will just go through the steps, it will probably be many times before I get the hang of it."

I said the prayers as they are, as I could not conceive anything better; then chose to read the Gospel reading for this coming Sunday. John 4: 5- ( I only made it to 26). The story of the Samaritan Woman. It seemed pretty easy to cast myself as the Samaritan Woman. Perhaps too easy. As I was reading and immersing myself in the scene, it happened that I was very deeply and personally touched especially by the part where Jesus asks me ( the Samaritan Woman) for a drink. In the passage, she is surprised that He (a Jew), would even speak to her (a Samaritan). In MY scene, I am surprised that He (God), would ask for refreshment, or anything at all,  from me (His creation, a sinner). And then, even more so at His response.
"If you knew the gift of God (He is the gift of God), and understood that it is I (Jesus) asking you for refreshment, you would ask for living water. (which would be His life in me, the Holy Spirit--a relationship with Him instead of seeking my own counterfeit ones [remember I am the Samaritan Woman (five husbands!)]
Jesus offers real love. Divine, living water, not earthly water. The kind that leaves you so that you never thirst again. So that you never feel unloved again. But like the Woman, so many times I keep trying to package His love in an earthly, finite form.
He goes on to show me (the Woman) that He understands me and my background, my sins and weaknesses. Even when I don't completely understand, even when He comes right out and tells me He is the Messiah, He is patient.

I was touched by the fact that Jesus reached through His Divine self, presenting himself to me on a human level, answering my dim questions, and understanding my broken human condition. He still offers Himself to me to fulfill what I need for eternal life.

So, yeah, I guess Jesus doesn't need to wait until "I" get better at Lectio Divina.

 from the Carmel

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

a special intention

I would ask any who are inclined to do so to please say a prayer for my very special intention.

This is a photo from the Carmelite monastery. I still plan to talk about my experience there, I just need to chew on it a bit more.

Thank you for you kind prayer support.


Monday, March 14, 2011

a longshot

I will not be able to put up a good thoughtful post tonight. I am too tired, for one, and also I have decided that this Saturday, I will play a flute solo for the prolife mass. Mind you, I haven't played flute for oh, about TWENTY FIVE YEARS, but hey, it makes perfect sense, huh? We'll be doing the Bach/Gounod Ave Maria.

Besides a few James Galway tutorials on You Tube, and as much practice as I can squeeze in, I mainly need your prayers! 

I know I am a fool. Hopefully it will be a triumph for God, and not a cringing disaster. With all that is occurring in the world, it is the smallest potatoes one could dig up, but I actually am hoping to bless the good folks that come out on a very early Saturday morning. But, yeah, I'll need those prayers.


  I was privileged this past Saturday to be able to attend a day of silent retreat at the Carmelite monastery in Philadelphia. I was also blessed to ride along with my friend and fellow blogger you may know from The Little Way.
 I don't know if it is just my nature, or something God is doing, but it was the fastest day ever! The hours passed so quickly; I felt as though I was just settling in, and then it was over.
 Fr. McGoldrick is just what his name suggests--a nugget of gold among the dross. His method of speech is so clear, yet delivered in a way that is accessible and lodges in the heart. I think homey is a good word. Not in a cute, facile way, but just homey as in recognizing how at home we are when we are bathed in Christ.

I apologize for the blurriness of my photos. As another dear blogger said, there is a sheepishness about taking photos around such a holy place, but I really wanted to share a little bit with you, but I fear I rushed a bit and didn't let the camera get focused.

I wish I could share every bit of the day, but it was so chock full of wisdom, love, grace and inspiration, I fear I would make a mess of it. However, I do plan to take a run at a couple points later on.

Right now, though, I am facing a rather full day. The Lord awaits in the Blessed Sacrament, and I know that I need to go and be with Him, and hope to have a chance to go to confession also; if I have any hope of fulfilling my vocation for another day.

Blessings and peace to you all, and be assured of my prayers for you and your intentions.

Especially for the people of Japan, who are facing what might be the biggest trial of their lives.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

TS Elliot- Ash Wednesday

This is the last part of the poem, it has five other sections before this~


Although I do not hope to turn again
Although I do not hope
Although I do not hope to turn

Wavering between the profit and the loss
In this brief transit where the dreams cross
The dreamcrossed twilight between birth and dying
(Bless me father) though I do not wish to wish these things
From the wide window towards the granite shore
The white sails still fly seaward, seaward flying
Unbroken wings

And the lost heart stiffens and rejoices
In the lost lilac and the lost sea voices
And the weak spirit quickens to rebel
For the bent golden-rod and the lost sea smell
Quickens to recover
The cry of quail and the whirling plover
And the blind eye creates
The empty forms between the ivory gates
And smell renews the salt savour of the sandy earth

This is the time of tension between dying and birth
The place of solitude where three dreams cross
Between blue rocks
But when the voices shaken from the yew-tree drift away
Let the other yew be shaken and reply.

Blessèd sister, holy mother, spirit of the fountain, spirit
of the garden,
Suffer us not to mock ourselves with falsehood
Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still
Even among these rocks,
Our peace in His will
And even among these rocks
Sister, mother
And spirit of the river, spirit of the sea,
Suffer me not to be separated

And let my cry come unto Thee.

a little catch up

Good Morning! Welcome to Lent! But allow me to back up just a bit to yesterday and show you.............

Adventures    with      Fastnachts!

scalding the milk and boiling a few potatoes.


                  the first rising

 I don't usually use rapid rise yeast, but the recipe called for it,and lo and behold, it worked well!

 here they are cut out and getting ready to do the second rise. The recipe says 45 minutes to an hour. Trouble is , I now have to take Rachael to a doc appt., annnnd, not the kind of doc's office one gets in and out of quickly.

 so it's all very risky...argh.

But off we went. It took us about 1 1/2 hours--and I got right to work.

 I think I was talking to them at this point.

 I have never in my life fried anything in 3 pounds of shortening. I guess if there is day to do it, this is it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   the irony of this was not lost on us. I just need to load the C and zinc. Really!

many batches later

some had cinnamon and sugar, some powdered sugar, and some cocoa, cinnamon and sugar.

~many of the photos are courtesy of Malaika~

and so that brings us to............(duh- duh- DUUUUH!)  ;)

Ash Wednesday and Lent.
 Wishing all a very peaceful, Holy Lent. I would love to hear from you, how you hope to spend this time. God's grace is very near during this season, or so I have experienced. It can be a time of great closeness to Him. I pray the same for you. Today, I hope to begin a few of my practices and projects. I'll let you know how it all goes.

Blessings and Peace!