Monday, December 19, 2011

St. Nick

I wish I had this charming post by Regina Doman about Santa Claus for St. Nicholas' Day on December 6, but it's good to have it now. I especially liked this part:
Our pastor Fr. Jerome Fasano (whom I think is the best homilist in the US) gave us a stern lecture Dec. 6th weekend when he first came to our parish, talking about the terrible scandal of so many Catholics in American accepting heresy, even unwittingly, because of lack of teaching. He said that he was pleased to see how devout and faithful our parish was, but he suspected us of harboring one heresy he found absolutely unacceptable: that there is no Santa Claus. (There was a relieved shout of laughter from the congregation at his words.) Now he gives a similar version of the homily seasonally, telling us the facts about St. Nicholas (for instance, that he was imprisoned for the faith, and that he attended the Council of Nicea, where he distinguished himself by punching Arius the heretic in the nose), and urging us to not deny our children devotion to this wonderful saint.
With Christmas around the corner, it's not too late to be talking about St. Nicholas. You know about this web site of St. Nicholas resources, right?

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Ray of Sonshine in a Worldly World

Via Elizabeth Scalia comes this NPR story about a "victim who treats his mugger right":
"He wants my money, so I just gave him my wallet and told him, 'Here you go,'" Diaz says.

As the teen began to walk away, Diaz told him, "Hey, wait a minute. You forgot something. If you're going to be robbing people for the rest of the night, you might as well take my coat to keep you warm."

The Anchoress writes:
NPR did not make this connection, but I will:

"To the person who strikes you on one cheek, offer the other one as well, and from the person who takes your cloak, do not withhold even your tunic. (Luke 29)"

Read the whole thing, both links.

Diaz's mother must have had her heart flutter as she heard her son tell her what happened; but she responded to the story by telling him, "You're the type of kid that if someone asked you for the time, you gave them your watch."

That's the kind of person I want to be.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


I didn't really post in time last week for {phfr}...

round button chicken last week is this week's.

Happy Thursday!

Monday, December 5, 2011

An Advent playlist

My kids are playing all of my Christmas music.

What can I say? They're kids--they love this time of year. They love Christmas.

But I still want my Advent.

So I'm sharing the list of songs that I turn on every time I think to wrest back control of iTunes. It's Advent music, and I have been collecting it for the express purpose of having holiday music to play and still being able to save "Joy to the World" and "O Come All Ye Faithful" for Christmas morning.

I'm not so much of a purist, however that way my temptations lies, that I won't ever listen to early Christmas music without a grudge, although I admit to being a humbug sometimes. And I actually enjoy quite a few pieces that are what you might call secular/classical holiday music. But today I want to think about Advent. So here's my playlist, informally.

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
I have three different versions on this playlist. First, "Veni, Veni Emmanuel" by The Christendom College Choir and Schola Gregoriana, is an old school, Latin, choral version of the quintessential Advent hymn. I scored this at iTunes U, which is just an awesome resource for all kinds of free stuff.

Then there's "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel (Reprise)", from Celtic Christmas by Eden's Bridge. I love this group. This is a soulful, more intimate version of this beloved song (and in English).

I have a personal attachment to A Season of Hope: Rediscovering Our Advent Heritage by the Brotherhood of Hope. I will be saying more about this album. For now, can you tell now that I love "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel"? This one only has two verses, but it's a neat sort of "mash-up" with another song. "Watchman, Tell Us of the Night," has antiphonal lyrics from the 18th century and an (I think) original melody.

Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day
1833's version of Lord of the Dance. I still like it. Seriously, though, this song combines the anticipation of Christmas Eve with the drama of the Incarnation. (My version only has the chorus and first two verses.) It's a light, happy melody with a merry English feel.

Creator of the Stars of Night
This is one of the hymns I brought home from church, so to speak, where we typically have accompaniment. This a cappella version is beautiful. On YouTube, a solo version.

On Jordan's Bank the Baptist's Cry
Another favorite from liturgical hymns, from the same album, Advent Promise. The best thing is when the kids and I are singing these from the hymnal. They are already familiar with the melody; the younger ones practice their reading, we all get a little theology lesson. Which is the way such music should work, after all.

Ave Maria
The verses that, one might say, marked the beginning of the first Advent in earnest. The "Ave Maria" has been set to music by countless composers. Gounod's is hands down my favorite. Absolutely. And yet I currently have only an instrumental version. Here's one of the best tenors of the day, Juan Diego Florez, singing it.

I do have a recording of Juan Diego Florez singing "Ave Maria" by Schubert the other standard, perhaps even better known than Gounod's, and of course, just gorgeous
Gabriel's Message
The story of the Annunciation to music again, but a more modern telling. This is a recent discovery of mine--only last year. I find this recording by Moya Brennan intriguing.

Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence
Thanks to this recording, I think that this is one of the most beautiful Advent hymns ever composed. Watch it here on YouTube; the version on the album is even prettier.

O Eve
I think this one, by composer Frank La Rocca, is still my favorite.

Canticle of St. Nicholas.
I don't remember where I got this lovely Ukranian carol. I think it was a free Amazon download, but it's popping up as a free download everywhere on search engines now. I'd love to know what it says. The best I can tell, it's a hymn in praise of St. Nicholas, bishop of Myra, who is highly revered in many European countries and whose feast is December 6 or December 19, depending on whose calendar you are using.

People Look East
There are two songs I automatically think of when someone says "Advent music": "O Come, O Come Emmanuel," and this one. It's a stately recessional hymn when sung at Mass, but at home I like this version by Al Petteway and Amy White--it's low-key but upbeat, a nice start to the ramp-up for Christmas.

Also worth mentioning are two albums that make great Advent listening in their entirety. One is, of course, Handel's Messiah. The words for Part I of this Easter masterpiece are drawn heavily from Isaiah, which makes it thematically perfect for Advent. It has become a traditional Christmas concert piece. (I actually have only a CD of highlights, but they're all good Advent-y highlights!)

The other is the above mentioned A Season of Hope, by the Brotherhood of Hope, which I am happy to see is also available on iTunes. This is a wonderfully varied collection of music, and proceeds support the Brothers in their ministry. I owe a debt of gratitude to their spiritual care in my college days, so I like to give them a shout-out when I can. They put out this album when Advent albums were a little harder to come by.

What's your favorite Advent music?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe

In this house is a growing devotion to Mary under the title of Our Lady of Guadalupe. I found this novena recently from some of my records--I wish I remembered where I got it so I could give credit--and thought I would share it with you. Start it tomorrow, to finish the prayers on the day before the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12.

First Day

Dearest Lady of Guadalupe, fruitful Mother of holiness, teach me your ways of gentleness and strength. Hear my humble prayer offered with heartfelt confidence to beg this favor......
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory.

Second Day

O Mary, conceived without sin, I come to your throne of grace to share the fervent devotion of your faithful Mexican children who call to you under the glorious Aztec title of Guadalupe. Obtain for me a lively faith to do your Son’s holy will always: May His will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory.

Third Day

O Mary, whose Immaculate Heart was pierced by seven swords of grief, help me to walk valiantly amid the sharp thorns strewn across my pathway. Obtain for me the strength to be a true imitator of you. This I ask you, my dear Mother.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory.

Fourth Day

Dearest Mother of Guadalupe, I beg you for a fortified will to imitate your divine Son’s charity, to always seek the good of others in need. Grant me this, I humbly ask of you.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory.

Fifth Day

O most holy Mother, I beg you to obtain for me pardon of all my sins, abundant graces to serve your Son more faithfully from now on, and lastly, the grace to praise Him with you forever in heaven.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory.

Sixth Day

Mary, Mother of vocations, multiply priestly vocations and fill the earth with religious houses which will be light and warmth for the world, safety in stormy nights. Beg your Son to send us many priests and religious. This we ask of you, O Mother.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory.

Seventh Day

O Lady of Guadalupe, we beg you that parents live a holy life and educate their children in a Christian manner; that children obey and follow the directions of their parents; that all members of the family pray and worship together. This we ask of you, O Mother.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory.

Eighth Day

With my heart full of the most sincere veneration, I prostrate myself before you, O Mother, to ask you to obtain for me the grace to fulfill the duties of my state in life with faithfulness and constancy.
Our father, Hail Mary, Glory.

Ninth Day

O God, You have been pleased to bestow upon us unceasing favors by having placed us under the special protection of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary. Grant us, your humble servants, who rejoice in honoring her today upon earth, the happiness of seeing her face to face in heaven.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory.

{this moment} - Christmas Tree Lights

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you're inspired to do the same, visit SouleMama and leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Revisiting a good week...

I've noticed something.

I tend to be very quiet about the big days. (With exceptions. It's not right to add another person to your family without publicly acknowledging it. ☺) But many times when we have something big going on--something one would think merit a mention--I just don't talk about it here. I seem to need a few days to emerge, and then it seems dated to post about it.

Last weekend, for example. We had an unusually full and blessed few days. When these days happened, we were immersed in the moment. But this time, I am not worrying about being less than timely.

Happy Thanksgiving, by the way. And Happy Advent.

Here are some of the big days we had.

Guests and games at Thanksgiving

Anwen, born again

Getting a Christmas tree

I actually prefer to get a tree later in the season. Some in this house have a different opinion! And the chance to go with extended family, in town for Anwen's baptism, was too good an opportunity to miss.

My birthday rainbow at sunset...can you see it?

Updated for {phfr} 12/8/2011:

round button chicken

All of this post's pictures count for at least one of Pretty, Happy, Funny, and Real. But here's a bonus:

Real. That's me; for my birthday, my family crowned me Queen for the Day with an artificial lei.

I tell you what, I'm as rich as a queen every single day with them.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Our favorite Advent and Christmas books

Charlotte always has some great Advent and Christmas reading.

From her I got the idea of wrapping the books to open and read, one a day. It didn't happen this year because some little people used all my purple wrapping paper for birthday presents. :-)

For a while I would get a new title for each child on St. Nicholas' feast day, so we have a good collection of Christmas books. Now Jessica is hosting a link-up so we can share!

Here are some of our favorites (this year, at least!).

The Gift of the Magi, by O. Henry. We have the beautiful version illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger.

Jacob's Gift: The handiwork, the sacrifice, the humble generosity.

We Three Kings, for Gennady Spirin's illustrations and the scrolling carol in all five verses.

Bright Christmas, from an angel's perspective.

The Donkey's Dream, a lovely and gentle intro to Marian / Christological imagery.

I grew up with Douglas Gorsline's illustration of The Night Before Christmas.

King of the Stable, if only for the look on that boy's face on the cover! (But not only for that!)

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey. I can't believe there was a time when I didn't know about this book.

The Crippled Lamb, a touching favorite.

Santa's Favorite Story, when Santa takes a rest and tells where Christmas came from. The little ones love it.

They also, having sweet tooths all, love The Candymaker's Gift and want to try to make candy canes this year!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Giveaway at Betty Beguiles!

Just a note here to let you know that Betty Beguiles is hosting a Shabby Apple giveaway of any dress--winner's choice! You really should check it out.

And in case Hallie's friend Miss decides against a late birthday present for me, I might just have to treat myself. I've been meaning to do some shopping at Shabby Apple for both Natalie and myself, and Hallie brings us word of a Shabby Apple sale through November 30th. I'll be there!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Prayer for Our Dear Departed

O God Jesus, whose loving heart was ever troubled by the sorrows of others, look with pity on the souls of our dear ones in Purgatory. O Thou who didst “love thine own” hear our cry for mercy, and grant that those whom thou hast called from our homes and hearts may soon enjoy everlasting rest in the home of thy love in heaven. Amen.

V. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord.
R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.
V. May they rest in peace. Amen.

Source of prayer is here; more prayers for the holy souls here. Caveat lector.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Catechism

I've never been daunted by using the Catechism, but I would be cowed by the idea of reading the whole thing, as I have heard some people say they have done (and recommend to others). Sort of like the dictionary--I love words, I need the book for what I do in life, I even find it to be enriching and interesting reading material. But the whole thing....

I would not be surprised if Julie Davis were one of those who have read the whole thing. She shares an RCIA talk she gave about the Catechism, and it was a handy little primer for me, even though I already know how to use the Catechism.

Think of it as the sort of encyclopedia from the days when all we had were books ... when you would sit down to look up facts about the moon and get pulled into other sections because they were so fascinating.

Of course, when you have a two thousand year old institution whose goal is to help get us to Heaven, they don’t think quite the way we do about organization.

The Catechism is arranged in four main sections that are often called the “Four Pillars” of the Faith:
  • The Profession of Faith (the Apostle’s Creed)
  • The Celebration of the Christian Mystery (the Sacred Liturgy, especially the sacraments)
  • Life in Christ (including The Ten Commandments in Catholic theology)
  • Christian Prayer (including The Lord’s Prayer)

Interesting for me also was the following about the Nihil Obstat and the Imprimatur:
A word of warning though ... if you see a book that only has a Nihil Obstat, be cautious. It may be in error. This happened in the 1960s a lot and some of those books contained incorrect material, even heretical material. You need the double-check system to be sure something didn’t slip by someone. That is why if one bishop gave the Nihil Obstat, another bishop has to give the Imprimatur.
I had been taught pretty much the reverse: that you really need to make sure that a book has the Nihil Obstat to make sure that no error has slipped in because 1) the words nihil obstat "nothing hinders" are what means the book is free from error, and 2) it's happened from time to time that a heterodox (or just careless?) bishop gives permission (imprimatur, "let it be printed") for something with moral or doctrinal error to be published. (No examples, just that's what I was told.)

I typically just look for both. I've seen books with only an Imprimatur; I don't remember seeing any with only a Nihil Obstat, but I'm sure they exist.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Cheat {phfr}

...because there's no Pretty this time, despite the fact that it's gorgeous around with autumn glory. I was going to take some photos yesterday but it rained. A bunch.

And I'm counting both the Happy and the Real as Funny because, thank God, life's like that sometimes.

round button chicken

{Happy} is a little boy with a cape and mask.

He and his brothers found an old stash of fleece in my fabric bin before Halloween. Awesome makeshift superhero costumes ensued. This is Sharkman (because his mask makes a kind of fin on the top of his head when he pulls it up).

{Real} is a little boy with a the peanut butter jar.

Oh, well. A sick, growing boy's gotta have his comfort food. Thank goodness there were only a few tablespoons left.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Black Thursday?

The day I turned 34 was Black Friday that year. I had a four-month-old baby--it had been my seventh pregnancy. And that day I read a story about some Black Friday casualties: namely, a 34-year-old man (a Wal-Mart worker) crushed to death at opening time.

According to the story, the crowd smashed through the doors, knocked the worker over, stampeded him, and kept on coming even as emergency crews tried to save him. He wasn't the only one knocked to the ground. Also caught in the crush were at least one other worker and a pregnant woman.

And did I mention that my sister worked at Target at the time?

Since then I am pretty much cured of the desire to get that Black Friday worm.

So the news that stores are pushing back their shopping/working hours into Thanksgiving Day saddens me. I agree with this opinion by Erin Manning, aka Red Cardigan.
But forcing retail store workers, many of them paid only minimum wage, to leave their families during the Thanksgiving feast so they can prepare to be trampled even earlier than usual by bargain-crazed lunatics drunk on consumption and filled with greed, competitiveness, and a level of hostility usually seen only on the battlefield doesn't even begin to be justifiable on the grounds of charity or human decency. In fact, it's just the opposite; it's a decision by the multinationalist corporate owners to pander to the worst qualities of present-day Americans--and if they were doing it on purpose to hasten America's downfall they could hardly have planned a better strategy.
I'm glad the workers are speaking up for themselves. But as consumers we need to do our part. We have a lot more say about whether we show up to Black Friday-- now becoming Black Thursday--sales than the retail workers do. Erin Manning nailed it when she said these stores are "pandering to our worst qualities." And also, I daresay, exploiting the desperation of those trying to make ends meet. Because, let's face it, when you're trying to live on a budget, and still be generous with your family, some of those deals look pretty tempting.

But being responsible is about more than budgeting. Sometimes it means going without chocolate, or without your favorite brand of soda or cheese, or that sweet deal on a flat screen TV, only on Black Friday, now coming to you in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner. Or just so many things under the Christmas tree.

I'm on the lookout for businesses that remember what it means to be human. The handmade movement has always looked appealing. Mom-and-pop shops can still be found. Nordstrom at least has the right idea. I'd welcome other ideas, if you've got them.

Because 34-year-olds and pregnant ladies and retail workers, like me and my sister--and you--deserve to have a break and spend a holiday with their families and, you know, not get trampled.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

For All the Saints Artist Trading Card Swap 2011

It's that time again!

The first time our kids participated in the ATC swap hosted by Pondered in My Heart, they wanted to have a swap every month! (Specifically for Easter and Christmas.)

Will you be joining in this time? Read all about it at Kimberlee's blog, and try your hand!

Pretty, Happy, Funny Real

round button chicken

Dropping in for a quick pic share. They're from last week; forgive me for trailing a bit.


The hickories in November



Roses in November, and kids who bring me the blooms



I've discovered a way to get my kids to eat a vegetable besides corn and raw carrots... pumpkin cake, made from two ingredients: canned pumpkin and cake mix. My sons asked if we could make this a habit.

Thank you, Pinterest.



We went to the All Souls Day Mass at our parish. It was beautiful, but we had to leave at what might have been the most awkward moment; Cora was in rare form that night, and there were a couple of other issues. Our parish had a photographer for the occasion; in the last of the shots at that link, the only person facing the camera (besides the priest) is my baby boy. This one's better, though, isn't it?


Update: To clarify, the picture in that last link is not my daughter; I just thought it was a lovely shot of an interesting moment.

Monday, October 31, 2011

On the Holy Souls: A Mini Round-Up

Tomorrow, November 1st, is All Saints Day and the beginning of the All Souls Octave. For the past few years we have visited a local cemetery that is home to the graves of family members; we are going to try a different one this time, also with family graves.

Praying for the holy souls in Purgatory is a wonderful devotion any time, but it's especially appropriate this month. Same with offering masses for them*. I have wanted to be more faithful about offering masses for my loved ones' souls; and I've also got a few friends in religious orders here and there, whom I would like to help support in a tangible way. So I had the thought that perhaps I could request mass intentions from the priests of these orders. It's customary to give a stipend of about $5 or 10 for a single mass intention, which in times past helped to provide for the material needs of the priest saying the mass. Nowadays, with diocesan priests, it's not so necessary to their support, but I would think that with any religious order that relies on donations it could be a great help.

I'm looking into it. One of my friends is a Franciscan priest--I think that would be the easiest case. One order is a group of religious brothers--most are not ordained as priests, but they do have a few, so I'm asking about it. I'm not really sure about the religious sisters, though... naturally they do not offer mass; but, as they attend mass daily, I wonder, would it be appropriate (or possible) to request a mass intention from the priest(s) who attend to their spiritual needs? Again, I'll ask...

Here are some additional thoughts about these next few days:

Susan Tassone tells the National Catholic Register how to help the holy souls in Purgatory. (New to me: the Gregorian masses.)

Julie Davis at Happy Catholic had some near, dear thoughts on the mystery of who just might be in Purgatory. (Yes, I've been praying these kinds of prayers with recent events.)

And Julie links to Frank Weathers at Why I Am Catholic, who writes about how Vlad the Impaler was Catholic.

I don't know if it's related, but I've been praying for years for Mozart, whose image in my mind, I am afraid, is unjustly but certainly corrupted by the movie "Amadeus." And because I live in a heavily Protestant area, I frequently wonder at how many die in the friendship of God, and yet must go through this purgation without the aid of anyone, other than the general, collective assistance of the Church Militant.

I think I was thinking of them when I made a heroic act of charity several years ago. At the time it was a great inspiration to me, as I would seek out ways to practice virtue and thus increase my assistance to them. I'm afraid I've grown a little cold; but that must mean it's a perfect time to renew my efforts to grow in love. I can't find the formula I used from Fr. William Faber's Purgatory, but this might be it:
O MY GOD! for Your greater glory, and to imitate as closely as possible the generous Heart of Jesus, my Redeemer, and also to testify my devotion to the Blessed Virgin, my Mother, who is also the Mother of the Souls in Purgatory, I place in her hands all my satisfactory works, as well as the fruit of all those which may be offered for my intention after my death, that she may apply them to the Souls in Purgatory according to her wisdom and good pleasure. Amen.

* But don't forget to offer masses for the living, too! It's even better for them!

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Scourging at the Pillar

Flagellation of Christ, Caravaggio. c. 1606-1607.

Next mystery: The Crowning with Thorns

Experiment in Pie

From December 2007. Hey, it's new to you, right? :-)

Last night I made an apple pie. I don't bake a lot, and this recipe looked inspiringly easy. I had the ingredients on hand. I had what might be considered free time before I started dinner. I enlisted the kids and got started almost gleefully.

New recipes should always--at least in my kitchen--be considered doubtful affairs. There will inevitably be dismaying discoveries and necessary coping strategies. This was no exception. On the down side, the quantities in the recipe somehow were wrong for my store-bought pie crust in its little aluminum pan. I ended up using only two thirds of the filling, with a sticky mess on the kitchen island when I overfilled the pie pan, and leftover crust dough after I rolled out the top crust.

This top crust broke up before I managed to place it, so at least it vented itself, but fluting the edges was a mess because the liquid from the filling kept oozing through the cracks before I finally threw it in the oven. It continued to ooze, onto the cookie sheet as it baked, where it quickly blackened and smoked and filled the kitchen with the smell of scorched maple syrup (from which my husband was blessedly spared by being on the road), and probably ruined the cookie sheet.

The crust turned golden about a third of the way through the baking time given by the recipe. The recipe did not mention anything about covering the crust to prevent overbrowning. It did say that the filling should be bubbly in the center at the same time that the crust was ready. No bubbling. So I moved the pie to the lowest rack and "shielded" it with a miniature version of pie, using a little casserole dish and the leftover filling and crust. Then I turned the exhaust fan to "high," opened a window to air the place out, and removed the pie with 20 minutes of cooking time supposedly left to go.

Thanks to the oozing filling in its sticky glory, the aluminum pie plate was baked onto the nonstick cookie sheet. I had to remove it with a plastic spatula, and in the process I almost folded the pie in half. I finally managed to get it on a wire rack to cool.


Jason came home and had two slices after his dinner. He said it was the best apple pie he ever tasted.

Quick Takes Friday

--- 1 ---

I'm trying Jen's Quick Takes template. Maybe it will help me join in a little more often! I think I might actually try to keep a few of these for the other regular link-ups I have participated in. I'm no web wizard, but I think I have tampered with enough HTML to make something work. For {phfr}, for example.

--- 2 ---

Give it up for my kids at this year's fair!

They are already planning for next year.

--- 3 ---

Inspired by our successes at the fair, the cold weather, and the desire to return to a more self-sufficient lifestyle, we are BAKING. Caleb and I made a rosemary bread in the bread machine yesterday, and we tried a honey wheat sandwich loaf that I will have to tweak, but hey--we like it enough to finish the loaf. I made my first pie of the season, an apple pie which Jason loved but was way too soupy. I think I used too much liquids AND sliced the apples too thin. Anybody out there have any other ideas about what can make a pie filling runny? Care to way in and help a housewife out?

--- 4 ---

I never posted about my first essay into making pie, did I? It's been sitting in my drafts for years. Seriously.

I'll post it later today. Consider it Quick Take #4.

--- 5 ---

Which brings the total number of promised posts that I have yet to make good on up to eight, I think. I have 50 drafts in my dashboard, not including the rosary fine art posts (those are scheduled). That's not crazy, is it?

--- 6 ---

I got this link and this link at Pinterest. (Are you there? Look me up!) I haven't really explored them yet--just skimmed them-- but they look great. I've been looking for a way to do a nature table that's compatible with all of the little ones we have around, and the kids are having a ball finding new treasures in the glorious, newly nippy weather we're having. These links look ridiculously fun.

--- 7 ---

What I'm living by today and for days to come:

To rectify. A little each day.--This must be your constant concern if you really want to become a saint.

--St. Josemaría Escríva,
The Way

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Agony in the Garden

Original image source unknown, but possibly here

The Agony in the Garden, Hans Leonhard Schäufelein. (year unknown)

Next mystery: The Scourging at the Pillar

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Novena to St. Jude

...starts today. I'm a little late posting about it, so I hope the people at Pray More Novenas won't mind if I post the prayer for today below. If you decide to join in, sign up over there and they'll send you e-mail reminders with the prayers for each day. There's also a place for you to publish your intentions, which is part of the tradition for this very popular novena.

I've never done a novena to St. Jude--as patron saint of impossible causes, he always seemed to me to be a "big gun" to be saved for the major stuff. But I think he and I need to be on better terms--I named a son after him, after all!


O St. Jude, holy Apostle, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, you are honored and petitioned by the universal Church, as the patron of desperate, hopeless and impossible cases. Pray for me. I am so very helpless and I feel alone.

Intercede for me that Almighty God may bring swift aid where it is needed most. Come to my assistance in my great time of need!

Pray for me that I may be given the comfort and help of Jesus. Most importantly, I ask that you pray that I may one day join you and all of the saints in heaven to praise God in consolation, rest and joy for all eternity.

I will remember your prayers, O Holy St. Jude. I will honor you as my patron as so many have before me because of the graces God deigns to give freely at your request.

O blessed apostle St. Jude, who labored zealously among the Gentiles in many lands, and performed numerous miracles in needy and despairing cases, I ask you to take interest in my needs. I know that you understand me. Please hear my prayers and my petitions. Please beg God for me and my deepest needs.

(State your intentions)

I pray that I will be patient in learning God's holy will for me and then courageously carry it out in my life.


St. Jude, pray for me!

Lord Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner!


May the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus be adored, and loved in all the tabernacles until the end of time. -- Amen.

May the most Sacred Heart of Jesus be praised and glorified now and forever. -- Amen.

St. Jude pray for us and hear our prayers. -- Amen.

Blessed be the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Blessed be the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Blessed be St. Jude Thaddeus, in all the world and for all Eternity.

Our Father...

Hail Mary...


St. Jude Novena

The Institution of the Eucharist

The Sacrament of the Last Supper, Salvador Dalí. 1955.

Next: The Sorrowful Mysteries

Thursday, October 13, 2011


I've been seeing this sort of thing around (great list). Elizabeth Scalia says everything I'd like to say.
Socialism does not work, but one of the reasons socialist movements succeed is because capitalists and the free market fall prey to that all-too-human failing: yeah, greed.

Those who support capitalism and free markets have a responsibility to demand that manufacturers and suppliers do the right thing. In a case such as this — where a multi-billion dollar industry is based on something human beings want, but do not really need — it should not be nearly enough to simply get the child-workers out of these forests. The U.S. chocolate industry can afford to pay adult workers a living wage and — here’s an idea — help subsidize the creation of a water system for the villages that exist to harvest their cocoa beans.

I mean…a little running water?

We already had some chocolate in the house--we've been using chocolate almost medicinally around here (wink)--but I can't eat it now without thinking about the children. I have already had to swear off Nestlé. I mean, this isn't vaccinations here, just a little endorphin kick... Sure, it's not dead children's tissue in our medicine and food tests. Just a little child labor. Right?

As Ms. Scalia says, we should be able to do better than this.

Read the rest of the piece at The Anchoress, including the update. At least one comment there, and the first link too, give lists of sources for chocolate that do not exploit children for labor.

Light to the World

This is wonderful. It may be a pretty simple application of science, but still--the human mind astounds me.

H/T Creative Minority Report

The Transfiguration

The Transfiguration, Theophanes the Greek. Early 15th century.

Next mystery: The Institution of the Eucharist


Related Posts with Thumbnails