Saturday, October 29, 2005

A quick update (assuring my siblings I'm still alive!)

I've been very busy exercising my obedient submission muscles under the authority of my physical terrorists. The pressure bandages have been very successful in making my lower legs shrink to the size and proportion of real legs, with the steadily increasing exercise prescription --- five new ones were added on Thursday --- doing its share, along with all the time in bed with the feet up. They say that well before Thanksgiving I'll be able to be measured for Jobst Garments, which will be much more convenient than the bandages.

I finally have a rollator (a kind of 4-wheeled walker with a seat for when I run out of steam) and have been using it regularly, the PTs say that the more I use it, the better my endurance will get. I'm aimimg that by spring I'll be able to get from the house to the bus stop (or the grocery store on the other side of the block) with only one rest stop in between; that should free me up to wander in the pretty part of the year. If I had a camera I'd post a picture of the critter!

I also attended Dave Pawlak's wedding last weekend. Some of you may remember him from his retired blog Improvising. Please keep Dave and his dear Amy in your prayers.

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Sunday, October 23, 2005

The Sorrowful Mysteries: from Pope John Paul II

from his Apostolic Letter on the Rosary:

22. The Gospels give great prominence to the sorrowful mysteries of Christ. From the beginning Christian piety, especially during the Lenten devotion of the Way of the Cross, has focused on the individual moments of the Passion, realizing that here is found the culmination of the revelation of God's love and the source of our salvation. The Rosary selects certain moments from the Passion, inviting the faithful to contemplate them in their hearts and to relive them.

The sequence of meditations begins with Gethsemane, where Christ experiences a moment of great anguish before the will of the Father, against which the weakness of the flesh would be tempted to rebel. There Jesus encounters all the temptations and confronts all the sins of humanity, in order to say to the Father: "Not my will but yours be done" (Lk 22:42 and parallels). This "Yes" of Christ reverses the "No" of our first parents in the Garden of Eden. And the cost of this faithfulness to the Father's will is made clear in the following mysteries; by his scourging, his crowning with thorns, his carrying the Cross and his death on the Cross, the Lord is cast into the most abject suffering: Ecce homo!

This abject suffering reveals not only the love of God but also the meaning of man himself.

Ecce homo: the meaning, origin and fulfillment of man is to be found in Christ, the God who humbles himself out of love "even unto death, death on a cross" (Phil 2:8). The sorrowful mysteries help the believer to relive the death of Jesus, to stand at the foot of the Cross beside Mary, to enter with her into the depths of God's love for man and to experience all its life-giving power.


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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Abolishing the Poll Tax Again

An excellent commentary on the current movement toward restoring slightly-veiled poll taxes again --- which is being attempted even here in Wisconsin.

If the legislative powers were actually interested in having proper picture identifications for everyone, they would do what was necessary to make them simple to get, no matter where in the state one lives and even outside of "normal working hours", and the ids and the documents needed to get the ids would be without cost. (I'm usually counted among the wealthy of my neighborhood, and it takes doing to scrape up the fee every time my undrivers id comes due for renewal; I know some of my neighbors are priced out, or can't afford to take the unpaid day from work)

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Saturday, October 15, 2005

What Kind of Catholic? the quiz

via Catholic Sensibility:

You scored as Radical Catholic. You are "Radical" in its Catholic sense -- from the Latin word radix, or root. You are not just a "church person" but you are a disciple of Christ, making a total commitment to the Gospel, to voluntary poverty, and self-sacrifice for others. You give without counting the cost.

You need to be sure that you remain obedient to the Church and your superiors, and do not consider yourself a prophet or become elitist. Try to make good examinations of conscience and to be humble.

Radical Catholic

81%

Evangelical Catholic

52%

Traditional Catholic

50%

Neo-Conservative Catholic

45%

New Catholic

45%

Liberal Catholic

22%

Lukewarm Catholic

2%

What is your style of American Catholicism?
created with QuizFarm.com

Friday, October 14, 2005

The Luminous Mysteries

My original gameplan for this was to find and offer twenty different sources for the twenty different standard mysteries, but I'm finding that my now-limited computer time is making me fall behind ... so I'm offering the luminous mystery meditations all from the same source, Fr. Phelan at Holy Cross Family Ministries.

1. THE BAPTISM IN THE JORDAN

“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:17

Christ descended into the waters of the Jordan River, the innocent one who became “sin” for our sake (2 Cor. 5:21). The heavens opened wide and the voice of the Father proclaimed him the beloved Son. Our prayer time, too, is an opportunity to rejoice that we are beloved of God, that “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him (sees his light) might not perish, but might have eternal life.” (JN 3:16) The Spirit descended on him to invest him with his mission.

Loving God, help me to realize that the mission vested in me by virtue of my baptism is based upon your tremendous love for me.

II. CHRIST’S SELF-MANIFESTATION AT THE WEDDING OF CANA

“His mother said to the servers, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’” John 2:5

In the finding of the child, Jesus, in the Temple, he had to be about the work of his Father, while his mother was upset that he could have done such a thing as to go missing. Now at Cana it is the mother of Jesus who prepares the way for his self- manifestation as the Christ. “Do whatever he tells you.” she says confidently to the servers, implying that the hour of his self-manifestation had come.

What love was felt by Son and mother for the bride and groom. This was the first of many signs which revealed Christ’s glory.

Loving God, teach me that there is no need or disappointment I may experience which does not stir you to compassion.

III. THE PROCLAMATION OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD

“But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth, he said to the paralytic, ‘I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home.’” Mark 2:10, 11

What greater sign of God’s loving mercy than the testimony of forgiveness of sins freely given? The people were scandalized that Christ would forgive sins, and yet amazed when he cured a paralytic, having first forgiven him. The forgiveness combined with the healing are signs of the true identity of the merciful Christ (cf. Mark 2:3-13).

Oh God, you are so loving that you grant me forgiveness of my sins through the sacramental reconciliation offered by your Church. What a grace and blessing! May I never be too proud to seek conversion. Help me see in Christ the revelation of your Kingdom of mercy and light.

IV. THE TRANSFIGURATION

“While he was praying his face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white.” Luke 9:29

Those who are close to God in prayer have something different about their appearance. There is an aura about them, much like what is depicted as a luminous halo. The fact is, real deep prayer changes us and makes us more loving, more like the Christ. In this mystery we contemplate the Christ, transfigured and beaming, shining in splendor and holiness. The voice of the Father speaks once again and commands the apostles to listen to His chosen Son.

Loving God, help me to remember those mountain-top experiences of grace and favor in which your presence was so obvious to me. May the luminous memory of them motivate me to listen to your word even when I am uninspired.

V. THE INSTITUTION OF THE EUCHARIST

“He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end.” John 13:1b

Jesus, at the last supper, gave himself to his apostles as bread and wine transformed, and as service in the washing of their feet. He revealed himself not only as master and teacher, but as the Christ as he encouraged them to imitate him by washing each other’s feet.

Real love manifests itself in service. Help us, oh God to know how to reach out to others and aid them. I am confident that such washing of the feet will help me realize how great is your love for all your sons and daughters. May we imitate Christ in service, for we are the Body of Christ.


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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Fifth Joyful Mystery: the Finding of Jesus at the Temple

from a somewhat strange site called Shepherds of Christ, but the meditations are ok.

1. When Jesus was twelve years old, the Holy Family went to Jerusalem for Passover.
2. When it was over Mary and Joseph had traveled a day's journey before they realized Jesus was not with them.
3. With sorrow in their hearts they returned to Jerusalem to find Him.
4. After searching for Him for three days, they found Him in the Temple talking to the doctors.
5. The doctors were astounded at His wisdom.
6. He said He had to be about His Father's business.
7. Jesus teaches us today through His Word.
8. "He went down with them then and came to Nazareth and lived under their authority. His mother stored up all these things in her heart." (Lk. 2:51-52)
9. Mary, if we ever lose Jesus, lead us back to His tender Heart.
10. Jesus, help us to love Mary more.


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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Fourth Joyful Mystery: the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple

from the rosary meditations written by St. Josemaria Escriva:

When the days of the Mother's purification are accomplished, according to the Law of Moses, the Child must be taken to Jerusalem, to be presented to the Lord (Luke 2:22).

And this time it will be you, my friend, who will carry the cage with the doves (Luke 2:24). —Just think: She —the Immaculate!— submits herself to the Law as if she were defiled.

Through this example, foolish child, will you learn to obey the Holy Law of God, regardless of any personal sacrifice?

Purification! You and surely do need purification! —Atonement, and more than atonement, Love. —Love as a searing iron to cauterize our souls' uncleanness, and as a fire to kindle with divine flames the wretched tinder of our hearts.

A just and God-fearing man has come to the temple led by the Holy Ghost —it had been revealed to him that he would not die before he had seen the Christ. —He takes the Messiah in his arms and says to Him: Now, My Lord, Thou canst take Thy servant out of this world in peace, according to Thy promise... because my eyes have seen the Saviour (Luke 2:25-30).


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Third Joyful Mystery: the Nativity of Our Lord

from Father Tommy Lane's website:

Let us adore baby Jesus in the manger. A baby easily wins the heart and love of anyone with human feelings, but how much more does this baby win our heart and love. Let us kneel before baby Jesus and thank him for coming to save us. Thank baby Jesus now in your own words.

Imagine, Jesus, the Son of God and our Saviour born in a stable and placed in a manger instead of in a cot! When God comes he usually comes in humility, silently and peacefully, without causing a great disturbance. God’s humble coming in Jesus would not surprise us if we knew God better. But of course we will never know God sufficiently to understand. So no matter how much we try to understand God becoming human in Jesus we will not be able to comprehend, it will remain a mystery. The best reaction is that of the shepherds, simply to praise God. Let us praise God now in our own words.

As we look on baby Jesus we think of the mystery of God’s love for us. Why did God who is almighty and all-powerful become small and powerless as a baby? Quite simply, out of love for us. God became human so that we might become more like God. Jesus if you had not come as a human like us, we might have had difficulty in believing that God really loved us. But now we know for sure. John the Evangelist says, “This is the revelation of God’s love for us, that God sent his only Son into the world that we might have life through him”. Let us thank God for revealing his love for us in Jesus, that he who is so big and powerful became so small and weak for us, that he became one of us, to help us be more like him, to have life through him.

As we see baby Jesus in the manger we reflect on God’s way being a way of gentleness and tenderness. God’s way is not one of violence but gentleness. There is a lack of goodness and love in the world but God is tender and loving. As we look on baby Jesus in the manger we see that he is the answer to today’s problems. Instead of violence, in baby Jesus in the manger we see gentleness. Instead of hatred, in baby Jesus in the manger we see tenderness. Instead of selfishness, in baby Jesus in the manger we see love for us. Let us ask baby Jesus to help us to be gentle, tender and loving with those around us as he was in the manger.

Jesus in the manger, you give us hope. In the darkness of our world, your light has shone. Your coming in gentleness encourages us to hold out the hand of reconciliation, to help one another, to work for peace. We remember the message of the angels; “Glory to God in the highest heaven and on earth peace”. Baby Jesus, help us to be people of peace and to spread peace everywhere we go. Let us pray now for peace.


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Second Joyful Mystery: the Visitation to Elizabeth

from the Catholic Online site. in the voice of Mary:

As soon as I realized by Gabriel's message that Elizabeth, my cousin, who had been barren for a long time and who was yet now old, had nonetheless conceived, I was prompted by God's grace to go to help her in her need. She was in her sixth month: I went from Nazareth to Judea. I was only pondering the message that the angel had given me. It all seemed so wonderful that God would use me for His kingdom; for His glory. As I arrived at Zechariah's house, I greeted Elizabeth. I had heard that Zechariah had become mute: he had doubted the Lord: he doubted that God could work a miracle in his life. As I entered and greeted Elizabeth, Elizabeth shouted for joy and said, "Blessed are you among all women and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Who am I that the Mother of my Lord should come to me." Out of Elizabeth's mouth came the confirmation of Gabriel's message: that I had conceived the Son of God and later all ages were to proclaim me as blessed as the Mother of their Lord; the Mother of God. I began to sing the hymn of praise that came from my heart. I was so filled with God's Love that I had to share my Joy with Elizabeth and her house hold.

My children, never doubt that God can work a miracle in your Life even if things seem humanly impossible: all things are possible with God. Trust Him, trust Him my children. As I visited Elizabeth out of love, I wish to visit you out of love. I wish to come into your situation whatever it may be: to be present with you and to pray with you and for you. God will manifest His power if we believe. Elizabeth told me, "Blessed are you who have believed that the Lord's words would be fulfilled in you." Trust in the Lord. I am with you to pray with you. Offer this mystery to the Heavenly Father that He will also work a miracle of grace in your life: ask the Heavenly Father for the gift of faith and absolute trust in His work. I am praying with you and for you.


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Monday, October 03, 2005

The First Joyful Mystery: The Annunciation

I'm hoping I can keep this up, but in honor of October, the month of the Rosary, I intend to present meditations on all the standard mysteries through this month.

Today's is from In Pursuit of Peace: Praying the Rosary through the Psalms, which is Pax Christi USA's Rosary meditation book.

"Happy are those who find their pleasure in the Law of God and meditate on it day and night," Psalm 1 teaches us. It is such an innocent statement, such a seemingly benign idea: Keep the law of God within your heart; hold the will of God always before your eyes; don't substitute your will for the will of God. The ideas trip so lightly off the tongue, until the moment of annunciation comes, until the law of God invites us to do things that we don't want to do, until we come to realize that what God is asking of our powerless, unimpressive selves is important to the whole human race. Then comes the moment of truth.

God's annunciation to us is, "Sell what you have and give to the poor" ---here in our own cities where we keep the poor carefully hidden behind the welfare agencies. God announces, "Love one another" ---even the people our country is teaching us to hate. God announces, "Do unto others what you would have others do unto you" ---and we hear the word in a culture that puts more money into the military than it does into the millions who need food, education, medical insurance, day care and housing. Oh, yes, God announces and announces and announces and all of the announcements are contrary to what we are being taught to value or enticed to do. Where do we turn for strength when we meditate on all of that? To whom can we look then for a model of dissent? What will we do then when we are faced with two goods ---personal security and the good of others ---and one of the goods is higher than the other?

There is a model for us so unlikely that whatever our own insignificance, whatever our social fragility, we can take heart. We can turn to Mary in the first mystery of the rosary. Turn to the young woman who knew that if she listened to the unconventional call of God to expect an unexpected, unexplainable child, she stood to lose it all ---her honor in the community, her future security, her marriage. The neighbors would talk about her. No man would marry her. She would be a barnacle on the human community, ostracized, unwanted, unkept, a woman without an honorable future.

But because, brought up on the Psalms, she had meditated on the law of God all her life, Mary took the step for us that can give us the courage to take the step for others. She trusted that God's will was more to be followed than her own. Whatever the cost. Mary of the Annunciation is a model of the kind of courage it takes to follow the call of God in life.

"Happy are those who find their pleasure in the law of God and meditate on it day and night."


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