Friday, May 31, 2002

Knights of Columbus has a great print ad supporting our many faithful priests. I saw one in a Time magazine here at the school, and tore it out to give to Father Kirk. I haven't given it to him yet because I am forgetful and it is still on top of my microwave. My husband (who is a Fourth Degree Knight) keeps forgeting to remind me.
The Burnham's have been on my heart and mind.
Ben, a student of mine, has a sister in India. She is a Baptist missionary.

Prayer for Missionaries
O almighty God, Lord of the harvest of souls, we ask You to guide and bless all who have gone forth to preach the gospel. Endow them with the gifts of generosity and concern. Send your Holy Spirit on them, that He may strengthen them in weakness, comfort them in trials and direct their efforts. May He open the hearts of their hearers to receive Your message. Let Your revelation enlighten all minds for the salvation of souls, and let Your love heal every heart and body for the happiness of each person. May all people consciously acknowledge You and serve You by living the teachings of Your Son. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
I will not change my template again...I will not change my template again...I will not change my template again...
From Psalm 131
LORD, my heart is not proud; nor are my eyes haughty. I do not busy myself with great matters, with things too sublime for me. Rather, I have stilled my soul, hushed it like a weaned child. Like a weaned child on its mother's lap, so is my soul within me.

I pray for the peace that David sang about.
It is a crazy, scary world right now. I am not smart enough to post my political opinion. All I know is we need to pray for peace.
I have been out of pocket lately…
I have had the sinus infection from hell, I have been helping Michael with the Knights of Columbus Golf Tournament that he is putting together for this Saturday, working on a web page for Council 8083, etc., etc., etc. Plus I have 2 students graduating this quarter and I have been grading drawings, sending them to job interviews, and getting everything ready for the end of the quarter.

Talked to my Abigale this weekend. She was sick Friday night, and when we called she didn’t want to talk to anybody. Saturday morning, she was back to her old self again. She was “babysitting” kittens. Her dad was teasing her about the Christmas presents we brought back from Alabama, saying we were going to re-wrap them in birthday paper and give them to her when she got here. She got me on the phone… “Stepmother, PLEASE don’t let him rewrap my presents!” She was a little more than a toddler when I became her stepmom. She will be here with us in a week, and we are more than ready.

Tried to call yesterday, which was her 7th birthday, but I couldn’t reach her in the morning, and she saw Spiderman last night, so we missed her again.

I got to see my Matt and Brandy, and I sung and talked to her belly. I have to make sure the baby knows the Grammies when he or she gets here. Brandy was very frustrated because was not able to see the doctor she chose to deliver the baby. Whenever she has had an appointment, the doctor would be out. She had not had a real checkup and had not heard the baby’s heartbeat, and she was going on 14 weeks into her pregnancy. She was feeling that the doctor couldn't care less about her or her unborn child. I wanted Brandy to see Elaine, who is a nurse midwife at the Natchez Trace Maternity Center. I want her to have the best care, and I really feel that she will get that from Elaine and the birth center. I was trying not to be meddling and domineering so I let my sister be meddling and domineering. Michelle talked Brandy into going to the birth center and talking to the midwife. Elaine spent 2 hours with Brandy. At last, she feels that she has a health provider who actually cares about her and her baby. She just fell in love with Elaine, and is so excited. She wants to have a waterbirth, and I CAN’T WAIT!

My grandfather hasn’t much time left. The leukemia and prostrate cancer are working quickly together, and the doctors are talking days not months. I hope when he goes quickly, peacefully and in his sleep.

Tuesday, May 28, 2002

That's What I'm Talking About...
I have over 300 hits on my site! (Ok, ok, I know it's not like the sites that get over 1000 hits a day) My site started as an experiment for me and an online journal for family and friends so they can keep up with us. Considering that I am just a regular person, not exceptionally smart or witty, it really blows me away that people actually read this page. Thank you! Super cool! is a great site for those who have questions about the catholic church. It was written for people who have fallen away from the Church, but the site has answers to common questions, devotionals, and helps deal with post-abortive issues. Below, their quick meditation from their "Dining Room" area.

Signs of God
God’s care is apparent in the design of the tiniest seashell: the intricacies of its stripes, shades, coloration. For the most minuscule sea creature, God creates a home not only functional but beautiful. The analogy comes quickly: “How much more does God care for you, oh you of little faith?”

Friday, May 24, 2002

Thank you

Father Jim:
For baptizing Elliot and Zane, introducing me to Catholic literature, explaining questions I had during my conversion, for hearing my first confession, for anointing me when I was in the hospital with food poisoning and just knew I was going to die, for bringing my sister and me into the Church.

Father Kirk:
For leaving the Cathedral in Memphis to preach in a country church, for wise counsel, for visiting and anointing, for loving all of us so much, for being genuinely happy to see us at Mass, for intellectual conversations... even when you go over my head, for being a wise, loving and gentle confessor. For bringing my husband into the church. For bringing my mother and my brother into the church.

Bishop Steib:
For great homilies, for confirming my boys, for no hide and seek, no sweeping under the rug, no playing that game.

Fr. Benedict Groechel:
For answering my niece Chelsea's letter personally when she wrote you and told you she wants to be a nun when she grows up.

Father Maurice:
For the long trip from Holy Trinity to preach to us and implore us to go to confession when our pastor is out of town. For saying Mass while legally blind, and doing it from memory.

Brother Gregory:
For driving 7 hours so Father Maurice can say Mass for us, and for making us laugh at your corny jokes.

Father Celestine:
For praying for us while you were here on earth, for praying for us now, for building so many churches in West Tennessee. For loving as Christ did.

Father Carl:
For hearing confessions, for your jokes and sense of humor, for your homilies, for always being there for anyone at anytime, for standing up for the unborn.
Dang... John DaFiesole wrote about the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecelia in Nashville before I got to. Actually, he did a better job telling you about them than I could.
Morning Commute
Saw this on a sign in front of a Methodist church...

Instead of fast food, God offers us a soul feast.

Thursday, May 23, 2002

I talked to my sister... she is painting her living room. The big girls, Chelsea and Jessica, are helping. Those itching to help, but not allowed are: Diana (4 yrs), Danielle (3yrs), Nathan (19 months). Genevieve (1 month) just wants to nurse.
Why Social Justice/Works Are Important
Jesus said so...
Matthew 25: 31-46
"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the king will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.' Then the righteous will answer him and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?'

And the king will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.'

Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.' Then they will answer and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?'

He will answer them, 'Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.'

And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."
Today, my students realized that Monday is Memorial day. They must be catching my cold... they usually know a month ahead of time when they have a day off from school.

I have to give kudos to my student Ben. He made a very cool WV Beetle with our solid modeling software. I'm trying to figure out how he can attach big flowers on the finished rendered part so it will be like the ones from my childhood.
I have noticed (because I'm really, really nosey) that I have had quite a few people linking to me. THANKS! I find it hard to believe that people I've never met actually read my pitiful musings. What really gets me is that I have some really SMART people linking to me and reading my page. Wow.
This morning I am fighting a cold/sinus infection/crud thing, and I have to lecture, so instead of writing anything I want to direct you to an article about Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic Worker movement. I'm not sure if my Protestant friends and family have ever heard of her.

A conversion is a lonely experience. We do not know what is going on in the depths of the heart and soul of another. We scarcely know ourselves. Dorothy Day

Wednesday, May 22, 2002

St. Augustine's Prayer to the Holy Spirit

Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy.
Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy.
Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy.
Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy.
Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy.
Today's saint is Rita of Cascia. She is the saint I have been praying to for the welfare of my unborn grandbaby. A noble, holy woman of prayer. A trusting and giving woman. A woman who never gave up on her loved ones.

Saint Rita, pray for us.

Tuesday, May 21, 2002

Zane just informed me that it was a Typing MEDAL not Award.
Graduation was last night. I think Elliot feels a little strange about it. He is now (in his mind) officially a Senior. He wants to go to UT Knoxville, and I am trying to talk him into a smaller school for the first year. I don't want him to go into culture shock. The kids are in a small (300 student) k - through - 12 school. There are only around 25 kids in each class, and most of the kids have been together since kindergarten. In fact, every year, you can ask them if there were any new kids in their class, and they can give you details. There are a lot of advantages to living in a small town. But it sure makes graduation a sad time.
The genius teenage boys got an award at school today...
Elliot - Spanish II Award
Zane - Typing Award
Childbirth Tip - Use the scent of Lavender (either in massage oil, a pump spray or candle) for aromatherapy in childbirth. You may also use a mixture of Lavender, Rose, Jasmine and Lemon. Just go light on the lemon and jasmine. Use Lavender as the base aroma. Believe it or not, it has a very calming effect, as does the aroma of rose, but rose should be a secondary scent.

A couple of months ago, there was a girl in the childbirth class. She was young, about 17, but she had excellent support from her parents, who made every class with her. When she went into labor, her parents were right there with her. She brought along her ice chips and aromatherapy, and the room smelled wonderful. She didn't use any drugs, she was calm, and had as perfect a birth as one can have in a hospital. She realized she had power in birthing this baby girl. (And although the aromatherapy helped to keep her calm, she didn't leave it to just a hooey notion that if the room smelled good everything would go well. She prepared herself and had faith that everything would come together perfectly.) Many complications in birth arise from a bad diet, fear of the unknown and doubting yourself. It doesn't have to be that way.
I want to be like Judith, in character anyway… smart, strong, outspoken, faithful, beautiful, brave.

She goes into the camp of the Assyrians (Bad people) and captivates Holofernes (bad man-evil ruler) by her beauty, and finally takes advantage of the general's intoxication and cuts off his head. She returns inviolate to the city with his head as a trophy! In Judith, chapter 8 verse 8, it is said: No one had a bad word to say about her, for she was a very God-fearing woman.

If you don't have a Catholic Bible, you won't ever hear about her. In the military museum at Fort Benning, there hangs a lovely 500 year old tapestry of the story of Judith. I'm telling you, she was awesome.

Instead, I am afraid I am more like Lot's wife. Proud... vain... judgemental... distrustful of God's plan for me... instead of looking forward to the future, and realizing the magnitude of God's salvation, I, like she looks back for a glimpse of what was, longing for the past.
Thinking of How Bad I Was As A Teenager, it brought to mind a book, Bad Girls of the Bible. It amazes me how God can work through the muck and mire of our lives to bring about His plan. Read an article by the author from Today's Christian Woman.
This is for my dearest friend Carla...

Life is about not knowing,
having to change,
taking the moment and making the best of it,
without knowing what's going to happen next.
Delicious ambiguity.
Gilda Radner

Nothing is so strong as gentleness,
and nothing is so gentle as real strength.
Ralph W. Sockman

Hey, remember your 16th birthday - Frampton Comes Alive on your stereo. Sneaking beer. (We were bad kids. I mean really really bad. How did we have so many kids and ALL of them turn out so great???) 20th birthday - Ecstatic first pregnancy. 25th birthday - Still pregnant! and can you say two in diapers without laughing too hard? 30th BD - Oh my gosh, turning into a grown up, yikes - turning into our mothers! 35th - Braces, Band Instruments, TEENAGERS.

40 - You are awesome. Strength, Grace, Beauty. Be not afraid. Best friend of 25 years, your life is changing, things are happening, but your life is not starting over mid-way, it is blossoming.

Monday, May 20, 2002

messing around with my template. ouch.
We got home last night. Traffic was horrible on the way down Friday, and about an hour after we went through Birmingham, the radio announced that there were tornados in the area. I hope no-one was hurt... I haven't checked the news about it yet, and didn't hear while we were down there. We planned on going to Mass at St. Patrick's church, but got mixed up on the Mass times, so instead we went to St. Joseph's in Holy Trinity Alabama. That was where we really wanted to go anyway, just didn't want to drive that far out. We were able to visit Father Celestine's grave while we were there. He was a wonderful priest who built the church we attend in Tennessee. When I say he built it, I mean it literally... with his own two hands.

It was good to see the family in Alabama, and wonderful to see Pop and Granmama. He is recovering very well from his heart attack. Now if he'll only take it easy long enough to fully recover. (That means no fishing tournaments this year, Pop!) He and Michael watched the Winston race Saturday night, while I read the latest Patrica Cornwell novel. Granmama taught me how to make peanut butter cake. We finally exchanged Christmas presents. A whirlwind trip. Phew, I'm glad to be home.

Thursday, May 16, 2002

You HAVE to read this article from the National Catholic Register.

One might expect Catholic politicians, in need of secular support, to distance themselves from bishops and priests while the mainstream press feeds at the trough of the clergy sex scandal.

Not Gov. Bill Owens.

Instead, the Colorado Republican joined 53 other prominent Colorado residents in taking a bold and public stand in support of their clergy. Together, they donated money and bought a $20,000 full page ad in the April 7 Denver Post that said, in part:

"We love our Church, we respect our priests, we support our bishops. The failures of the few, no matter how serious, cannot be an excuse for demeaning or suspecting all."
Thomas Joseph has some interesting Catholic Fact-oids about the Bible today.

A year or so ago, Zane was told by the local Church of Christ preacher's son that we added stuff to the Bible we use. Zane explained to him about Martin Luther taking things away from the Bible during the reformation. He then told the boy that the Bible was put together originally by the Catholic Church. To which Zane was called a liar, and the boy has not spoken to him about the Bible since.
Secret Sins?
Michael was asked by one of the teenage boys who work for him if Catholics had to confess every sin, even secret ones. Michael asked him what a secret sin was and the boy replied, "Say I'm playing a video game and I get mad and cuss. Nobody saw me, nobody heard me. It's a secret sin."

He didn't want to get into the Mortal vs Venial sin with a kid who has been brought up to believe that all sins carry equal weight, (except secret ones, i presume) so he said, "Dude, God saw that sin. There are no secret sins... God sees them all."

Wednesday, May 15, 2002

Dr. Alan Keyes has an article worth reading on Catholic Exchange about Cardinal Law.

The priorities he thereby reveals are worldly. And the victims of these sins have paid a great price for this. For had the Cardinal considered the case before him with a spiritual eye, he would have had to understand and to have acted on the truth that the sin didn’t affect only the individual committing it.

To the young person suffering the sin of sexual abuse, the real harm done is an attack upon their moral and spiritual welfare. The Cardinal does not indicate that this harm even entered into his consideration. He spoke not a word about the assault on the moral and spiritual life of the young, about the scandal given to them.
Catholicity has wonderful free CD's and tapes to help explain the Catholic faith. They also have a CD/tape with the rosary and other Catholic prayers. I got the latest Father Larry CD, The Truth, and it is excellent. (He has a website that has other tapes for sale.) He makes me think of the old time preachers I was so fond of when I was Protestant, but now I get to hear the Whole Truth. When you live in a small southern town with very few Catholics, you really have to be ready to defend your faith. Especially if you are a convert, so I find the resources at Catholicity a big help. The year after my sister came into the Church, she passed around copies of "Pierced by a Sword" to her friends, and they all joined RCIA classes, with most of them eventually joining the Church.
We just got in a new solid modeling program, and I am going to help my students install it. I've never seen the program before, but it is supposed to be great... I just hope it's user friendly, and that I figure the program out before my students do.

Oh, and congratulations to my student, Autumn! She got a job as a drafter and I am very proud of her. She has come a long way.
Friday, my grandfather-in law, Bill had a heart attack. He is doing well now, but we really had a scare. We've decided to go down to Alabama to see him this upcoming weekend. (We didn't get to go at Christmas, so we are taking the presents with us. The kids are happy about this, because the grand-family gives the best presents. I know, Materialistic Kids.) Then yesterday, I had Jury Duty. Didn't get picked, but there are a lot of trials scheduled in the next couple of months. Am I the only one in America who doesn't hate it? I think law is facinating. It's my second time to be called up for it, and I am glad to do it. Anyway, with calling back and forth to Alabama, taking care of the family, and all the rest, I didn't write anything for a few days.

And then when I finally get back online, I find out that I have been linked!!! OH MY GOSH! I got linked by The Christian Conscience, and Emily Stimpson, and Gerald Serafin !!!

Oh, I didn't get the job with Tennessee Right to Life, but it's ok. I have put everything in the Lord's hands, and I am willing to stay here or go wherever He wants me. I just hope I hear the call when I get it.
The river was up this morning. Smooth as glass with the sunrise reflecting hues of orange. The hills are beautiful, lush and full of life. After the drought we had last year and the year before, it seems strange to see the various shades of green in the trees and grass.

Thursday, May 09, 2002

David Reinhard has an excellent article on the Church and what is going on today. I post a lot of this because a lady I work with made a nasty comment about priests in general, and I guess I feel guilty for not standing up for my priest and all of the many wonderful priests I have known. I plan to go to this lady privately and speak with her this afternoon, but right now I am just praying for the grace to be able to speak with truth and in the love of Christ.

How difficult it must be for these priests to address this with their congregations, particularly with altar boys or girls and other youngsters in attendance. It must be uncomfortable as, well, hell. Certainly, it is for the most faithful Catholics.

But silence will not suffice. Screening out unfit candidates for the priesthood and maintaining zero-tolerance for priests who have sex with minors -- a category that extends beyond pedophilia, which is about adult sexual attraction to prepubescent children -- are important. It's encouraging that most dioceses have taken action. But sometimes talk is as important as action, particularly when the actions have occurred in the church's bureaucratic warrens and within secret legal settlements.

Facing this scandal head-on -- finally speaking about the unspeakable -- is, I think, vital for the priests and their parishioners, not to mention the church. Priests and parishioners need each other now more than ever. Their responses to the scandal are probably not so different.

Parishioners, of course, cannot know what it means to be a priest these scandal-filled days. If you're a priest, how does anyone know you haven't molested a child? How do you defend yourself against suspicions when the crime itself occurs in private? You almost have to prove something didn't happen; you almost have to prove a negative.

It's an impossible burden that makes an often lonely calling lonelier. In the current atmosphere, the clerical collar becomes a kind of choker. As one priest told me, "You stand up there and feel people who don't know you suspect you of being a child molester."

This is not the first time that scandal has rocked the church. In fact, said Vogt, the church was born in the scandal of Judas. "Judas priests" have been with the church throughout history and continue to this day -- not only in today's pedophile priests, but in priests and other religious figures who soft-pedal the church's moral teaching on abortion, homosexuality, adultery, illegitimacy and pornography. Even the papacy has had its scandal. Pope Alexander VI's four illegitimate children in the 15th Century are but one example.

This certainly isn't the first time Catholics have been called on to speak out against scandalous clerical behavior. As Vogt noted, St. Francis de Sales was asked to do so in his day. "Those who commit these types of scandals are guilty of the spiritual equivalent of murder," said the 17th-century bishop. Their terrible example destroys the faith of others in God.

The church might be a divine institution, but it's filled with imperfect humans who are inevitably products of their time and culture. And look at our era's sexed-up atmosphere. What should we expect? Our priests come from our culture's families. Vogt said it's mystifying to witness a secular culture that celebrates or tolerates all of today's degradation now zeroing in on the church's sex scandal.

Yes, the stories of abusive priests command attention. Nobody's more eager to bring justice to these priests than the parishioners who love their church and children, or the priests who are unfairly tarred.

But, as a Catholic, the attention often seems outsized to me. Is the church being singled out for special scrutiny here? Is it because the church has resisted the postmodern moral order? Is it because the church maintains an unshakable belief in absolute truth and opposes all of today's media-friendly hobbyhorses -- abortion, relaxed sexual mores and all the rest? Is it because there are many other agendas at work?

What else to conclude when Catholics and non-Catholics offer up as fixes such things as ending priestly celibacy or opening the Catholic priesthood to women? In New Jersey, an Orthodox rabbi will soon go to trial on charges of groping two teen-age girls. In South Carolina, a Baptist minister is serving a 60-year prison sentence for sexually abusing 23 children. In Maryland, a former Episcopal priest was convicted recently of molesting a 14-year-old boy. In Portland, the Mormon Church announced last fall a $3 million settlement in a lawsuit brought by a man claiming he was abused by a high priest in the early 1990s. Celibacy and the all-male clergy didn't lead to the sins of these religious leaders.

And yet, however disproportionate the current targeting of the Catholic Church may be, this sad reality remains: Some Catholic priests violated their vows and their parish's children, and the hierarchy didn't respond in the best interests of its children. Priests and parishioners together must say, "Enough." Today's Judas priests must find no sanctuary in the Catholic Church."

This has been a season of suffering for the Catholic clergy and laity. You hear or read the stories of clerical sexual abuse, as well as reports that molester-priests were shuffled from one parish to another. You're outraged on almost every level. You know this goes on in other institutions. The news is full of reports of sexual abuse in other religions and helping professions. There's scant evidence that pedophilia is any more prevalent in the Catholic Church than in the larger population.

But the gap between the church's moral teaching and these acts -- the hideous behavior and the church hierarchy's apparent tolerance of it -- is great. It makes the church a natural and legitimate target of special outrage. You know these pedophile priests are a relative handful of men who've served in the priesthood over the years. You know these cases most often go back decades when pedophilia was seen more as a moral failing -- "go and sin no more" -- than an intractable psychological pathology.

But you also know that a single instance of sex abuse is one too many, particularly when it's committed by an alleged man of God and facilitated by the Church's actions; particularly when it alienates a young person or family from God's love.
Today is the Feast of the Ascension
Reading I - Acts 1:1-11
In the first book, Theophilus,
I dealt with all that Jesus did and taught
until the day he was taken up,
after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit
to the apostles whom he had chosen.
He presented himself alive to them
by many proofs after he had suffered,
appearing to them during forty days
and speaking about the kingdom of God.
While meeting with the them,
he enjoined them not to depart from Jerusalem,
but to wait for "the promise of the Father
about which you have heard me speak;
for John baptized with water,
but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."

When they had gathered together they asked him,
"Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?"
He answered them, "It is not for you to know the times or seasons
that the Father has established by his own authority.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you,
and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem,
throughout Judea and Samaria,
and to the ends of the earth."
When he had said this, as they were looking on,
he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight.
While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going,
suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them.
They said, "Men of Galilee,
why are you standing there looking at the sky?
This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven
will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven."

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9

R. (6) God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
All you peoples, clap your hands,
shout to God with cries of gladness,
for the LORD, the Most High, the awesome,
is the great king over all the earth.
R. God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.

God mounts his throne amid shouts of joy;
the LORD, amid trumpet blasts.
Sing praise to God, sing praise;
sing praise to our king, sing praise.
R. God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.

For king of all the earth is God;
sing hymns of praise.
God reigns over the nations,
God sits upon his holy throne.
R. God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.

Mt 28:16-20

The eleven disciples went to Galilee,
to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them.
When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.
Then Jesus approached and said to them,
"All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age."

Readings from the US Catholic Bishops - New American Bible.

Wednesday, May 08, 2002

Elliot's birthday was yesterday. 17. He had a very good day that started at 5:30 am so he could open his presents before I left for work. Then at night, my sister Michelle brought over food and her beautiful large family. My mom and grandfather came over and so did Matt and Brandy. I got to talk to Brandy's belly and kiss it. I told Danielle that my grandbaby was in there, but she just couldn't believe it.

He is now officially counting down the days to 18, and I am holding on to them for dear life. He is such a good kid. All of our kids are. Truly. Not just because they're ours.

Zane, in a burst of ingenuity (which he is prone to daily) has invented a tick torture device.

Michael and I just look at each other and laugh at how wonderful and funny and fun and hard and tough and beautiful our life is.
We had the Baptism for Ashley Michelle this Sunday. It was beautiful. Chris and Lisa were very tired because she only slept an hour the night before. When Father asked "What name do you give this child?" They didn't say anything. Father prompted them, saying, "This is one of the easy questions." They laughed and told him her name. Michael's buddy Tim was there for his first Catholic Mass. I think he liked it. My Elliot is the Godfather, and he held this tiny girl in his big hands. Hands that used to be two years old and grab my face and tell me with baloney breath" I love you mom!"
This article from Agape Press
"A black child has roughly about twice the chance of dying by abortion than a white child born in Mecklenburg County,” said County Commissioner Bill James. “If you look at the statistics of where the abortions are occurring, it is concentrated in inner-city, predominantly black neighborhoods.”

The pro-life commissioner is not surprised that more abortion clinics are scattered throughout African-American communities than any other ethnic community. He traces that strategy back to Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood.

“In my opinion, what she was after was killing off as many poor black babies as she could to prevent the explosion of the black minority population,” said James. “She viewed it from a racist, white-supremacist point of view.”

Pro-life activist Sheila Massey agrees. “I think it’s just something that has been in the whole spectrum of the abortion industry,” she said. “[Sanger’s] main premise was to get rid of people she thought were less desirable -- the 'undesirables,' as she would call them, the blacks, people that were not [the] blonde-hair, blue-eyed race that was supposed to be the superior race. She was a part of Hitler’s eugenics movement.

Margaret Sanger. Racism and Death. What a hero for P.P.

A true hero once said, "It is a poverty that a child should die so that you may live as you wish." Mother Teresa.
I had my interview, and it went well. I didn't leave knowing I have the job, but I didn't leave knowing I didn't. Hopefully I will hear one way or the other soon.
Something cool we did Friday...
I tagged along while Michael and Tim played golf in the rain on a closed course. It wasn't a heavy rain, just a very heavy mist. The fun for me was driving the cart and watching them play like a couple of 12 year olds. There is something quite charming about grown men who are close friends with their inner 12 year old. Well, at times infuriating, but most of the time charming.

Saturday, May 04, 2002

She had a pretty gift for quotation, which is a serviceable substitute for wit. W. Somerset Maugham
Beware so long as you live, of judging people by appearances. La Fontaine
Yesterday, when I was messing around with my template, I somehow made all of my text bold. I'm not really sure how I did it. Talented, I guess.

Friday, May 03, 2002

Today is a big day for me. Wish me luck! Nah, forget about the luck, pray for me!
In the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you.  Leo Tolstoy
Yesterday, I didn't get to blog.  I was going to talk about yesterday being the National Day of Prayer.  Those in my prayers everyday: Family, friends, loved ones, our Church, our priests, the unborn, the elderly, the forgotten, our military (especially Sarah and Keith), our leaders, those who have turned away from Christ, those who have never know Him, those who have no-one to pray for them, the abandoned, abused, forsaken, exploited, hungry, homeless, frightened.  For peace.

I was going to talk about the Governor of Virginia making a formal apology to the people for the state's participation of eugenics.  The news article from the Richmond Times Dispatch mentions the enforced sterilizations of poor and "socially undesirable" people as taking place in the early part of the 1900's, but in fact, it went on right up until 1979!  Margaret Sanger, the patron saint (ha!) of Planned Parenthood was a huge supporter of Eugenics, or Ethnic Cleansing as it is known today.  That is rarely mentioned about her, but her feelings of superiority over ethnic families, large poor families, black people and those with low IQ's was the catalyst  of the Planned Parenthood movement.  She wanted a Pure Society. Sounds a lot like Hitler, huh?

I was going to mention that Paul Shanley was arrested, finally.  May God have mercy on him.  I'm not sure that I would.

I was going to talk about how high the river is, and how dark and mighty the river looked as I was crossing it yesterday on my way home from work. About how green and beautiful the trees and rolling hills are, despite the dark clouds and rain.

I just didn't get the time to tell you.

Wednesday, May 01, 2002

I heard about this on the news this morningZAMBOANGA, Philippines — A Muslim extremist group threatened Wednesday to kill an American missionary couple, saying it is no longer interested in negotiations and only wants to embarrass the Philippine and U.S. militaries. 

I am heartsick. They have had this couple for a year. Negiotiations haven't worked. I just can't imagine what hardships they have had to face. Or the Grace to endure.
Closing from Prayer of
One Who Feels Lost

Dear God,
why do I keep fighting you off?
One part of me wants you desparately,
another part of me unknowingly
pushes you back and runs away.

What is there in me that
so contradicts my desire for you?
These transition days, these passage ways,
are calling me to let go of old securities,
to give myself over into your hands.

Like Jesus who struggled with the pain
I, too, fight the "let it all be done."
Loneliness, lostness, non-belonging,
all these hurts strike out at me,
leaving me pained with this present goodbye.

I want to be more but I fight the growing.
I want to be new but I hang unto the old.
I want to live but I won't face the dying.
I want to be whole but cannot bear
to gather up the pieces into one.

Is it that I refuse to be out of control,
to let the tears take their humbling journey,
to allow my spirit to feel its depression,
to stay with the insecurity of "no home"?

Now is the time. You call to me,
begging me to let you have my life,
inviting me to taste the darkness
so I can be filled with the light,
allowing me to lose my direction
so that I will find my way home to you.

Joyce Rupp - Praying Our Goodbyes
When things are at their worst I find something always happens. W. Somerset Maugham (1874 - 1965), 'Of Human Bondage', 1915
Today is the feast of St. Joseph the Worker.  
Whoa! happy May 1st. Only 6 more days till Elliot turns 17! Only 29 days till Abigale turns 7! (That's 7 going on 27)
Last weekend, I FINALLY got to see my girlfriend Carla. We have been best friends for 25+ years, (ever since she saved me from getting beat up on the schoolbus) and she is the mother of my four gorgeous goddaughters, Sarah, Mary, Cindy and Kelly. We have been through so much together...marriage, babies, divorce, life, death. She is my rock. Now if Sarah will only give her a grandbaby...