Sunday, June 26, 2005

Some notices.....

First, Father John Campbell, About whom I posted a few weeks ago, has died. Eternal rest grant to him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. As of right now, the funeral is expected to be Friday evening at the Gesu.

Second, this is likely to be the last post till the holiday weekend, because the National Association of Pastoral Musicians conference has begun. I leave in less than an hour for my first of many volunteer shifts this week, I expect to be out from early to late every day this week, enjoying --- even till after midnight a couple of nights, and I also have a convention houseguest. I hope to peek in at least to police the comment boxes and download email .... so, my siblings, don't be fretting about me until after the fourth!

Friday, June 24, 2005

Wise words on Adoration

The Veneration of the Holy of Holies
, by Hans Urs von Balthazar. Tabernacles are wonderful!

via Gerard's Catholic Pages for Lovers, which I hope someone can mirror so it won't just disappear on us one night. Remember to pray for Gerard!

Until it's replicated, it's a miracle

While I'm in final preparations for spending all next week at the National Association of Pastoral Musicians conference (my birthday present to me!) here are part one, part two, and part three of the tale of a Milwaukee miracle. There's also the promise of goodies here for those who enjoy a broadband connection.

We all prayed our knees off back in October and November for Jeanna Giese, now it is time to give thanks for the victory!

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Crosses without corpuses

quotation via Bene Diction Blogs On

When you see a poor wooden cross, alone, uncared-for, and of no value.....and without its Crucified, don't forget that that Cross is your Cross: the Cross of each day, the hidden Cross, without splendor or consolation....the Cross which is awaiting the Crucified it lacks: and that Crucified must be you. ---- St. Josemaria Escriva

Memory Eternal

Archeparch Joseph Raya's funeral was today. Eternal rest grant to him, O Lord, and lte perpetual Light shine upon him.

Here is a memorial page for him by Madonna House. Among many other things, he was the very first priest associate of that apostolate.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

A new Catholic library site!

Here's the Crossroads Initiative Library site, put together by Dr. Marcellino d'Ambrosio, which I haven't managed to totally explore yet, but which has lots and lots of wonderful resources, including modern ones. It looks like it will become a worthy companion to the most worthy and venerable Christian Classics Ethereal Library --- just ignore the few links for herbal diet pills.

It's going to be added to the sidebar resources at the next bout of template-tampering.

Monday, June 13, 2005

All mixed up? Help is arrived!

Ever been studying the documents of the most recent Ecumenical Council and found out that the Flannery translation and the Abbott translation don't quite match up, some EWTN talking head is definitively stating that the text means a third thing entirely, and your diocese's Council Father is a couple of decades ago reposed so he can't be asked what it really was they set out to say?

Help has arrived (at least a little bit of help)! Here's a site with the complete original and official Latin texts of all the documents, where one can figure out why the two translations are divergent and whether the talking head has any grounding for the third way.


Thursday, June 09, 2005

Prayer Journals (or just plain journals)

Somebody emailed me last week, asking if I could discuss how to keep a prayer journal, and I find it's an intriguing request.

Now, folks like me just can't keep from pondering and what-if-ing and writing it down, in well-hidden or firmly locked books or binders --- after all, there's an entire industry dedicated to making books with key locks and "blank books" and ledger books with a date at the top of each page just for those folk like me who also have a little money. I was only 9 when I discovered that the little tear in my vinyl headboard cover was just right for hiding a steno book from snooping younger siblings.

[not even to mention the Blogger tool itself, for the not-so-secret writing.....]

But I'm given to understand that it isn't as easy and naturally-occurring for some others --- but it would still be handy to be able to look back over a month or a season or a year and be able to take stock of how things are coming along, or not. Maybe it's one of those things that ought to be in the not-yet-written parts II and III of the Spiritual Fitness Program, in "Advanced Beginners" or "Intermediate Spiritual Athletes." (I didn't think of it before; after all, doesn't everyone think onto paper????)

Here's a few hints I think might help. Please, fill up the comments box with more bright ideas. Those of us to which this comes naturally don't always think of things other folk might see right away.

1) Write down something every day, no matter how little, at least for the first several months. even a single sentence --- "I had the stomach flu" or "The first tomato was ripe today, and it made a good TLO sandwich." will do. This has to do with establishing a habit pattern, after two or three months of doing something every day, that something, whatever it is, becomes like second nature, seems to have something to do with human hardwiring. When I was still working, we called it "the ruts in the resilient floor tiles" that for two months after every collection move we'd all start fetching in the wrong direction, where things used to be shelved, until there was a new rut to the new location.....

2) If you are involved in a spiritual fitness program of some sort, you may want to start logging your overt acts. I got this idea from the school of diabetes. Almost more important than diet, the testing, the insulin, and the exercise routine is the paperwork --- called the "logbook" and the "diabetes diary" --- where every blood test, every shot, and every coloric food eaten is written down or graphed. A typical diabetes diary page reads something like this:


rising blood sugar: 116
insulin (R) units: 0
breakfast: 2 sl. ww toast w/pb, 8 oz skim milk, 1 apple
lunch: pork roasted with carrots, celery, onions, 2 choices potatoes
pre-dinner blood sugar: 120
Insulin (R) units: 2
dinner: lowfat cottage cheese, celery sticks, 2 granola bars
Lantus insulin 10 units @ midnight

Notice that I didn't have to get coherent or creative (though I could have if I wanted or needed) but all the facts are there that I'm going to need to find out if I'm being successful over a course of weeks or months, long after I can remember just what I had for lunch on some particular day, or that was thne weekend I was throwing up, or the day I ate out....

I'm presuming that, for those folk who aren't natural-born diarists, something similar would be possible, maybe like this ---I'll create a character for this, similar to lots of ladies in my neighborhood. (working-class woman with husband, several school-aged children, 2 1/2 jobs between her and husband, etc.)


morning offering: yes
prayers for special intentions: husband, children, Sue's safe travel, Fr. Campbell's cancer, against violence in city
Scripture read: Genesis 23-24, Matthew 9:9-13 (Mass readings)
current book/tape/lectio: Catechism 976-987 (believe in forgiveness of sins)
merciful act: yes
examen: yes. Issues: stop fantasising about stringing up supervisor! patience with children. only cussed twice today, continue work on pottymouth. Add needs of supervisor to special intentions tomorrow. Maybe take kids for tabernacle time tomorrow _before_ festival. Beware overindulgence on holiday weekend.

There's room to expand and expound, if one has a mind to, but even if not, the facts are there for review, and can check out over time one's progress; and examen things that are grave matter or that keep on coming up can be taken for some of that confessional grace.

That's as far as I've taken this; please help me out in the comment box or by email, there's two links for email in the sidebar!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Just keeping up

It's been a somewhat wooly couple of days. Hot, sticky. Not good sleeping weather --- and not good waking-up weather either, I apparently turned off my alarm clock Sunday morning without actually waking up and missed my ride to church, waking up at 7:59 am, just in time to turn the radio to listen to where I was supposed to actually be! [Will I get drummed out of the Legion of Mary for this?....] One of my tenants had to go out in the middle of the night this weekend on a rescue mission I suspect I'd rather not know too much about.

The computer's crashed at least once a day since Friday. I'm way overdue responding to a kind blog-related email. But things are looking up.

Peapod arrived to deliver the groceries just with the first raindrops and were done and gone before the deluge and the hailstones. [Peapod is wonderful.] Tomorrow I get to go to one of my favorite strip malls for my annual haircut, which I missed last year --- have to look spiffy for my new undriver's licence picture and right now I just look shaggy. [For the Milwaukeans, I'm referring to the corner of Farwell and Brady, where there's a good Supercuts shop --- and a TYME machine, Subway, Walgreens and Osco. After the haircut, I hope to find a clamp parasol for my chair and a few other small amenities...]

Also, keep me in prayer. Remember, a few months ago I mentioned how I would like to spend my upcoming birthday? Well, it might just be possible after all; I've applied to volunteer at the National Pastoral Musicians conference, and the rules say that if you volunteer, you can also listen in on the events that day, so I really hope they accept me. I'll happily do clerical labor, pass out leaflets, or whatever to be able to listen in of some of the sessions on the schedule!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

On Reconciliation within the Church

Please, my brothers and sisters, place yourself in a prayerful attitude of mind and heart, and then read this exhortation. Pope Paul VI wrote it in 1974, but we still need it, because we are still insisting on dismembering our Church.

There is only one Catholic Church, which is not "progressive" or "conservative" or "reactionary" or "liberal" or "Am-" or any other adjective. There is only The Catholic Church, where the bishop is, which Christ has promised forever to protect.

We have no right to tear it apart. We have no right to drive away our sisters and brothers. We only endanger ourselves if we insist on going away from the Church and those same sisters and brothers, out into the howling wilderness.

So read, and pray, and stop using divisive adjectives to tear apart our Church.

the Fire of the Holy Spirit and the power of good example: another Desert Christian story

from John Moschus' book, The Spiritual Meadow, #69

Sophronius and I went to the same Abba Palladios with this request, "Of your charity, tell us, father, where you came from, and how it came about that you embraced the monastic life." He was from Thessalonica, he said, and then he told us this: "In my home country, about three stades beyond the city wall, there was a recluse, a native of Mesopotamia, whose name was David. He was a man of outstanding virtue, merciful and continent. He spent about twenty years in his place of confinement. Now at this time, because of the barbarians, the walls of the city were patrolled at night by soldiers. One night those who were on guard duty at that stretch of the city walls nearest to where the elder's place of confinement was located, saw fire pouring from the windows of the recluse's cell. The soldiers thought the barbarians must have set the elder's cell on fire, but when they went out in the morning, to their amazement, they found the elder unharmed and his cell unburned. Again the following night they saw fire, the same way as before, in the elder's cell --- and this went on for a long time. The occurrence became known to all the city and throughout the countryside. Many people would come and keep vigil on the wall all night long in order to see the fire, which continued to appear until the elder died.
As this phenomenon did not merely appear once or twice but was often seen, I said to myself, "If God so glorifies his servants in this world, how much more so in the world to come when He shines upon their faces like the sun? This, my family, is why I embraced the monastic life."