Monday, May 28, 2012


I'm always really glad when it's time to say the Regina Caeli, and then really, really glad when I get the Angelus back. The Regina Caeli is praise and supplication, but the Angelus is also a sort of how-to narrative. We give ourselves; He comes to us: we give Him to the world.  

About six weeks into the Easter season, I begin to crave Ordinary Time. Enough of all this jollification. I just want to be ordinary. It's not that I don't love Pentecost, and Trinity Sunday, and, oh my goodness, Corpus Christi, but during the week, I just want to do my little green (in the hopeful sense, not in the ecologcial sense) weekly thing.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Was Blind But Now I See

Not, perhaps, the most original title, but apropos.

After a second operation yesterday, I now have two functioning eyes for the first time in almost a week. While they both work in one way or another, they do not work together at all. Neither does either one work very well with the computer at the moment, so I can't say much except thanks to those of you who prayed for me. Please continue praying. I will be having cataract surgery on my left eye on June 5, and this one has from the outset a small problem that the other one didn't have.

When I can use a computer fairly comfortably, I shall write two posts about my experience: one shall be horrid and hopefully amusing and the second will be about the amazing wonders of God.


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Not So Much Fun

I've been having some complications from my surgery. I don't feel too much like looking at a computer, so I'll just ask for continued prayers.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Tomorrow, I am having a cataract remove from my right eye. I've been shriven and anointed, even though I don't think it's dangerous at all. I think it's going to be really easy. The eye doctor told me, though, that since my left eye is so bad that the difference between my eyes after the surgery may be difficult for my brain to deal with, so I don't know if I'll feel like looking at the computer. Probably I will, but if I disappear for a few days, that is why.

Prayers will be gratefully appreciated.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Gabriel Sings to Veronica

If this doesn't make your day a little bit better, nothing will. When I test the link, it goes to my comment for some reason, but you can just scroll up.

This video says better than anything else I can think of, what it really means to be pro-life. We are here. Don't worry. We'll take care of you. If we could just get past all the circular arguments and get this across to people they might be able to hear what we are talking about.

And adding to what I said yesterday, I was thinking last night that this little song also explains the reason some people are pro-abortion or pro-euthanasia. In some way or another, they haven't been taken care of. Nobody has ever sung that song to them here on earth, or they can't hear it for some reason. We need to figure out a way to sing it.

It also reminds me so much of the love of the Father for us. I think He must sing this song endlessly to us.

Cari was in my old homeschool group for a while and then moved. She also blogs at Catholic Exchange.


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Hungry Birds

Photo Credit Teresa Love

I wouldn't want to have to feed these guys. My granddaughter took this picture of a nest that is sitting on top off some pool supplies in the chicken house. I'm not sure I'll ever get used to people getting great pictures with their phones.

Here's a song for them.


Friday, May 11, 2012

The Ritual

I lay in bed and watched my cousin dress for school.
I was ten and she was two years older.
She was the piper for whom I had danced all my life.
When she was small and I was smaller, I sat on a step
And let her turn a key in my back ‘til I bled--
A sort of stigmata that showed the depth of my love for her.

The floor of her closet was a doll’s house
Filled with rooms of miniature furniture
Where we spent our days playing out doll-sized dramas,
The tops of our heads brushing against the hems of her dresses.

In the summers, we played hide-and-seek,
Or statues in my grandparents’ yard.
We played running games in the driveway,
And when we were tired we rested on the porch.
We sat on the wrought iron furniture and sang,
Or sat on the rise into which the garage was built and rested our backs
Against the brick wall with our heads just below the eaves,
And planned vacations that might have happened.

And then that day I lay in bed and watched her dress for school.
I knew it was some sort of ritual.
She put on a dress that was pretty and perfectly pressed
That looked like the dresses that mothers wore on TV.
She smoothed her hair to the back of her head into a neat French Roll
That looked like the hairdo our dolls had worn in the closet.
She slipped into her stockings.
She slipped into her loafers, which were perfect--
Gleaming cordovan loafers with a penny in the slot.
I knew it was some sort of ritual,
But I didn’t know it was the ritual for going away forever.

Later, one day in the car with my mother and grandmother in the front seat
And I in the back,
I said, “I hope that soon Lynn will want to play with me again.”
And my mother said, “I don’t think that will happen.”


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Julia's Catholic Sister~Womanhood According to the LCWR

Conservatives seem to be having a lot of fun with their own version of Obama's Julia, but this is the first version I've seen that takes the original seriously. The LCWR's Junia is a woman to watch out for--seriously. Well, this is a satire, (stupid me. It's a good thing I'm a good sport, Larry) but still it's pretty obvious why Archbishop J. Peter Sartain has been called on to try to straighten out the LCWR. He's a good, good man. I've known him since he was first ordained. I used to see him often at night in the church sitting in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Pray for him. He's also embroiled in a battle with his own priests in Seattle over gay marriage. Pray for him some more.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Enough of This Girly Stuff

When I was a girl, I guess it was between the ages of about 8-12, I used to love comic books. I used to walk down to the five-and-dime at the end of our street and buy them (and candy) with whatever money I had. When I first started buying them, they were ten cents. I remember that the price went up to twelve cents the same week as the price of a Krystal hamburger. 

I read any kind of comics in a pinch, but my favorites were DC Comics and the Justice League of America. In case you don't know who that was, it was Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash and Aquaman, although I didn't care much for Aquaman. I could have told you anything you wanted to know about these guys. Back then, they didn't have identity crises or anything like that. They knew who they were and they knew what they had to do. And they didn't have any of these hard rubber sculptured suits. They just pulled on their tights and went out there and fought evil like real men, even Wonder Woman, except that she didn't wear tights. 

I'm not positive but I think that it was the Silver Surfer that first introduced angst into the superhero world. By the time he came along, my comic book days were behind me, but I remember that I liked the way he looked and that he was a kind of cult hero when I was in college. Unfortunately I found angst rather appealing at the time. 

But wherever it started, it managed to trickle it's way into the JLA, and the superheroes that I grew up with, instead of keeping their eyes on the evil villains they were supposed to be fighting, turned them inward and encountered their inner demons. Of course, they did still conquer evil, but they also had all this drama.

Now to get to the point of all this reverie, this afternoon after work, my husband and I went to see The Avengers. We had seen most of the earlier movies featuring these characters with my daughter on her trips home from college and I enjoyed them even though they weren't the best of films. The Avengers  was great. It was exciting and the characters had personalities and there was a great deal of humor. But best of all, they knew who they were and they knew what they had to do. 

The Avengers are trying to defeat Loki, who has come to rule the earth. He says he brings "...glad tidings of a world made free." From what? "Freedom. Freedom is life's great lie." I said to my husband, "Hmmm. This reminds me a bit of what the President is doing."  When I went looking for the quote, which I eventually found here, one article I found was titled, "Did Obama or Loki Say That?" One thing I've noticed in these movies is that they aren't particularly PC, and while they aren't really strictly conservative, they do value tradition. I find that rather refreshing.

You may have noticed that The Avengers is getting good reviews in the Catholic Press. Here are two: Fr. Robert Barron and Steven D. Greydanus.


Grandmother and the Priests

What I should have mentioned is that it's frequently fey.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Pride and Prejudice and the 21st Century

The other day while I was writing the post about my junk, my granddaughter was sitting in my living room watching the Keira Knightley version of Pride and Prejudice. It's not the best version, but someone gave it to me. This young woman was born 17 years ago into a world that pretty much thinks that casual sex is the norm. And this makes me wonder about the enduring appeal of Pride and Prejudice which appears with great regularity, year after year, in new versions from the perfect A&E Colin Firth/Jennifer Ehle 1995 production to the Bollywood version, Bride and Prejudice to the modernized Bridget Jones Diary to the ever-so-lovely Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. And people, mostly women, are writing sequel after sequel some of which can be found in libraries although many more are self-published.

What is it, I wonder that goes through the heads of young women in today's society when they read about the way women lived and were courted in Regency England? Do they think it's at all appealing? Do they wish sometimes that there was something worth dressing up for? Someplace that might be off-limits for pajama pants? 

And what to do they think about the uproar surrounding Lydia's elopement? Does it puzzle them? Do they wonder what it's all about? Do they think it's ridiculous and thank their lucky stars that they weren't born in such a repressive society? Do they ask themselves why Lydia's sisters will be ruined by her behaviour? Do they detect any hint of warning in her situation?

I know the main attraction, of course, is the romance between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. Many aspects of the novel change in the newer versions: time, location, mores, degree of necrosis, but the romance will always remain pretty much the same. Still, I hope there's some goodness in the story, some enduring truth that appeals to today's audience. I hope that there are some young women, especially my granddaughters, who see the tragedy of Lydia's mistakes, and the desirability of a marriage like Darcy and Elizabeth's.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Tales from the Crypt

Yesterday morning, I began the excavation of a small room that runs alongside our bedroom. It's 195 sq. ft, so it would be a nice room to sit and read in if it was square, but unfortunately it is 19' x 5' and so it has become a repository for all and sundry. We have gotten to the point that we cannot bring one more thing into the house without we divest ourselves of many, many things, so this is the first step in a dance which will entail clearing out A, so that we can move things from B into A, and then move things from C into B, etc. etc. I'm not sure where it will end, or whether or not I will persevere to the end.

This is Bill's side of the room. It's pretty much what my side looked like to begin with except that we have different types of stuff. For instance, I don't have a bread machine or a telescope or a pellet gun, or a tote bag full of half-burnt blessed candles from church. 

This is what my side of the room looks like after the removal of four large bags of trash and some other things that can be put elsewhere. I didn't realize until I looked at this picture that it looks like I am trying to emulate Imelda Marcos in the accumulation of footwear. This is really remarkable because, in truth, I only have 3 pairs of shoes that I wear, and none of them are in this picture.  I think this will be a good place to start weeding out next week.

The really hard part of the process is going to to be letting go of the hundreds of books in this room. A lot of them are books we used when we were homeschooling and I'm having a hard time deciding whether or not I should save some of them for my grandchildren. There are also a lot of music books and hymnals that I think I might use some day and probably won't. There are many years worth of American History Magazine which belonged to my father who has been dead for 16 years and who probably never read them, and I probably will not read them either. Sally, if you are reading this, I have sometimes thought that you would like to have them.

So, this is the reason why I haven't written any of the absolutely witty, insightful, and thoroughly fascinating things that I could have written this weekend.  Hmmm, maybe if I read some of those magazines I could find something intriguing to write about. Then again, maybe not.

If you are wondering about the hubris of someone who thinks that other people might be interested in the contents of her junkroom, well, I'm wondering about that too.  But, you know, you're always advised to write about what you know, and I know junk. If you have managed to read this far, thank you for your patience. 


Thursday, May 3, 2012

If You Can Bear to Be Seen Reading a Book That Looks Like This

I belong to and am, sort of, the leader of a Catholic women's book club. We don't read only Catholic authors, and you don't necessarily have to be Catholic to come (although so far everyone is), but we try to read books that have something about them that would recommend them to Catholics. I'm always pushing O'Connor, Percy and that ilk and others are not, so we have a pretty eclectic list of books.

Grandmother and the Priests by Taylor Caldwell was not one of my suggestions, and I wasn't sure that I would like it much, especially when my husband, after picking the book up from a friend, walked in the door saying, "Well, I brought home your Harlequin Romance." However, in spite of the pictorial evidence against it, this has turned out to be a pretty good book. I don't think I've ever read anything by Ms. Caldwell before and I found her to be a good writer. She recognizes sin in all its disguises and isn't afraid to call it sin. She's familiar with Satan and all his lies and all his empty promises. She tells a good story and she has a sly sense of humour.

At the age of four, Rose Mary Cullen is sent to Leeds to stay with her grandmother, her namesake, during the Christmas holidays because her parents are having marital difficulties. The elder Rose Mary is a wealthy widow who left the Church when she married a Protestant. Because this is a lean time for Catholic priests in England, she invites them to her home for dinner, and they come to eat, but also with the hope of bringing her back to the Church. Every night, one of the priests tells a story, and the bulk of the book consists of these stories told by the Irish, English, Scottish and Welsh priests. Each of these stories is a little gem, not a diamond, certainly, but something more humble like a garnet. They are full of the hardships, faith, prejudices, and fancies of the people in the villages in which most of them take place. They are also full of sin and temptation, grace and redemption. They are very down-to-earth, but the supernatural is always evident in the background, in fact, the devil appears in disguise in at least three of the stories. One of the most engaging aspects of the book to me is that the priests are almost always telling stories on themselves. The events of the book reveal their weaknesses and lead them to small conversions.

This would be a great book to take on a trip or just read in leisure moments. It divides itself naturally into small portions and doesn't suffer from being read in bits and snatches. It's well written, but not intellectually challenging--just a good read. And you can always get one of these.

Sadly, it appears that later in her life Ms. Caldwell fell away from the faith. This is not only sad, but a little frightening when one considers how well she obviously understood the wiles of the enemy. There are several articles on the internet about how she came to believe in reincarnation, but in a 1978 interview with George F. Smith which was published in Writer's Yearbook 1980, she says she doesn't believe in reincarnation. She says that she is a Catholic, but a Catholic atheist because of all the tragedies of her life. That's a bit ironic, since this is the biggest tragedy.