Monday, September 26, 2011

Father Gordon MacRae - Removing the Scales from Our Eyes

Pedophilia. Such an ugly word. People everywhere are quick to close their ears, shut their eyes, and seal their lips at the mere mention of the word. At times I believe that some people (including me for a little while?) would rather see an innocent man in jail "just in case" rather than take the time and the trouble to look at the facts of a case such as Fr. Gordon MacRae's with clear and unbiased eyes. There is so much evidence pointing to this man's innocence and yet he still sits in jail after 17 years. I ask, for the sake of truth and justice, that those who visit here take the time to read this article by Ryan A MacDonald. It (along with his other articles) shows how easily lies can steal a man's freedom.

Where is the public outcry? Why aren't people demanding that this case be reviewed? Where is the outrage over the imprisonment of a man who may very well be innocent?

I just don't get it. Even when speaking of myself. If you've read my previous post (see here too) about Fr. MacRae you'll see what I mean.  Are we so blinded by the ugliness of pedophilia that we would cast a good man to the wolves "just in case" rather than peel back the scales from our eyes and admit that "just maybe, just innocent man may be falsely imprisoned?"

It crossed my mind that if Fr. MacRae had been accused of murder and that if there was as much proof pointing to his innocence as there is in his case...he would have been out of jail years ago. Actually, no, I take that back...he would never have been convicted. It is only because of the type of crime he was accused of that he was convicted. Had it been a murder trial it would have been tossed out of court in a heartbeat.

If I'm being completely honest:

For a short while there was a little part of me that just wanted to close my eyes and seal my lips and ignore the fact that an innocent man may be in jail for a crime he didn't commit. All because of one word...pedophilia. After reading about the case I just couldn't do it though. I hated that part of me that would even consider such a thing in the first place. What ugliness was there in me that I would even consider turning a blind eye to an innocent man's plight? What does that make me?

Sometimes it's hard to look at myself in the mirror. This was one of those times. I like to believe that people are basically good... but maybe the truth is that we are very often selfish and if something doesn't directly affect us we have a tendency to ignore it? After all, a man sitting in prison for 17 years doesn't directly affect me, does it? What? Am I my brother's keeper? So he lives and dies in a jail cell for a crime he didn't commit? What can I possibly do about it? does matter. Letting a man rot in jail and not speaking up if I believe in his innocence says a lot about a person's integrity. None of it good. It shows a heart completely lacking in compassion. It shows a heart of stone.

Sometimes stone walls do a prison make.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sabbath Moments - This and That

Sabbath Moments is a weekly meme hosted by Colleen at Thoughts on Grace. These are the moments when we "let go and let God". Here are some of my Sabbath Moments this week:

- I love going to Mass after seeing my daughter off to school. I have just enough time to do a Rosary (or most of one) before the 9:00 AM Mass. I used to go to Mass at noon but I much prefer the morning Mass. Receiving the Eucharist in the morning fills me with grace for the day.

- I started a Novena to St. Therese this week. I had been having trouble with insomnia and as soon as I started the Novena my sleep improved...and it wasn't even one of my prayer intentions. Thank you, Lord! Those who suffer from insomnia regularly know how frustrating it can be. I have to battle grumpiness all day when I get minimal sleep.

- The leaves are starting to change color around here! Hurray for Fall! My favorite season of all!

- My new puppy is adorable, sweet, and a bundle of energy! It takes all three of us to keep up with him. For the first time we have tried crate training and it's working out well. I leave the door to the crate open so that when he feels overwhelmed he has his own "special spot" to retreat to. He uses it too! I was never one for crate training but have since changed my mind. It's his "comfort zone". He actually sleeps through the night in it without a whimper. I thought we would be getting up a number of times per night because he is so tiny (two and a half pounds) but he doesn't wake up, much to our surprise. The minute he DOES get up he has to go outside though! Still, I didn't think such a young puppy would have that much bladder control.

- We had a family gathering at my parents' house last week. My parents have been married for 51 years! My entire family came, except for one niece who was ill. I love how close we all are to each other. The entire family gets together on a regular basis and I treasure each and every one of them.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Don't forget to vote...

...over at the Crescat. One of my favorite bloggers, Kathryn from Heart for God has been nominated as "Best New Kid on the Block" and in my eyes she is certainly that! I hope those who love Kathryn's blog will pop over and vote for her!

These Stone Walls is also up for nomination in the "The Most Under Appreciated Blog" category. It has my vote!

 Voting ends this Sunday.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Meet Caesar

Caesar is the newest addition to our family! He is a purebred Papillon puppy and very good natured, playful, and totally irresistible. He likes to take his owners for a lot of walks and thinks the world is one giant playground...or one giant chew toy. His little teeth are attached to my jeans as we speak. He is kid-friendly, easy to train (we haven't worked on the chewing yet), and my nickname for him is "Tumbleweed" because he loves somersaulting around the room.

Please note:
I did NOT put that hideous necklace around his neck for the above photo. This picture came with his papers. Me, I would NEVER put such a thing on a dog. How crass. It looks quite silly, to boot. I quickly exchanged it for a green bandanna ;)

The newspapers are for "just in case" (though I'm not sure how well he can read) but he has already figured out that the great oudoors is not only a giant playground but also a great place to take care of "business". And if he IS caught off guard in the house, well, reading the paper will help get things running smoothly. After works for my husband.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Great King and "the pretender to the throne"

Like most people, I have a duplicitous heart and have struggled to cede control over my "little world" to the one who is the Creator of the world. As a matter of fact, I am, unwittingly, often my own worse enemy. My "little world" is a false one and the queen of this "world" is a pretender to the throne:

 She must be unseated but she fights to keep her position. God is gentle but firm in dethroning her. It is taking years but she has ceded much ground to Him. He often sends foot soldiers in to pierce her dreadful armor and at this point the armor is ragged and torn and helps little in the way of defense. During each skirmish she is quicker and quicker to wave the "white flag" and is beginning to gracefully concede her "powerlessness" in the eyes of the great King. One day He will surely "disarm" her completely. She is secretly looking forward to this day. You see, He has promised to share with this "pretender to the throne" his own kingdom and has given her many glimpses of the treasures within. But first... first she must cast her own crown of "fool's gold" to the ground along with the baubles she clutches in her hands if she wants to enter HIS kingdom. But what will happen to her own little kingdom? Will it just dissipate into thin air? After all the years she spent building it? Still, if she was being honest she would admit that the baubles and crown were growing heavier each year and bowing her head and back down under their great weight. What good is a kingdom with one subject anyway? Maybe she should take the chance and toss them down right now?

She once thought He was her enemy and was deeply afraid of Him. At one time, He spent day and night scaling the walls of her little kingdom. She grew utterly exhausted trying to keep Him out. As time wore on she got used to his intrusions into her small world and her heart would begin to quicken when she heard his footsteps. She didn't admit that to Him back then for fear He would crush her with his strength and collapse her little kingdom with one blow.  He was never one to follow the rules though and she began to realize that He was actually quite fond of her and had no wish to destroy her, but, merely to dismantle her kingdom piece by piece. At first she cried when He looted her kingdom but she quickly came to realize that the loot He "stole" were things she had borrowed from Him when she was young (they were close friends back then, you know) but had misused and forgotten to return. She could hardly get angry at Him for taking what was rightfully his, could she? There were times she missed her "borrowed things" but mostly she felt happy that she had less to worry about. It gave her more time gaze at Him in secret. She thought He must know by now that deep inside she loved Him but felt unworthy to do so. Once during their more peaceful moments He had told her that "love makes things worthy" and that his love would make all things new. He had others who lived in his Kingdom and they assured her that what He said was true.

Slowly but surely she began to believe. Still, there was the small problem of her kingdom. Had all the others had to give up their kingdoms too? 'Yes,' they assured her, 'but you shall see that your kingdom is nothing compared to the Great King's.'

They sure looked happy. Peaceful too. Maybe it was time to throw all caution to the wind? Here He was again looking at her patiently with a smile in his eyes. She took off her "gold" crown and laid it at his feet. The baubles silently slipped from her hands and her "kingdom" dissipated in the wind.

She did not look back.

Monday, September 19, 2011

St. Therese Novena

I will be joining John-Paul (and many others) at Pray More Novenas  for a Novena to St. Therese. For those who are interested in joining us, this Novena begins on September 22nd. You can also find a link to this site in my sidebar under Novena Reminder. I hope you'll join in!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Into the Silence

Into the Silence

One foot in time

One foot in eternity

O, be still my mind

Be still my soul

For in the deepest silence

of the human soul

lies the peace which

surpasses all understanding

and in the quiet chambers

of a peaceful heart

time stands still

and eternity begins

"Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts become troubled or afraid." John 14:27

Sabbath Moments

Sabbath Moments is a weekly meme hosted by Colleen at Thoughts on Grace. These are the moments we "let go and let God" and live in the present moment. Here are some of my Sabbath Moments this week:

~ I'm enjoying the nice weather we've been having. My favorite season is Fall and we are getting a good taste of it this week. I especially like the crisp evenings. I like to sit on the deck and just breathe in the fresh air. It's invigorating!

~ I love my morning prayer and Mass routine during the school year. Meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary prepares me for Mass and helps me get into the "right frame of mind" on hectic mornings. I just wish I would remember to bring my Magnificat with me once in a while. I like to see the readings while I am listening to helps them sink in.

~ I haven't been reading very much this week but I pulled the book Imitation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus off my bookshelf and have begun digging into it again. I love books that teach us how to be more like Jesus.

~ My daughter has been telling me I'm the "best mom in the world" before she goes to sleep at night :) I'm not, of course, but I still love to hear those words!

Friday, September 16, 2011

You need to see this

My mother-in-law e-mailed us this picture of the fire that has raged through parts of Texas. It has destroyed 1600 hundred homes so far. The fire is 75% contained but Texas needs rain badly. Here is a link that speaks about this terrible drought. Please pray for rain.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Our Lady of Sorrows

On this feast day of Our Lady of Sorrows I want to dedicate these three poems to Our Lady. Most of you have read The Hammer  and many have read Forever and Two Hearts but I still wanted to put them up today in honor of our Heavenly Mother.

Two Hearts
The Woman raised eyes sorrowful

Bedimmed with grief and loss

Suffering, she spoke not a word

But leaned upon the cross

In agony, her tears flowed down

A soldier pierced His side

Thorns crowned her baby's head

Her Life , her Joy, her Pride

Upon this scene I entered

Espied entwined two Hearts

Naked he came from her womb

...and naked he departs


The Babe beheld his mother's eyes
As tenderly she soothed his cries
Filled with love and motherly joy
Mary caressed her baby boy

Throughout his life these eyes of grace
Followed Him from place to place
Until one day they mournfully
Followed Him to Calvary

Pierced by sorrow, stung by grief
She crawled beneath the witness tree
The Lord gazed down, beheld his mother
As one last time they looked at each other

Her eyes spoke forever, a love so profound
They rained their sorrow upon the ground
And those beautiful eyes first seen at his birth
Were the last eyes He saw as He left the earth

         The Hammer
A Babe was born one silent night
To bring to earth a shining light
O Wisdom! Truth! A young boy grew
To bring to all life anew

And yet throughout this Child's years
A hammer echoed in his ears

He cured the sick and healed the lame
Forgave our sins, took on our shame
Light pierced darkness, brave and true
Grace upon grace for me and for you

But still throughout our Savior's years
A hammer echoed in his ears

A judas kiss, a King betrayed
Upon the cross the Lamb was laid
The hammer fell again and again
For human hearts are full of sin

And a mother's eyes streamed with tears
As the hammer echoed in her ears

O Heart so sorrowful, I tell you true
...this hammer echoes in my ears too

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What's Next? Gas Chambers?

I received this e-mail the other day from a friend and it is the reason I wrote so harshly about abortion yesterday:

Dear friends,

Please take about 5 minutes of your day today & read through this short article:

The gist of it is that the people who are on our payroll in the Dept of Health & Human Services want children with Down Syndrome to be targeted prenatally as a "preventable condition".

Down Syndrome happens at conception. The only way this condition can be 'prevented' is to abort the baby, which is what is happening now to the majority of these children in utero.

The difference here is that, following this tragic trajectory, soon it will be illegal for parents to opt to give birth their children with this condition.

This is where we come in. At the end of the attached article, there is a link to the HHS Public Comments page which is currently open. Please take a moment & fill out this 3 question form & make your voice heard. I know you agree that we need to speak up in unison to stop the culture of death whose primary pillar is that anyone--young or old--who is inconvenient to us must be made convenient one way or the other.

Carrying Our Crosses

Walk the Walk
Some call this world a burden

Some call this world a curse

But I call it a blessed place

For trust me... there's far worse

I'll walk this earth any day

No matter what the cost

I'll pray each and every day

That not one soul be lost

I'll walk the path of Jesus

With help, I'll walk it well

For His way leads to heaven

The wide road leads to hell

So if you see me walking

With grace, I will not tarry

For Jesus is my light and guard

My cross He helps me carry

And if I see you on this path

Which every day grows steeper

I'll help you if you fall, my friend

....I am my brother's keeper

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Let Pleasing Him be my Theme...

"You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

I have been blogging for over two years now. Blogging has its ups and downs but overall I enjoy it. What has caused me some concern, however, is that in some ways I have lost the purity of my strong but simple faith. My goal for blogging was simply this: to share the truth and love that God has poured into my heart and to please God, not people. You see, I spent a good portion of my life as a "people pleaser" instead of standing up for truth alone. I was wishy-washy and, no doubt, what Jesus considers lukewarm. I feared what others thought of me...and, on occasion, still find myself falling into this "wanting to please the crowd mentality". God has spent years working to heal this fault of mine. Time after time, He has nudged me to read the scripture verse, "So Pilate, wanting to please the crowd, released to them Barabbas..."

"People pleasing" is wrong, this has become clear to me over the years. We live in a society that is so dysfunctional that the habit of pleasing others instead of standing up for truth is deeply ingrained in us. Being "politically correct" is a term often used to describe "people pleasing". Political correctness is a subtle form of spiritual tyranny. How can you connect "political correctness" with tyranny you might ask? Easily.

Under the guise of "political correctness" we have allowed truth to be trampled underfoot to such a degree that we have lost sight of the clear path that Jesus set forth for us when He came to earth 2000 years ago. The love he spoke about has no resemblance to our current "popular" definition of love.  You are considered a "loving" and "peaceable" person these days as long as you never rock the boat. We are spoon fed this false "love" in a manner that makes it palatable. No longer are we called to simply and in truth love the sinner (which we all are), but rather, we are asked in the name of the false "love" of the world to embrace the actual "sin". Those who do not comply with this are called bigots and worse. Yet they do not see that forcing us to embrace sin is the worst and deadliest kind of bigotry.

They call lust - "Free Love"

They call birth control -"protection"

They call a baby - "a blob of cells"

They call abortion - "pro-choice"

They call euthanasia - "mercy killing"

The court of "public opinion" has slammed the hammer down and has claimed lies as truth. Let's quickly unmask a few of the above examples and we will quickly see that the truth and love are not served by these "politically correct" terms in any way, shape, or form.

Lust is a sin because it objectifies the human person. It is immoral because we are not "merely animals" and were created in the image and likeness of God. It is considered one of the 7 Deadly Sins. "Free love" is a misnomer because there is nothing free about lust. It is a form of bondage. I put the examples above into this particular order to show how one type of sin opens the door to others.) The connection is easy to see so I don't think there is really a need to explain it.)

Birth control - have you ever seen the ads that ask the question, "Are you protected?" I always want to answer: Why would I need protection against babies? They seem pretty harmless to me. (If it's a question of disease, my comment on lust covers that one.)

Calling a baby a "blob of cells" is simply a way of justifying abortion. Our consciences will not allow us to "kill a baby" so we must once again objectify the human person by calling it less than it is. And once again we are brought back to lust. This is why the 7 Capital sins are called "doorways" to other sins.

Abortion is called "pro-choice".  This is an attempt to cover the harsh reality of murder by taking someone's focus away from the truth that abortion is killing a baby and drawing a person's attention to
the cause of freedom instead. "How dare you tell me what I can and cannot do?! I am a free person with rights you know! You people sicken me! You bunch of zealots!"

Little do they realize that we are trying to protect both them and their unborn children.

I am called judgmental because I am trying to keep them from harm.

Sin is of such a dreadful mien
That to be hated is but to be seen
But oft seen becomes a familiar face
At first tolerated  and then embraced
                               Alexander Pope

I am called a bigot because though I easily embrace people regardless of their beliefs I will not embrace the actual beliefs themselves.

I am called a zealot because I believe that there is an absolute Truth and, for me, this Truth is a Person.

This Person has a name... Jesus


By the way, do you know what Hitler's term for genocide was?

Ethnic cleansing.

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Tangled Web

"You will certainly not die! No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods who know what is good and what is evil."   Gen. 3:5

The New Age Movement is a spiritual path fraught with dangers of every kind. Unsuspecting souls are easily led astray through the subtle mixture of truth and lies New Age spirituality contains. Like the fruit in the story of the Garden of Eden, pleasing to the eye, if one bites into it deeply enough the worm which never dies is exposed. The New Age Movement is simply Satan's clever way of replaying the fall of man over and over again. After all, it worked before, right? Serve something up under the guise of good and there's bound to be takers. Whether you believe the story of the Garden of Eden is truth or allegory  is not the point. The point is that man was seduced into disobeying God and this disobedience continues to ripple through the generations. No longer was God the center of our existence, man himself became the center. Interestingly enough, pride was our downfall just as it was for Satan and all the angels he took with him while attempting to usurp the throne of God. No doubt Satan considered this one of his finest moments and shook with glee at our stupidity. He's not one who likes to suffer alone. There's some truth in the saying that "misery likes company". Unlike us, Lucifer understood the full ramifications of what his disobedience would confer upon him and didn't care in the least.

God did not forsake man, He redeemed us instead, but we still suffer the consequences of original sin.
Our goal here is not to make peace with a fallen world nor is it to toss into the public false ideologies which reduce this need for redemption or throw it away altogether. I'm not okay and you are not okay. I may care about someone and accept them but this doesn't mean that we are okay. Humanity with its fallen nature is very fragile and prone to sin. Our proclivity to sin is a fact that is easily established by taking a quick glance at the world around us.

One of the problems with New Age thought is that it is often an attempt at self-redemption and this can never work. How can someone whose own nature is broken fix himself? Or anyone else for that matter. He cannot. It's not possible.  During my own life, I have known a number of Christians who have allowed themselves to be swayed by New Age philosophies. Most of them have returned to their Christian roots but not without difficulty. The New Age focus on "self" and power is a huge draw. Sometimes it's hard to dethrone this false god, it takes humility and the acceptance of our own powerlessness both over ourselves and others. Which brings me to another aspect of the New Age that is troublesome - pantheism (from the greek pan = everything and theos = God): all is God.

Everything is not God and neither is every person. That God deigns to reside in us doesn't make us God. Pantheism is easily proven false...not a one of us has the power to create the universe. Those who subscribe to this philosophy have too high an opinion of themselves. I, for one, am thankful that I am not God. I am thankful that you are not, also. Creation is not equal to the creator.

This is a blessing. New Age spirituality is a form of "spiritual narcissism" and the deeper a person becomes enmeshed in its web the harder is to disentangle oneself. Grace alone accomplishes this.

Here is the personal account of a man who was involved in New Age spirituality. His story gives a quick overview of how New Age occult practices can endanger the soul. Another site which tackles the subject of New Age Spirituality is Catholic Apologetics Guidebook. At this site you can find links, debates and articles related to the New Age Movement.

Many years ago a friend of our family was caught up in New Age spirituality for a few years. She  practiced a form of New Age mysticism and used to leave her body regularly. She called it "going under". One day, as she was returning to her body, much to her horror a demon was trying to enter it. She called out to Jesus for help, the demon disappeared, and she reentered her body. After this episode she cut off all ties with New Age and occult activity, did a thorough house cleaning, went to Confession, and is now wary of anything that even touches upon the New Age. It frightened her so badly that she even warns people about Yoga and the meditation practices that go along with it.

Elena at Fountain of Elias has put up a post which speaks about this type of "Pseudo-mysticism" and it is a must read for everyone who is interested in mysticism. I highly recommend reading the article in its entirety.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

September 11, 2001: An Account of that Day You Haven’t Heard

A view of 9/11 as seen through the eyes of Father Gordon MacRae, the author of These Stone Walls.  Well worth reading for its unique perspective and the ramifications this day held and still holds for all Americans, even those imprisoned. An eye-opener.

How to Trim Your Followers List in Three Simple Steps

For those of you who, like me, get confused over the Follower's gadget in the sidebar and need to trim it down to a manageable level I have three quick and easy steps to help you do so:

1. Be sure to mention the fact that you, along with the Pope, believe that both the Novus Ordo Mass and the Traditional Latin Mass are valid.

2. Don't forget to mention Medjugorje at least once a month if you are trying to trim it down rather quickly. This is the speediest way for those of you who have time constraints and cannot refer to various other apparitions because Google cannot find them easily enough.

3. If you would prefer a slow but thorough cleaning it would be a good idea to bring up the fact that you receive Communion in the hand when you have a cold to spare your elderly priest, whose hands waver,  from getting ill and who must ask his parishioners to hold their heads as still as possible when receiving.

If none of the above work, do not despair. Simply mention the word, "Charismatic" and you will be guaranteed to clear out an average of five a week. Also, it's good to note that as Followers plummet site stats skyrocket though I'm not quite sure what the connection is.

Coming soon by request:  Netiquette

Sabbath Moments - No Sweeter Sound

Sabbath Moments is a weekly meme hosted by Colleen at Thoughts on Grace. These are the moments we "let go and let God" and live in the present moment.

I am back to my Fall/Winter/Spring Mass schedule and rejoicing in the fact that I have the opportunity to attend daily Mass again. During the week I attend Mass in the next town over and this parish has a new Pastor. During every Mass, I cannot help but notice his extreme reverence during the consecration. In all my years I have only seen one other priest intonate the Eucharistic Prayer in such a reverential manner. If it wasn't for the fact that we are all kneeling and have pews in front of us I'm wondering if we would not all end up prostrate on the ground.

Many homeschooling mothers bring their children to this Mass. We recite the Angelus for vocations before Mass begins and one little tot behind me not only prayed the Angelus but the entire Mass with great fervor. She was still in diapers. Another little girl beside me prayed the Mass so beautifully that I
complimented her afterward.

Who says children don't belong at Mass? Likely, the prayers of these little children obtain far more graces for the world than any of us could ever imagine. I couldn't help but think that the toddler behind
was well on her way to sainthood and that most adults could take lessons in piety from her.

Have you ever heard one of these little ones chant the Sanctus? Latin from the mouth of there a sweeter sound than this? I tried to embed a video of a preschooler chanting the Gloria but it wouldn't allow me to. You can find it here, though. And how about this 3-year-old's  rendition of the Pater Noster?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

This takes my breath away...

Maybe many of you have already found this gem but for those who haven't visited I Want to See God yet, please check out - A King's Ransom. Blogging doesn't get much better than this, folks.

After much pondering...

After much pondering, I have concluded it was a heretic. All saints are here and accounted for. Thank you, Jesus...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Update on One Down

Hey! I still have Mother Teresa and Blessed John Paul II though! What a relief! I would NOT want to
offend those two!

One Down

One down, only 118 to go. I wonder who I offended this time?

Hopefully it wasn't the Pope.

What? You didn't know he follows my blog?

Why else would his picture be on my followers list?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


"Maisy! Show Uncle Randy and Aunty Mary how you sing your ABC's!"

 Ronny's face beamed as his 2-year-old proudly recited the alphabet he had spent days teaching her. I watched him grab her and smother her little face with kisses, praising her for a job well done.

"Isn't she amazing!! She's only two!"

Laughing, I agreed, "Yep! You have a smart one on your hands! Good job, Maisy!"

This is my last good memory of Ronny and I cling tightly to it. If I let go of it... all I can see is his precious body tossed in the street like so much rubbish. And it hurts. Dear God, it hurts. I sit here with tears streaming down my face at man's inhumanity to his fellow man. This is not a fancy post. I am raw with grief and am not capable of posting anything sensible right now. These are simply my thoughts...tangled and unsorted.

"Why, Lord? Why couldn't you help him? He has 2 children, a brother, sister, father...why, Lord?! Jesus, it hurts so much."

No quiet gentle voice replies. Just silence.

"I gave him to you, Lord! I placed this man in your hands and saw you cradle him.  He was one of my 'special ones', one of my 'broken ones'. I trusted you.  How many times do I have to watch them lose their battles?"

More silence. I have no right to ask such questions. I know this but my heart refuses to be still.

"Are people only allowed a certain number of miracles, Lord? Is that it? Cause if it is, I'm way over quota."

Yes, I'm fresh sometimes. After all the Lord has given me I still strike out. I am "broken" too, you see. Not in the same manner...but "broken", nonetheless. How dare I presume to speak so to the Lord? It's a question I often ask myself.

"But I prayed and I prayed and I prayed! I would have gladly given up a few of my "miracles" for him!"
What an ungrateful wretch I am. I do not understand the Heart of God aside from the occasional glimpses he shares with me. The Lord stepped in time and time again for Ronny. A few years ago I wrote this about Ronny here on my blog:

"Our Lord's mercy is infinite and I am always left awestruck by this mercy. There is a man who lives in our city; I don't want to give his name so I will just call him R. My husband and I both know him. He is deeply depressed, a drug addict and suicidal. He went from being addicted to prescription drugs to heroin. The Lord has called me to deep intercessory prayer for R. This type of prayer is so powerful that it leaves me in tears. I placed R. in the hands of Jesus and Jesus cradled this broken man in His arms. I cried and cried.

R. has had six suicide attempts and all have failed. He has overdosed on pills twice and lived. He held a gun to his head, pulled the trigger and the gun misfired. He sliced his wrists and lived. He hung himself and this failed too! A couple months ago he jumped off a three story building and only got a broken rib. These are serious suicide attempts and all have failed. God hears our prayers and answers them, sometimes miraculously.

R. is homeless now but he is still alive. I ask those who read this to please pray for him."

I read this now and my heart is stilled a bit. I wonder how many people hang themselves and survive? How many guns fail to fire? How many people jump from third story buildings and only get a broken rib?

Ronny never did succeed in his "quick" suicide attempts. Heroin got him instead. After he died from an accidental overdose in a drug dealer's house they simply threw his dead body in the street like a piece of rubbish. They did not understand that this was a soul cherished by God.

 As I write this, a picture of Jesus comes to my mind. I see him "catching" Ronny in his arms after jumping from the building. I see a hand gently removing a bullet from the chamber of a gun.

I see Jesus on a dirty street corner picking up a broken man and cradling him once again.

Yes, God is silent. But sometimes...a picture is worth a thousand words.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Mass Destruction

We have at our disposal the means to spread the Gospel worldwide. With a touch of a keyboard
at that. Within seconds our words are accessible to millions across the globe. Perhaps millions
don't read them but the words are there, nonetheless. Often, instead of being used as a tool to
reach out to others in a meaningful Christian manner, the internet is used as a weapon of mass destruction, its effects more far reaching than an atomic bomb because the effect can be spiritual and eternal.  I don't speak here of only the websites which are obvious in their sinfulness but also those sites which in a subtle and insidious manner attack the simple faith of Catholics around the world. Reinforced by  intellectualism and an air of religious superiority masked as "theological knowledge" some sites go so far as to even question the validity of the Novus Ordo Mass. And some do it in under the guise of "helping" God. No doubt, some are even doing this with the best of intentions.

As if God is not capable of helping himself if he so chooses. Yes, he often chooses to work through
people but this is despite us not because of us. Our part is to cooperate with His grace. We are simply human vessels, with fallen natures to boot. Not a one of us truly knows the heart of God and his thoughts are not our thoughts.  That he deigns to use us as vehicles to build the Kingdom of God is almost laughable, wouldn't you say?  That He has given us the Holy Spirit as our Helper is in itself enough to drop us to our knees. The Eucharist? This is a gift so profound that even the greatest saints had difficulty finding words to express this Treasure given to the Church.

Truly, our blogs and websites are insignificant when you think of the power of God. I can only surmise that the love of God walks hand in hand with His divine sense of humor. It's good to keep things in perspective in regard to what we write. Yes, He CAN and DOES work through fragile human beings but we can easily become sidetracked by forgetting that the Holy Spirit does the inspiring and "off we go!" claiming his gift as something innate to ourselves. Even worse, we often mix our own human reasoning with the inspiration of the Spirit and make a fine mess of things.

Back to the Mass. With over 1 billion Catholics in the world, Mass is being celebrated around the clock. CEO's sit in pews beside blue collar workers. Senators rub shoulders with homeless get my drift. We are one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.

Some claim that that Novus Ordo Masses are invalid. One site I stumbled upon called the Holy Eucharist "circus bread". If you want to find the site, Google it. Don't ask me where it is... I got off
that site in a hurry. It is there, trust me. The Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ present in the Eucharist referred to as "circus bread". How many other Catholics come across sites like these? What
harm is caused by thoughtless and untruthful words like these? These sites are stumbling blocks to many

Mass destruction instead of Mass instruction.

What's wrong with this picture? St. Thomas Aquinas would have jumped for joy if he had the opportunities to spread the glories of the Mass that we have at our fingertips.

The Mass. The glorious, ineffable mystery of the Catholic Mass. In an effort to mitigate some of the damage caused by divisions among Catholics concerning the Mass, the liturgy, and the validity of the Blessed Sacrament I share with you these beautiful quotes by souls far holier and far wiser than ourselves:

"Reverence, therefore, reverence this table, of which we are all communicants! Christ, slain for us, the sacrificial victim who is placed thereon!"  St. John Chysostom   (Catholic Answers)

"It would be easier for the world to survive without the sun than to do without the Holy Mass."  St.
  Padre Pio

"It is the whole Community, the Body of Christ united with its Head, that celebrates. Liturgical  services are not private functions but are celebrations of the Church which is the sacrament of unity, namely, the holy people united and organized under the authority of the bishops. Therefore, liturgical services pertain to the whole Body of the Church."    CCC  1140 

"How I hate this folly of not believing in the Eucharist, etc..! If the Gospel be true, if Jesus Christ be God, what difficulty is there?"     Blaise Pascal

The fact and the main point of this post is (feel free to confirm this with the Pope):

Both the New Mass AND the Traditional Latin Mass are valid. One's personal preference does not change this fact. We are free to attend either one. Both are beautiful, not because the participants are perfect.... but because Christ is present.

May we humbly thank Him.


Saturday, September 3, 2011

Sabbath Moments - Hurray!

Sabbath Moments is a weekly meme hosted by Colleen at Thoughts on Grace. These are the moments we "let go and let God" and live in the present moment.

School is now in session.

 Yippee! Woohoo! Hurray! Grand central station is now closed until the afternoon!

Excited? Who, me?

Why would the thought of 5 or 6 kids (not including my own) raiding my refrigerator, slamming doors, letting loose hamsters, chasing the dog and trashing my small condo excite me?

Gee, I'm not sure. Maybe the thought of holding on to the few brain cells I have left has something to do with it.

Probably a few moms will not think this is an appropriate Sabbath Moment.

 I send these moms an open invitation to visit my small condo during the summer. But, don't forget to -


Bring your own earplugs.

Beer is a plus too.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Prayer is powerful

Esther at A Catholic Mom in Hawaii has received a very interesting e-mail from Fr. Gordon MacRae. Check this post out!

I "Bot" some Trouble

I knew I shouldn't have made fun of Googlebot by referring to it as Googlebutt in the combox of my recent post Would You Care for a Slice of Humble Pie? It seems Googlebot has some close relatives who took offense at my remark and one particular bot cousin decided to insert a little extra code into one of my widgets. What happens when one of these little trolls inserts extra code into one of your gadgets is this:
No one can get onto your site. It sends them somewhere else. It's not a virus - these bots can do this on third party widgets. I wanted to warn others in case this happens to them. Puff at Puff's Blog about Stuff has a post up that points out how busy these little bots can be. The concern isn't so much with Googlebot but with other bots trolling the blogosphere. Like the hungry blog monster who steals your comments  and posts before you can publish them, these little fellows can cause a whole heap of trouble.

Did you know the word widget is also used to describe a certain type of gremlin? Yep, found that piece of information on Wikipedia. Just a tidbit to clutter the "useless trivia that will never come in handy" section of your brain. Kind of like square roots which I've never had the opportunity to use in real life. Gremlin...hmmm. Well, if the shoe fits....

Thank you, Victor, for your brilliant insight on ridding oneself of widgets. I must admit, "fig juice" and "castor oil" never crossed my mind :-)