Saturday, January 31, 2009

Oh No! I'm On Twitter!

OK- so I finally got brave and just joined Twitter. I managed to set up my profile and add 2 of you so far to my follow list (Paul at GNW and Prodigal Daughter). Paul, thanks for your recent post with some of the guidelines and helpful hints. I just got used to blogging and now this. Yes , I'm a little nervous, but just like blogging I'll figure this out as I go along.
Look forward to following more of you and hopefully some of you will follow me at Karinann -Kings Daughter02 (either here, Twitter or both).
Happy Tweeting!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Just My Humble Rantings

Those of you who read my blog know that I haven't really ventured into writing about politics or mainstream life. One reason is I don't feel qualified enough to do so; I'd rather leave that to the "big boys and girls" of the blogosphere. But today I think I need to jump into the pool, so to speak-even if it's just to vent. So here goes...
By now most everyone has heard that NBC has refused to air the Catholic Vote ad during the superbowl. Their reason in a nutshell, "we don't do politics". Well the ad is hardly political. Any person using the common sense our good God gave them will see right through that lame reasoning to their real reason. They won't air this beautiful ad about life, but they will air scantily clad women selling just about anything. And I shutter to think about what half time will bring! That being said, NBC has also banned the PETA ad ("because according to them, sex just doesn't sell) that claims vegetarians have better sex. I just watched that ad and almost lost my breakfast! Click here if you can stomach it, and make sure your kids aren't anywhere in eyeshot of the computer screen.
My point in all this ranting is that NBC says "sex doesn't sell", but it must or they wouldn't air the more subtle forms of it. The Catholic Vote ad not only promotes life in general, but also the life of the president many of the "catholics" who will be watching the Superbowl, voted into office. The whole thing really is an outrage (but not surprising).
Julie D. over at Happy Cathoic is also outraged. She along with a friend have found the names and addresses of the powers that be at NBC. The network needs to hear from those who value life. Visit Happy Catholic for the contact information. Thanks Julie and Matt for the hard work in digging up this info.
As for me, I really don't have much use for TV these days. And while I enjoy a good football game as much as the next person, the Superbowl rarely falls into the category of good football.
Thank you, dear reader(s) for allowing me to vent.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Returning Home

I know that I have been a little critical of the goings-on in my parish in recent posts. However one of the great blessings of my parish is that we have Perpetual Adoration. The chapel began 12 years ago on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Five and a half years ago on Divine Mercy Sunday I began my regular hour of Sundays at midnight.
Anyone who commits to being with Jesus for an hour a week will tell you it is one of the best hours of their week. It certainly is mine.
The following prayer was part of a meditation I was reading today from Divine Intimacy. The prayer is a wonderful and fitting beginning for your Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament or any time you sit down to pray.

Prayer for a Holy Hour
O my God, Most Holy Trinity, grant that at least in time of prayer, I may be
aware of Your presence in my soul and may make my union with You real.
Grant that at least in this hour, I may not leave You alone in the depths of
my heart, but entering within, "returning home", let me enclose myself in the temple of my soul where You are waiting for me!

~Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Simple Devotion- January 28th Entry

For Today...

Dear Lord,

I bring you my impatience with myself as well as others, failing to see you in those you place in my path, my wanting things done in my time;according to my will instead of your perfect time and your perfect will.

I bring you my worship and the way I relate to my students; responding to their needs and praising you for all they add to my ministry to those, who like me are in need of your mercy and loving, healing touch.

I bring you my prayer...for the many who have asked for my prayers, for those mourning the loss of a loved one, for the parents caring for seriously ill children.

You spoke to me...through your Blessed Mother who, as my thoughts turned to her, calmed the storm raging inside me today.

Drop and Give Me 20!

Father John Corapi often says "Your Mama wears combat boots" when referring to Our Lady and her work in our lives. I think today I finally see first hand what he means. Somedays saying my Rosary is no easy task. New Jersey is in the middle of one of its infamous snow, rain sleet storms today; nothing debilitating- just a mess. But as a result of this, I did not make it out to Mass this morning, nor did I say my Rosary. I did spend about an hour with my Magnificat and prayed that way. Apparently that wasn't enough. I arrived at work in a semi-foul mood. A few minutes ago I realized I needed to do something to get out of it. That's when I heard it- "Drop and give me 20!" Our Blessed Mother was going to get at least some part of a Rosary today. So like any struggling daughter, I did what Mama said. I stopped what I was doing and managed to pray two decades of the Rosary. I have to admit, I do feel somewhat better. Mom really does know best.
Speaking of the Rosary, Nellie Edwards has a great article about praying the Rosary titled
"Don't Say It, Pray It".

*Note: I wanted to hyperlink Fr. Corapi, but his site is under construction/renovation until March 1. So not much to see there at this time.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Father Barron on Eckhart Tolle's

Here is Part 2 of Fr. Barron's commentary on Eckhart Tolle's "A New Earth". If you missed Part 1, I posted it several weeks ago. You can also find it on his website, I love listening to Fr. Barron. He has great insight in many areas.

Prayer and Pearls

Before any of my gentlemen readers get scared off by the title- Keep Reading! This is not a "ladies only" post. Check out Happy Catholic's post today about deep prayer and diving for pearls. It discusses Bl. Mother Teresa's writings on this subject. It's a great post and Mother Teresa's writings are always chock full of useful wisdom. Thanks for the post, Julie.
The visual of remaining below the surface of all the tumult that can go on in our lives in any given day just as a pearl diver must strive to remain below the surface of the water in order to find pearls is a great meditation tool to use in our daily lives as we struggle to keep our presence with God.

Monday, January 26, 2009

A Simple Woman's Daybook

Thank you to Peggy for the Simple Woman's Daybook. To see more entries or to join, go here.

FOR TODAY : Monday, January 26, 2009

Outside my window it is dark.

I am thinking about what to wear to work tomorrow.

I am thankful for getting out of work an hour early.

From the kitchen simple grilled cheese with tomato for dinner.

I am wearing my favorite pajamas.

I am creating a spiritual scrapbook filled with favorite prayers, prayercard, Scripture verses and meditations.

I am going to sleep soon.

I am reading Hinds Feet on High Places.

I am hoping and praying our new president will not pass FOCA.

I am hearing Matthew West singing "There's Only Grace"

Around the house all is fairly quiet.

One of my favorite things snuggling under my quilt with a good book and a cup of tea or hot chocolate. (a chocolate chip cookie wouldn't hurt either.)

A few plans for the rest of the week: catch up with some friends I haven't spoken with in a while, clean out my closet, make a loaf of banana bread.

Here is picture thought I am sharing: The Day God Spilled the Paint

Sunday, January 25, 2009

All I Know Is Jesus Deserves More

I always know when God is trying to get my attention in some area of my spiritual life. Lately He has chosen a major area- the Mass. If you've read a few of my recent posts, I've done my share of complaining about the things I've seen appear and disappear in the Mass since my return six years ago. Now I am not one to consciously and deliberately ignore the Holy Spirit's nudgings (well not usually)but I have been known to try His patience a bit.
Case in point-about a year and a half ago I saw that EWTN aired aTLM on the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. I DVR'd it and there it has sat; collecting digital dust- until today. I finally blew the dust off and watched. Awesome doesn't even begin to describe it. When I thought about this Mass in comparison to the Novos Ordo, all I could think is, we owe our Lord so much more than the Novos Ordo- at least the way it is celebrated in most parishes. Now before the 2 or 3 of you who read this blog go and run for the combox- I am not in opposition to the Novos Ordo. The problem I have been having lately is that it has come to promote a "it's about us rather than about Jesus" air. I know that was not the spirit that was intended. This is just my own observation. So, you may ask, "What's your problem? Just find the nearest TLM and go.
My dilemma is that while a bit dissatisfied with the laize-faireness of my local parish Mass, I still feel at home there. I know that we all have to leave home at times. Maybe that time has come for me. Perhaps continuing to attend daily Mass at my beloved parish and a TLM on Sundays now and then is a way to strike a balance.
I know that part of the reason for my ambivalence is my own pride and fear; getting over that feeling of a fish being out of water.
My dream is to have my parish offer a TLM even just once a month as a start, but it doesn't look like that is anywhere in the near future. As for attending a TLM elsewhere, perhaps I should take the advice of the old Nike commercial and "just do it".
One last thing- I think the Holy Spirit has been using blogs to get me at least thinking and praying about this. I have found myself over at Fr. Z's blog quite often. Thank you father.
Comments, advice and prayers in this matter are welcome.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Anniversary of Shame

Today is the 36th anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision legalizing abortion. Join with me today in praying for those who will courageously make the trip to our nation's capital to speak with their voices or simply by their presence, on behalf of the unborn and those who have died because of this tragic decision. Let us also pray for the mothers, fathers, family and friends who are in need of healing from the wound abortion inflicts.

In a reflection on the readings for today's Mass, the writer says that Roe v. Wade has made a "cemetery of our nation, and turned the wombs of mothers into tombs of their babies." What a fitting analogy! Please take a minute to read the reflection titled Anniversary of Shame.

May God bless all who work tirelessly in support of life.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Welcome To Washington, Mr. President

I haven't posted anything about the inauguration until now. To be perfectly honest, I did not watch one minute of any of it. (And I could not care less about what Michelle Obama was wearing!) The snippets of the new president's speech that I did catch, did nothing but infuruate me. He speaks of God. In my own opinion, he knows nothing of God. This is a man who sees babies as a punishment. If his bills become laws, countless children will die and their mothers hurt physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Tomorrow President Obama will have to deal with those who did not vote for him during the March for Life. Granted he may find it nothing more than a mere inconvenience, but the marchers' presence will be felt and hopefully heard.
Part of me feels very sorry for President Obama because I'm not sure he knows what he has taken on in becoming president. I also feel that there are greater forces at work and he is not really the one in charge of his presidency.
There was a great deal of hype over this inauguration; so much so that our president may think the American people are here to serve him when it should be that he would find the humility to realize that he has taken this office to serve the people.
Well,Mr. President, the parties are over and the work begins . Tomorrow you will see and hear those who know that life at every moment is sacred; you will see and hear those wounded by the "choice" you hold as sacred. Welcome to Washington, Mr. President.
I am glad that we finally have an African American in the White House. I just wish it were someone who truly knows God and His precious gift of life.
I know this post is not very positive, but I have not given up hope. I know that our hope is in Christ and He can change the hardest of hearts. So I will continue to pray for the conversion of President Obama .
May God bless and have mercy on our country.
Our Lady of Guadalupe pray for us!

Fr. Markey- Part II

Father Z. at What does the Prayer Really Say has posted Part II of Fr. Markey's parish column. Check it out. The number of comments (56 so far!) for the post is some indication that more of us would like to see the TLM in our own parishes. Fr. Markey is a breath of fresh air!

Monday, January 19, 2009

As the Pastor Prays, So Prays the Parish

Yesterday I went on a bit of a rant and rave about the abuses in my own and other parishes. I titled the post "Is Nothing Sacred?" Well apparently in at least in one parish in Norwalk, CT there are many things sacred- especially in their Liturgy. Check out Fr. Z's post on Fr. Markey, pastor of St. Mary parish in Norwalk, CT, over at What Does the Prayer Really Say? It made me want to move to Norwalk. As I also posted previously, we need to pray for our priests as well as our bishops. Our parishes need more Fr. Markey's.

Heavenly Father send us more holy, humble and happy priests. We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Is Nothing Sacred?

This post is more of a response to CurtJester's post "Things That Make You Scream". He was responding to the article about the hoopla made at Mass where Vice President Elect Biden was in attendance.
I am blessed to belong to a parish that suffers a minimal of such abuses, but it has its share. I have had to sit through the occasional round of applause for some minor accomplishment of someone. I have no problem with giving people their due- just not at Mass. Have we forgotten that the Mass is a Holy Sacrifice? Jesus Christ made the sacrifice, not any of us. The Mass is about Him, not us.
When I returned to the Church six years ago, I remember wondering about some of the things I was seeing; holding hands, or adopting the same hands raised posture of the priest during the Our Father, ushers playing "meet and greet" as they assist with the Communion line. Do we really need them to do this? Are we incapable of knowing when it is our turn to get out of our pew? And don't get me started on altar girls. And we wonder why some people think it's OK for women to be ordained. I will leave it to you to see the connection with that one. These are just to name a few of the things I didn't remember seeing at Mass during my childhood. Perhaps I'll deal with the incessant chatter before Mass, reading the bulletin, and the out of control sign of peace in another post.
When people attending Mass finally come to understand that they are at Calvary each time they are at Mass and that Jesus truly is present in the host- Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, then maybe we will see a return to the sacredness that the Mass deserves. Until then, I like many other Catholics may find ourselves journeying to the nearest Traditional Latin Mass, even if only on occasion. (I have been praying for the grace to do this- my fear of not knowing what to do when has kept me from it so far. I know it's a poor excuse.) I realize that I have done some ranting and raving in this post, but I would like to end by thanking first those priests who say the Novos Ordo with awe and reverence, and also those Catholics who assist at Mass with that same awe and reverence.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Beautiful Hands of a Priest

The first time I read the poem "The Beautiful Hands of a Priest", I found myself in tears about half way through. Six years ago that would not have been the case; I probably wouldn't have even read it. I wanted nothing to do with the Catholic Church let alone priests! But then came my reversion in which a few very special priests have played a part. In the six years since my return to Christ and His Church, I have come to realize what a truly awesome thing the priesthood is. Without our priests there is no Eucharist. And don't think for an instant that Satan doesn't know this. Our priests are on the front lines and to be a good solid Catholic priest in today's world is not easy. This is why we need to pray for our priests every day.
God has truly blessed me with wonderful priests in many areas of my life; my parish, ministry work, as well as those I have been led to in the Catholic Blogosphere- Father Philip Neri, Father James Farfaglia and last but certainly not least Father Richard John Neuhaus. Their blogs are definitely worth checking out.
So let us pray for our priests and remember to thank them. For it is through their beautiful hands that Jesus chooses to come to us in the Holy Eucharist.

The Beautiful Hands of a Priest

We need them in life's early morning;
we need them again at its close;

We feel their warm clasp of true friendship;
we seek them when tasting life's woes.

At the altar each day we behold them,
and the hands of a king on his throne
are not equal to them in their greatness;
their dignity stands all alone.

And when we are tempted and wander to
pathways of shame and of sin,
It's the hand of a priest that will absolve us-
not once, but again and again.

Other hands may prepare a feast, but
the hand that will bless and unite us
is the beautiful ahnd of a priest.

God bless them and keep them all holy for
the Host which their fingers caress;

When can a poor sinner do better than to
ask Him to guide thee and bless?

When the hour of death comes upon us,
may our courage and strength be increased,
By seeing raised over us in blessing the
beautiful hands of a priest!

-Author unknown
From an old prayer card

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Be Thou My Vision, Fernando Ortega

Every day needs something beautiful. Hopefully Fernando Ortega's version of "Be Thou My Vision" will add something beautiful to your day today. The slide show that accompanies the hymn is equally beautiful.
Enjoy this beautiful moment of prayer!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Thank God For Good Bible Translations

The Douay Rheims Bible is my Bible of choice. It is translated from the original Latin Vulgate. While reading Father George W. Rutler's beautiful tribute to his friend and fellow priest, Father Richard John Neuhaus, I was reminded of why I use the Douay Rheims in my personal reading of Scripture. Father Rutler referred to the fact that although Father Neuhaus was not conscious when he anointed him, he may have been aware that he used the Douay Rheims translation. It was then I remembered the articles I read written by Father Neuhaus on the topic of Bible translations. Father Neuhaus often said that "he found the language and the music of the revised liturgy a cause of sorrow". I tend to agree. The lectionary and missalettes printed for use with the Novos Ordo Mass use the New American Bible translation. When compared to the Douay Rheims or the Revised Standard Version (Ignatius Bible), well there is no comparison. First and foremost these versions seem to give a more precise translation. I (along with others)find the language more beautuful and poetic. Father Neuhaus gives numerous examples and comparisons in his articles "Bible Babel" (First Things May 2001) and "More Bible Babel" (First Things- January 2006). Both articles are definitely worth reading. You can find them by searching the archives for the dates listed above at the First Things website.

Now having said all that, I will add that I got my start reading Scripture with the NAB and for that I am grateful. However, I do recall, after awhile, feeling the need for "something more". It was probably around that time that the Holy Spirit gave me Father Neuhaus' articles. So thank you Holy Spirit and thank you Father Neuhaus.

The translation of the Bible a person uses for personal reading and study is a personal choice. If you are feeling like I did for the need for something more, treat youself to a sampling from the Douay Rheims, the Ignatius Bible or the Jerusalem Bible-1966 (Mother Angelica's Bible of choice). I promise, you won't be disappointed.
Note: I have searched for hours looking for the Jerusalem (1966) and Revised Standard Version Bibles online. I could find none. Of the Bibles I've mentioned, only the Douay Rheims could be found online (click link above).

A Giant of a Man- Meet Nick Vujicic

This video speaks volumes in praise of the dignity of every human life. Warning: tissues required!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Fr. Richard John Neuhaus

Mary Kochan at Catholic Exchange described Fr. Neuhaus perfectly, "Droll of wit, upright of character and lover of Christ."

I remember Fr. Neuhaus' commentary during the election of Pope Benedict XVI. He told Raymond Arroyo that he would sing a Te Deum. Well, I'm sure he is definitely singing one now- (yes, probably with Cardinal Dulles).

Thank you father for the legacy you have left us. May you rest in peace.

The Subtleness of the Enemy

If you logged onto Catholic Exchange this morning, you saw an article called "What Hath Fifty Years of Barbie Wrought?" by Mary Anne Moresco. The article is quite thought provoking because I, like many women in their 30's and 40's, have fond memories of playng with Barbie and her friends. Back in the 1960's and 1970's she seemed innocent enough, but upon further reflection, Barbie gave the same message then that she continues to give today. After all she still looks the same. This is one of Satan's favorite MO's, "Looks beautiful on the outside, but dig a little deeper and it begins to look and smell pretty rotten." The Enemy and those who work for and with him love to use subliminals. Today it is not so subliminal. Barbie and today's permissive, immodest culture get along famously!

As for the effect Barbie has had on women of my generation, well I can't speak for everyone, but while my mother may not have seen the problem with Barbie, my subconcious got the message loud and clear. I was raised Catholic, but fell away from my faith and went right along with what the culture of the 80's and 90's was dishing out; premarital sex, birth control, abortion- all a woman's right. It took me almost 20 years, and a lot of prayer and recatechising from a good friend before I would find my way home again. Make no mistake; we are in the midst of a spiritual battle! It's has been that way since Eve took the apple. Parents now more than ever need to be aware of this battle because their children and grandchildren's lives are at stake. As the article states, we need to teach our girls (and boys) about inner beauty and modesty. The role models our society puts out there should not be emulated, they need to be prayed for. The young women saints like Bernadette and Maria Goretti should be emulated.

So, I don't know about you, but I won't be wishing Barbie a Happy 50th this year.

St. Michael the archangel defend us in battle.
Sts. Bernadette and Maria Goretti pray for our youth.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Life Is Beautiful

As we begin the month of January, our thoughts may turn to the pro-life movement (if they don't, they should), the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade and the Pro-life March in Washington. I was doing my usual cruising of the blogosphere today and stumbled upon a beautiful pro-life site. Please check out the post titled America's Shame and browse the rest of the site as well. Abortion truly is America's shame. The job of those who work for life has become increasingly difficult, especially with the results of this past election. Difficult yes, but not hopeless. Our God is an awesome God and can convert the most hardened of hearts. In the meantime we can pray that all will come to realize the beauty and sanctity of life.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Most Holy Name of Jesus

At the name of Jesus every knee must bend, in heaven, on earth, and under the earth; every tongue should proclaim to the glory of God the Father: Jesus Christ is Lord. (Phil.2:10-11)

Today we celebrate the memorial of the Most Holy Name of Jesus. May we offer our prayers today for those who do not know the saving, healing power of this name when spoken reverently in prayer. What follows is my own reflection on the name of Jesus as well as quotes and prayers that express this devotion better than I can.

In the midst of fear and doubt- Jesus
In the midst of trials and temptations- Jesus
In the midst of pain and suffering- Jesus
In the need for repentance- Jesus
In the need for healing- Jesus
In the midst of joy- Jesus
In the midst of praise and adoration- Jesus
In everything and always- Jesus.

"If you think the name Jesus continually, it purges your sin and kindles your heart; it clarifies your soul, it removes anger and does away with slowness. It wounds in love and fulfills charity. It chases the devil and puts out dread. It opens heaven, and makes you a contemplative. It puts all vices and phantoms from the lover."
-Richard Rolle

"The Lord Jesus promised, whatever you ask in my name, I will do."

-John 14:13

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Mary, Mother of God

Today the Church celebrates the Motherhood of Mary under the title Mary the Mother of God. For me personally, I like the fact that this feast also begins the new calendar year. Mary is truly Mother of God, but she is also Mother of us all. By honoring her today, we can ask her special intercession for this new year.

Mary's "yes" to God is a great example to each of us as we begin 2009. Let us begin this year asking for our Blessed Mother's intercession and protection. May she obtain the grace for us of our saying yes to God's plan for us this year.

Holy Mary, Mother of God pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Closing Prayer

Psalm 45: Canticle of Love to the King

My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.

Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One,
In Your splendor and Your majesty!
And in Your majesty ride on victoriously,
For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
Let Your right hand teach You awesome things.
Your arrows are sharp;
The peoples fall under You;
Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies.

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.
Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies;
At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.