April 2005 Archives

home and garden update

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We planted 3 new rosebushes, two blueberries, another lilac, and a few pansies. The bulbs planted last fall have been coming up, and I am now greeted on my return home by cheerful tulips, fragrant hyacinths, and sunny daffodils. The brussel sprouts that were planted way too late last fall seem to have survived the winter, and have started growing upward and outward. I'm not usually a fan of baby cabbages, but if these make it after having spent months buried in the snow, I will gratefully cook and eat them. My garlic chives have sprouted out from their bulbs, as well, and soon I will be able to begin snipping them for cookery purposes. I found a packet of nasturtium seeds lift from last year. Later I will find a bit of dirt in which to bury them, hopoing that they too will show forth new life.

I got to the Agway in time this year to buy rhubarb sets. I don't know why they sell out so quickly, but they do. I planted 4 little crowns near the established plant. Growing rhubarb is and act of faith - the crown look like dead twigs and it really seems unlikely that from them will come anything but compost. But have faith, and in due time we will be eating rhubarb yummies.

I remember when I was 14, I came home one day to find that the rose bushes had been pruned right down to the thorns. I was aghast at my mother. How did she expect them to survive with no leaves, even? Be patient, she told me. The next spring, seemingly resurrected from the dead, they were fuller and brighter than ever before. Jesus promised that He'd prune us. I don't expect to enjoy it, but if it is what I need to burst forth in glory in due season, I suppose that I should welcome it, even when it hurts.

lots of stuff on bioethical issues


over at Jordan's place. Too much to link bit by bit.

if you haven't been there yet


great news!


women's ordination?

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please welcome


the artful diva to the parish. She's still hanging out in the back pews, trying to discern if this is where God has called her to belong.

what I said below (only better)



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The Pope Benedict XVI fan club

It's times like this that I really miss having my own computer with one-click blogrolling and one-click blogging installed. I consider it rude to install such comfort measures on another's personal computer.

my latest on speroforum.com

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The medium, the message, the new pope
And while you're at the site, be sure to read all the other wonderful articles. I especially recommend my good friend Kathy Nesper's article on Fear in Childbirth.
And you can't miss the Curt Jester's newest christian geek item, the 4giveness counter.
Fans of Left Behind, the Da Vinci Code, and Nostradamus will find fuel for their fires in the cover story. So will the rest of us.

How could I forget Julie's insights about anime?

You know, there is so much good content this week, why don't you just head over and read it 'cover to cover' (as much as electronically possible, of course!)
Spero News - news produced by you

News roundups


having 'arrived'?

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I guess that I have become somewhat of a bit player in the Catholic blogosphere, which amazes me no end. This blog and my writing has taken on a bit of a life of its own. My original thoughts were to focus a bit on the interplay between my faith and my profession, with maybe a few bits here and there about my other avocations like music, books, culinary events, and the like. Instead, I seem to end up running off at the keyboard about world events and broad religious, moral, and ethical principles. I'll sit down with a few thoughts and before I realize what's happened, 800 words appear on the screen.

In some ways, I should have realized that I had 'arrived' when I started getting unsolicited emails from newbies asking me to link to them. I'm no Mark Shea or Amy Welborn, a link from me isn't going to make or break a new blogger. I don't know whether to be flattered or annoyed by the attention. I regularly get 200 - 300 emails daily in my public inbox, much of it spam or listserv stuff to be sure. But I also get wonderful comments and links from loyal and disloyal readers alike. The sea of information out there is so vast, it's great to have more fisherman to help drag the depths.

It is a humbling thought, to realize that what I write actually has an effect of some kind. In Cursillo, we are taught to be a friend, make a friend, bring a friend to Christ. It isn't about me at all. It's about letting go and letting God try to make the best use of me, since after all He made me.

Deo gracias for each and every one of you that drops by here. I pray that I've managed to be of some assistance. Keep me in your prayers, and know that I am praying for each and every one of you.

why not?

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on the priestly ordination of women

From Arwen/Elizabeth - who is doing a thesis on the topic.



Just after the papal election, I rec'd an email from someone quoting the entire content of the inaugural post on his blog. At the end of his post, he rightly points out:

Conservatism is not orthodoxy.
Liberalism is not orthodoxy.

Obedience is.

My reply, via email, to this was:

I am not a conservative, I am not a liberal, I am a Catholic. There is no point in being Catholic if one is not obedient. Our past few popes, and I am sure the new one as well, have been very careful to delineate which of their teachings are unchangeable dogma (e.g. the non-ordination of women, contraceptives, abortion, the sinfullness of any sexual activity outside of Holy Matrimony) and which are prudential judgements (war, capital punishment). Pure pacifism is still heresy, the last time I checked.
John Paul the great was a true shepherd, in that he continually condemned sin (be it abortion, homosexual sexual activity, fornication, waging unjust war) while
loving and admonishing the sinners. I expect no less from Benedict XVI.

This is the reply I rec'd. I don't think he'll mind my posting this.

According the Vatican II, nonviolence is not a heresy:

"The Second Vatican Council praised "those who renounce the use of violence
in the vindication of their rights and who resort to methods of defense
which are otherwise available to weaker parties provided that this can be
done without injury to the rights and duties of others or of the community
itself."[95]... Non-violent means of resistance to evil deserve much more
study and consideration than they have thus far received. There have been
significant instances in which people have successfully resisted oppression
without recourse to arms.[96] Non-violence is not the way of the weak, the
cowardly, or the impatient"
- The Challenge of Peace

I might only add, that neither is nonviolence the way of the heretic.
Rather, it is Jesus' way - the way of the cross.

I've been thinking about this whole exchange for a few days now. I've come to the conclusion that this may be an example of unclear use of language leading to a confusion in communication. I used a very specific term - pacifism -. Those of you who know me personally or who have read me extensively know that I make an effort to be extremely precise in my use of language in the public forum. The reply that was sent to me used a somewhat different term - non-violence. I am of the opinion that there are significant differences between non-violence and pacifism.

CCC 2089 "Heresy is the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same; apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him."

I will continue to maintain that pacifism is heresy. Pacifism is a system of thought that exalts peace above all other goods. It is like many other isms, prone to becoming a form of idolatry.
CCC 2113 Idolatry not only refers to false pagan worship. It remains a constant temptation to faith. Idolatry consists in divinizing what is not God. Man commits idolatry whenever he honors and reveres a creature in place of God, whether this be gods or demons (for example, satanism), power, pleasure, race, ancestors, the state, money, etc. Jesus says, "You cannot serve God and mammon." Many martyrs died for not adoring "the Beast" refusing even to simulate such worship. Idolatry rejects the unique Lordship of God; it is therefore incompatible with communion with God.

One can worship peace to the point of ignoring evil and injustice. Jesus was not non-violent when he cast the money lenders out of the temple. Yet He ultimately chose not to resist His arrest, torture, and execution, and He chided Peter for cutting off the servant's ear - remarking "Those who live by the sword will die by the sword." (Mt 25:62) He chose not to worship the concept of peace but to obey the will of His Father. He was generally non-violent, but I would not call Him a pacifist.

Non-violent resistance is a stratagem that can bring peace, or can paradoxically provoke violence. Think about watching the news footage of non-violent protestors being dragged away from protests. Consider how the passive resistance, the going limp, so often seemed to provoke further violence from the arresting officers. As a strategy, non-violence is most effective against men of honor. Against some evils, non-violent resistance is probably ineffective. For example, some of the totalitarian regimes of history probably could not have been defeated by non-violent resistance, and indeed were barely conquered by violence. We honor the martyrs who died in Auschwitz - we also honor those who died to liberate it. I find it puzzling and paradoxical that the same voices raised in attack of Pope Pius XII for not doing enough against the Nazis are also likely to be raising voices promoting pacifism in today's world.

Matthew 10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
CCC 1909
Finally, the common good requires peace, that is, the stability and security of a just order. It presupposes that authority should ensure by morally acceptable means the security of society and its members. It is the basis of the right to legitimate personal and collective defense.

M'Lynn has some entries up with combox conversation about the right (and maybe even occasionally the duty) to bear arms. Whether to non-violently accept death at the hands of an unjust aggressor would be, I think, the ultimate prudential judgement. I can choose martyrdom for myself, but I think that I would fight with whatever weapons I had at hand to protect my children. Therefore, I personally could not be a pacifist.

However, I would like to also state that militarism is a heresy on an equal foot with pacifism, as militarism is the belief that "might makes right" and puts all one's faith in military power. Come to think of it, there is a good chance that being an adherent to many other 'isms' (socialism, capitalism, communism, individualism) in today's world (while claiming to be Christian) could qualify as heresy. If one claims to be Christian, obstinately refuses to deny the Truth that only God is the supreme deity, and instead worships some other concept or principle, that one meets my definition of a heretic.

I am, however, not a theologian, nor a canon lawyer, and I am willing to accept criticism and/or correction on this point.
Mark 9:41 And whosoever shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me: it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck and he were cast into the sea.

The Hard Line on Ratzinger


Pope Benedict XVI news


of interest to me, at least.
I have a google news alert for "catholic, midwife". Some pretty off-the-wall and interesting things turn up in my inbox. For example, in this article, I learned that our new Holy Father was born with the assistance of the village midwife.

The usual suspects

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Today's news
N.Y. Times
Boston Globe
Concord Monitor (Associated Press )
Agence France
notice a pattern?

more later - gotta run out the door to my paying job!

Unless a grain of wheat

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I have a friend who is currently investigating the claims of the Catholic church. She has described herself as "treading water" in the Tiber. Earlier today, before we heard the news of the election, she sent me the following in an email. She has gracefully given me permission to post this. Please pray for her, her husband and her children. She is a person who above all wants to follow Jesus, "The way, the truth, and the life", wherever He leads her.

Another providential thing that happened this morning was that as my hubby and I were watching TBN this morning, we discovered that Benny Hinn's program, "This is Your Day" is all about the Catholic church this week, and his guests are all Catholics who are explaining the Catholic Catechisms and beliefs. Did you know that Benny Hinn was raised by Catholic nuns in Israel? Benny Hinn attended the Pope's funeral mass and it sounded like he wanted to return to his spiritual roots....how wild is that?

Also, I was watching TV as Dr. Jack Van Impe publicly repented for his prejudices against the Cathoic church this week on his program. He said that he has read over 500 sermons by Pope John Paul II and was profoundly touched by them. What is going on?

I am reminded of the scripture that says, Unless a seed goes into the ground and dies, it cannot bring forth fruit." I believe that the home-going of the Holy Father has set something very powerful in motion and that many, many souls will come into the Kingdom because of it.

The picture is all over the net


pope.benedict xvi.jpg

What I appreciate is that he looks so rumpled! The robes are tight across his shoulders, his cross is hanging crookedly and you can see a wire or a rope hanging.

We have a papa who is not afraid - he listened to his predecessor and took his words to heart. Be not afraid.

Why are so many in the media surprised that the cardinals elected an orthodox (right believing) catholic as pope? God bless him, papa ratzi had tried several times to retire. Instead, he walked from the Sistine chapel into the room of tears and put on the ill fitting garments of his new position, and walked out on the balcony to confess his willingness to take on the mantle and to ask for our prayers. Urbi et orbi - he blessed us - gave an absolution,

and he said
Dear brothers and sisters, after our great pope, John Paul II, the cardinals have elected me, a simple, humble worker in God's vineyard.

I am consoled by the fact that the Lord knows how to work and how to act, even with insufficient tools, and I especially trust in your prayers.

In the joy of the resurrected Lord, trustful of his permanent help, we go ahead, sure that God will help, and Mary, his most beloved mother, stands on our side.

Thank you.

Yesterday I was listening to NPR's daily show Talk of the Nation. I should probably have turned it off when I heard that they were bringing out Charlie Curran, but I had this almost sick fascination - kind of like slowing down to stare at a particularly gruesome accident. It was the predictable "why doesn't the church ordain women, allow contraception, etc" with the usual misinterpretation of the role of conscience and sensus fidei. What really got to me was that one of the first callers proclaimed her in-law's multigenerational Catholic heritage including one Blessed, stated that she had 'turned Catholic', and then went on to spout off about how the church was wrong about contraception, abortion, gay marriage, women's ordination, and a few other topics. If I hadn't been driving or I would called or sent in an email.
I don't understand anyone would join a group if you don't agree with core values. Well, maybe the caller didn't see those as core values. Charlie Curran certainly didn't. I couldn't disagree with what he did see as core, ( Trinity, sacraments, social justice) the list was accurate but incomplete. It excluded the right to life, the fulfillment of God's plan for us as individuals, sexual morality and the like.
I didn't listen all the way through. I got to the Catholic bookstore where I had been heading and went in. Had a chance to tell another customer about the Perpetual Adoration chapel just across the parking lot, bought myself a pocket medal of St Pio, and then headed on home. Didn't listen to NPR any more that day.

Technology is so fast it's scary




Benedict XVI

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Doesn't that have a nice ring to it? I am so grateful that the electors listened to the Holy Spirit.
EWTN has a Biography up here
Info on St. Benedict here
I appreciate the Benedictines, they are a wonderful monastic order. They also developed a very tasty liquer. I learned a lot about them from reading Kathleen Norris's book Cloister Walk.
I also remember reading In This House of Brede and learning about the Rule of Benedict. I just learned that Diana Rigg (one of my favorite actresses) starred in a movie version of the book - I wonder if it is worth trying to find?

Ragemonkeys list 16 links to info on Benedict XV (the last Pope of that name)
The internet is buzzing as people, from the elite to the humble, try to get information and post commentary. Be patient, many pages are taking twice as long as normal to load, and some sites are crashed completely from overload.
Addendum - President Bush offers congratulations.

WHite smoke alert

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Habemus Papam
It is frustrating to be stuck inside an office with limited contact to the outside world. Thank you to the fellowblogger who sent me this email!
Update: Just heard that Cardinal Ratzinger will be Pope Benedict XVI
Thanks to the technogeeks at Catholic Light!

I guess speroforum did well to run my story on the Cardinal Ratzinger fan club as the lead this week! I hope this doesn't crash Christopher's server. (just checked, looks like the server crashed. Poor Chris!)

Here's the front page
I was very surprised to learn that one of my bits was chosen for the headline article.
You can see a bit of why content has been sparse her at the home blog for a few days. Of course, server problems (both to StBlogs.org and to my ISP) have also been a factor.....

round and round

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I've been listening to Marie Bellet in the car again. Her CD Lighten Up, to be specific. I brought it into the house just now so I could listen to it while I am writing this. I find so much encouragement in her music. She's a musician with an MBA who has worked in healthcare, and yet she sees her job as mom of eight to be the most important thing in her life. I've blogged on her earlier. I just love the way she says things. She is so Catholic, so incarnational.

A phrase from the song "Round and Round" has been rattling in my brain since shortly after the death of the Pope. Let me share.

They say "God, if we may be so bold
Why must our hearts suffer so?"
He says,"On a need to know basis, all will unfold
But my darlings, you don't need to know"

My blog friend Bene Diction asked me to wrote a few words about the papal elections and the Cardinal Ratzinger fan club for the next issue of the Spero Forum. All over the internet are sites wondering, speculating, laying odds and indulging in all sorts of all too human activities. I guess that we all want to know who the Holy Spirit will select for our next Pope - and hoping and praying that the electors are listening to the Holy Spirit! And I keep on hearing Marie singing "On a need to know basis, it all will unfold, but my darlings, you don't need to know."

I always wanted to be a mom to a large family, but there were also lots of other things that attracted my attention. One concept that attracted me was to be an encyclopedic sythesist. It's a profession described (possibly invented by) Robert Heinlein, the science fiction writer who profoundly influenced my youth (for better and for worse). (It's in Beyond This Horizon). Basically, a person with this profession tries to learn as much as possible about as broad a variety of fields as humanly possibly, and then brings together items from disparate fields and ties them together into a new knowledge. As described by Heinlein, it requires eidetic memory, high intelligence, and an ability to see patterns that others can't, and then be able to explain those connections to others so that they understand it.

Whose 'right to choose'?

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Two of my readers sent me links to this article in the Washington Post, about a married couple and their conflict over how to cope with a pregnancy. Emily at AfterAbortion has some commentary. Amy Welborn also noted it and discusses it here (Elsewhere, Amy also discusses eugenics, then and now). It's quite a article, often brutal in its honesty about how a prenatal diagnosis affected a marriage. I can't think of anyone who would have even imagined such a scenario ahead of time, let alone tried to discuss the issues of "what if?" and "where do we go from here?"

Marriage is tough under the best of cicumstances. Courtship should be a time to discuss values and issues, and to work to try to be on the same page about the important stuff. And yet, no one can forsee just what challenges life will throw into the marriage. Infertility, miscarriage, illness of one or the other of the spouses, a baby with inborn or acquired health problems - you can't go there until you are there, really.

yet another

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Canadian Catholic Blogger
St Blog's Canadian contingent continues to cascade. (couldn't resist the alliteration).

The Papal carnival is up over at Papa Familias. Very fitting place, I think, to memorialize our Holy Father.





Madrid, Spain/Houston, Texas /April 11/2005
-- Communication in today’s world requires openness and a new approach with respect to media. Spero News is that new approach.

Initially in English, and soon expanding into Spanish, Spero News is a bi-lingual weekly electronic magazine and community spanning the globe providing premium content submitted from its nearly 100 collaborators. Spero News aims to enhance society by creating a premier, alternative network for readers seeking quality news, information and interaction through the Internet by providing news, commentary, and analysis that encourages citizen participation. In that respect, Spero News is a unique experience towards creating a constructive dialogue between media and readers with the aim of promoting a correctly informed and discerning public opinion as reflected in Judeo-Christian values. By melding journalists, citizen journalists and sector professionals, Spero News also guarantees that its news is by the people and for the people.

Another on line resource

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St. Gerard fertility care center's web page
There's a great opening prayer to St. Gerard, a news feed, and some forums for discussion of fertility and infertility issues from a Catholic POV.
It doesn't seem to be formatted blog style, but it isn't as static as many other web pages.
My mother in law (may she rest in peace) introduced me to St. Gerard. She had a great devotion to him, especially after she had serious complications in her third pregnancy. She credited his prayers with helping her and her babies to be alive and healthy despite recurrent kidney stones and twice having placenta previa. She even named one of her sons after him.
Even as an Anglican child, I had an understanding that the Communion of Saints included both the quick (living) and the dead (as the creed was formerly translated). One of the high points for me of the Papal funeral was listening to the litany of the saints. It was kind of like reading the credits at the end of a movie, and looking for the names of people I might know, however distantly.

As it says in the book, any friend of God's is a friend of mine. I have really appreciated getting to know more about the saints. I hope and pray that one day I will have a chance to see them face to face, in the glorious company of the angels, in the presence of our Lord and Savior.

story roundup


I'm glad I read French

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Over in the blogroll, you will find Approchons-nous de la Table
He doesn't post too often so I check in about once a week or so. Here is the official translation (via yahoo) of his most recent post.
Wednesday, April 06, 2005
to follow and continue the topicality
In these hours of media hysteria, I recommend the reading of the Beige Living room to you, collective French catholic blogist.
The messages short and are well documented, essential quality during these days of vacancy of the head office of Pierre whereas the official "commentators" take their desires for realities and the truth for variable of adjustment.
I guess you could say that the head office of Pierre is vacant.
Le Salon Beige
has some very interesting commentary on the media, as well as a perspectives from a different culture which is still Catholic to the core. I do recommend it if you can possibly read through it.

that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto thee, O LOrd, Holy Father, Almighty, Everlasting God.

Here's an example.
Cardinal Ratzinger's homily
thanks to Bettnet

I don't know about you guys, but I am drowning in all the wonderful stuff being posted all over about our beloved holy father, John Paul the Great. I fully expect him to be names a Doctor of the Church, if only for his Theology of the Body. I haven't said much myself because of all the other stuff that is out there. Try some of these blogs (links in the blogroll) - Flos Carmeli, Apologia, Bettnet, Some Have Hats, even Nathan's blog have well written and reasoned commentary. What more can I say?

One big regret I have is that I didn't make the effort to see the Pope when he was in Los Angeles. I generally tend to stay away from big crowd events. So I missed out on some potential graces there. I am glad that I sent at least one of my kids to a World Youth Day.

About 3 weeks ago (yet it seems aeons) I re-read Morris West's book The Shoes of the Fisherman. It was first published when I was in grade school, and I read it at the time in the Reader's Digest Condensed books version (My mom subscribed and I usually devoured them when they hit the front door. She was lucky if she got to them before I did.)
I read it and was thinking about posting a set of comments on it, especially on how prophetic it truly was. And then the world intruded. We had the murder of Terri Schiavo, the dying and death of the Pope, and I haven't had the heart to do a lot of writing. I'm still having trouble.
This weekend, my husband is part of the team for Cursillo. In a few hours, I will be in my car headed for another part of the state to give a talk on NFP for marriage prep. These are things that were committed to earlier, and they are important. But there is a part of me that just wants to curl up and grieve and do nothing. Somehow, I think that the Holy Father would tell me to get up and get going. Step into the deep. Be not afraid.
John Paul II, pray for me!

the barracudas are circling

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Before you do anything else, go over and read Mr. Luse's tribute to the Holy Father.
As Mama T says the speculation has already begun by dissenters who hope (against common sense!) that the new pope will somehow change doctrine on the classic three issues - the ordination of women, the ban on artificial contraception (plus/minus abortion) and the condemnation of fronication, adlutery, and sodomy. I had the misfortune to be stuck in the car earlier today listening to a WBUR interviewer lead Mary Ann Hinsdale, a nun and associate professor of theology at Boston College, through her paces. I had prepared a well-written letter to the producer and was just about ready to send it when Comcast crashed the DNS server and my efforts were totally wiped out. I will try to rewrite it and get it sent ASAP but I am really bummed out. My basic contention was that they should, in the interest of balanced journalism, also interview Dr. Janet Smith, who after all teaches theology in a Major Seminary (and not just in a secular college) and who has written extensively and definitively on the topics in the interview.
If I manage to recover my thoughts, I'll post them here.
I really do need to get to sleep if I'm going to try to get up at 0 dark early to see the Papal funeral before I go to work. I hope that some one will tape it. John is currently incommunicado as he is on a Cursillo weekend. Pray for him - he's on the presenting team and this is his first time. He will be giving his talk just after breakfast tomorrow. I haven't made it to church or to adoration nearly as much as I would have liked this week. It seems like I'm either working or sleeping. I don't know why but the antibiotics are acting almost more like sleeping pills - but I know from the smell and taste that they are indeed the prescribed antibiotic. Three more days of antibiotics and I'll be free of them!

From what I have been hearing, I missed 3 great hours on Fox News last night. First, Christopher West and Janet Smith talking about the Theology of the Body. Then, Fox News meets EWTN with Raymond Arroyo and others. Finally, Patrick Madrid and other fine Catholic spokesmen.
After two nights with little sleep, I had to go to bed last night! Today was my first day back at work after my attack of cellulitis.
Did anyone tape any of that on Fox? I would love to see or hear the tapes.

pope watch blog


A request from Papa-Lu


I would like to make an appeal to all of St. Blogs that we have a carnival celebrating Pope John Paul II. I don't mean to in anyway replace the weekly Catholic Carnival that goes on. Rather, I ask for all of you out there to write about the personal impact this Pope has had on your life. Whether through his writings or seeing him in person, or being able to meet him, I know people all over the world have been touched by this man's witness.

If you have a blog, post your reflection there and send the link to odragul [[at]] juno [[dot]] com (you know how to make the changes here) or
If you don't have a blog, feel free to email him so he can post it. On the octave of his passing (next Saturday), he'll post the links and the emailed contributions.

Well, one thing that many women do when we are under this kind of stress is that we cook. Alas, I don't have any place to take the quantities of foods that I want to stir up, and the fridge is getting full. I don't know about you, but I always want to take a covered dish to the wake. I guess that the basics of food and drink remind us that we are human.
I was struck by a line from today's first reading. Acts 2:46
cotidie quoque perdurantes unianimiter in templo et frangentes circa domos panem sumebant cibum cum exultatione et simplicitate cordis (Vulgate)
Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple area and to breaking bread in their homes. They ate their meals with exultation and sincerity of heart (New American)
They ate their meals with exultation and simplicity of heart.
Sounds like a good idea to me.
Herewith, a couple of recipes for simple foods that you can fix and forget. I use a slow-cooker but you can also cook them on very low at the back of your stove if you don't have a slow cooker.
Soyccotash Soup
1 bag frozen shelled edamame (10 to 16 0z)
1 bag (same size) frozen kernel corn
1 quart vegetable stock (Trader Joes sells a nice roasted vege stock)
one onion, chopped OR 1 bunch scallions, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
1 bell pepper (red preferred, green OK), chopped
1 can chopped tomatoes (15 to 28 oz size, your call)
Herbs to taste (I suggest thyme - about 2 tsp dried or 2 TB fresh)
Throw everything into the crock pot. Cook on low all day. If you want it to cook a little faster, preheat the stock while you are chopping your vegetables. If you have a little more time, saute the chopped fresh veges in a little olive oil before throwing them in the pot.

Black Lentil stew

This recipe came about because I bought some black lentils at Trader Joes and then had to figure out what to do with them! I am sure that it would work also with the green French lentils. Don't know about the red or brown ones, though, since those varieties can get pretty mushy.
1 1/2 quarts vegetable stock - Put in slow cooker and start heating on high while you chop the following and add them into the pot.
1 head garlic, peeled and pressed (chopped if you don't have a press).
one onion, chopped OR 1 bunch scallions, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
1 bell pepper (red preferred, green OK), chopped
1 bulb fennel, chopped
Now add in 2 cups black lentils and 1/2 cup pearl barley. Turn cooker down to Low and cook undisturbed at least 6 hours.
1/2 hour or so before serving, add in 1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes and 3 TBs good vinegar. Taste and add in salt and pepper if desired.

at a loss


so many others than me have done such a good job of expressing the sorrow as well as the joy that we are all going through at the loss of our Papa. I refer you to them.
Elliot B, who entered the church this year
Mark Shea, taking another break from his sabbatical
The ragemonkeys, who have a pic of a beautiful candle
JP II by the numbers
and of course all the others who are so much more eloquent than I could possibly be.
I am old enough to remember the death of Blessed John XXIII and the scenes from the election of Pope Paul VI. I think I read about it in Life Magazine, to which my parents had a subscription. I must have been 8 years old, and we didn't have a TV. When Pope Paul VI died, I was a young married mom with two kids and I don't remember much of the details other than the double surprises of 1) the smiling Pope and 2) the Polish Pope. I was saddened by the deaths of PPVI and JPI, but they didn't affect me viscerally the way this death has.
Maybe it's because I'm older now, in the second half of my life. Maybe because I've had so many family and friends die over the last few years. I know that this morning at Mass, when the choir sang "The King of Love, my Shepherd Is", I lost it. I remembered singing that hymn for my cousin Sophia's funeral last year, and the confluence of that hymn, the Pope's death, Terri Schiavo's death, and my own mortality just hit me hard.

Addendum - here is a humorous concept of what might happen if we could broadcast from beyond the veil

RIP, Papa

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I just heard that the Vatican has notified us officially that the Holy Father has died, 2137 rome time. The vigil of the feast of the Divine Mercy.
Holy Father, pray for us! and may your sufferings on this earth be united with Christ's to help us who remain in this vale of tears.

NPR remembers

Thoughtful connections found here.

something different


Thanks to Don for the link

You scored as Verbal/Linguistic. You have highly developed auditory skills, enjoy reading and writing and telling stories, and are good at getting your point across. You learn best by saying and hearing words. People like you include poets, authors, speakers, attorneys, politicians, lecturers and teachers.















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poetry worth reading today


St blogs has a teaching order?

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There are several Daughters of St Paul (and at least one cooperator) out there blogging! Welcome, one and all.
Sister Anne's Nunblog
Sister Lorraine's Convent Clatch
Rae's Confessions of a Cooperator

an alternate source of news

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the popeblog
thanks to rebecca and julie for the reminder.

eye is still bugging me, but getting better slowly

Divine Mercy

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I have long thought that our Holy Father would die on the Feast of the Divine Mercy. Consider that he has so strongly encouraged this devotion, and was so pleased to be able to canonize St. Faustina. If he can hang on just a little longer, it will be Divine Mercy Sunday in Rome. But even if he doesn't hang on that long, it is still close enough that his current via dolorosa will be assoicated with the Divine Mercy.
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us, and on the whole world.
Holy God. Holy mighty God. Holy, eternal God. Have mercy on us, and on the whole world.
Jesus, I trust in you.

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