Showing posts from December, 2011

Happy New Year !

Hello Friends! How are you? Do you have an exciting event to attend (hopefully involving sequins!) for New Year’s Eve? We are making simple plans with the kids. I’m betting they will include watching movies and lighting fireworks at midnight. : )  At the end of this year…, before consigning the days and hours to God and to his just and merciful judgment, I feel the need in my heart to raise our “thank you” to him for his love for us. Happy New Year to each of you !

Here is a short list of what I love about motherhood:

Having fun with my kids Learning about them as they become their own persons Having  H ard,  D eep and  R eal conversation with my kiddies Sharing common interests and knowing that I had a hand in helping shape those interests Being able to help my children become who they are meant to be Tweet #whatiloveaboutmotherhood

Reflections on January 1: Psalm 67 and Theotokos

I've been asked to substitute cantor Sunday morning at our former parish.  Yesterday, I chatted with the substitute organist over the phone and she's searching for the music to accompany Psalm 67. I'm making some inquiries. (Hey: if you know, let me know) In the meantime, I googled Psalm 67. It is a song of national thanksgiving. And then I thought about how we'll be singing this song on the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God,  or Theotokos. Please read more here....

December 30 • Feast of the Holy Family...Learning to Love, Pray and Live in the School of Nazareth

The Feast of the Holy Family is dedicated to the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, commemorating their life together in Nazareth and calling us to focus on Catholic family life. The feast is celebrated on the first Sunday after Christmas, unless Christmas falls on a Sunday, in which case it is celebrated on December 30. According to the  Fisheaters website&nbsp this feast is placed where it is on the calendar because “in Old Testament Law, a child wasn't a son of Abraham or a true part of the family until his circumcision at 8 days of age, an event of Christ's life that we celebrated on 1 January (from 25 December to 1 January are 8 days).” The feast was placed on the general calendar of the Roman Rite on October 26, 1921, by the Congregation of Rites under Pope Benedict XV. Catholic Online The house of Nazareth is a school of prayer where we learn to listen, to meditate, to penetrate the deepest meaning of the manifestation of the Son of God, drawing our exampl
This young man only lived to be 18, but spent his life well. The video above is part of the video dairy of a young American man, Ben Breedlove, aged 18.  This entry was made just days before he succumbs to the heart condition:  hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a condition in which one part of the heart is thicker than the other parts, making it difficult for the heart to pump blood. In this diary entry you learn that Ben "cheated" death three other times in his short life, and each time he had an encounter with something greater than himself, each time he felt great peace and "did not want to come back."  Ben could not cheat death on Christmas Day, 2011.  This young man did not let his heart condition stop him from living his life, loving what he did and being a positive light for the world.  Ben never seemed a young man who was embittered by his condition and that can only be credited to his parents. He seemed to be raised with a deep respect and love to

'God takes delight in his people.' Sunday Reflections for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

Adoration of the Shepherds Murillo, painted 1646-50 Readings   (New American Bible: Philippines, USA) Gospel Luke 2:16-21 (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa) The shepherds hurried away and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. When they saw the child they repeated what they had been told about him, and everyone who heard it was astonished at what the shepherds had to say. As for Mary, she treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds went back glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen; it was exactly as they had been told. When the eighth day came and the child was to be circumcised, they gave him the name Jesus, the name the angel had given him before his conception. +++ An Soiscéal Lúcás 13:33-37 (Gaeilge, Irish) San am sin d’imigh na haoirí anonn go Beithil go deifreach, agus fuair siad Muire agus Iósaef, agus an naíon

Holy Innocents - 4th Day of Christmas

The Liturgical Year by Adolf Adam: Even the oldest liturgical calendars already have a series of saints' feasts directly following on Christmas. The Middle Ages saw these saints as a crotege of honor accompanying the Christ-child, and gave them the name Comites Christi ("Companions of Christ"). In the Roman liturgy these companions are Stephen the first martyr on December 26, John the Apostle and Evangelist on December 27, and the children whom Herod slew in Bethlehem on December 28 (cf. Mt 2.13-18). These three were regarded as representing the three possible forms of martyrdom: voluntary and executed (Stephen), voluntary but not executed (John), and executed but not voluntary (Holy Innocents). HT Jenn of Feast and Feria Today is the commemoration of the Holy Innocents When Herod realized that he had been deceived by the magi,he became furious. He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under,in accordance

In Bethlehem a Child was born

In Bethlehem a Child was born and changed the world. The birth of a child often does; any new parent will tell you so. This particular birth though, has impacted history – severing it into two portions: that which came before, and everything that followed His arrival. He is the central point from which we measure our years and centuries. He not only divided time, He broke through the fabric of matter by uniting Divinity and humanity. He ruptured the boundaries of life and death. He confounded logic by teaching truth in paradoxes: the last shall be first; to gain life you must lose it; blessed are the poor. “Let the little children come to me ... for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matt. 19:14) Is it possible that we can be such a child as He was? In Christ, we are born to new life and through Him we may approach the Father as His children. Even in that simple, childish state, God can work through us. If we trust Him, and abandon ourselves to Him like a child,

'Some Children See Him'

 I found this beautiful song, which I don't remember hearing before, on the website of the Columbans in Ireland . It was written by Alfred Burt. The male singer is Tennessee Ernie Ford (1919-1991). I'm not sure who the female singer is nor do I know who put the video together. The recording goes back to the 1950s.

The Gifts of Christmas: Will They Last?

We do our best, as parents, to offer our sons a life of faith and fun. We talk to them about our beliefs and they see us living our faith, however imperfectly, every day in the ways in which we work and love and encounter friends and strangers. Will this faith "stick?" Will they learn to weave this ancient faith of ours into their hearts so it becomes their own? Will they come understand that Christ's birth is not a sentimental event but rather a daily reality? Read more here....

A grinch in Advent

Every year in Advent I turn into a grinch.  So I am told, anyway.  Don't get me wrong.  I do not begrudge anyone their celebrations.  I get frustrated when people start going on about "the true meaning of the season."  Christmas is almost here, but it is not here yet.  It is still Advent and Advent is a season of penitant preparation. This year my inner grinch came roaring out when I was watching TV.  (Always a mistkae this time of year.) One station was rpoudly advertising that they were celebrating "25 days of Christmas!"  I wanted to scream. Christmas is one of my favorite holidays.  II love the magic and the mystery.  Without this mysterious and exciting season before Christmas, Christmas deflates like a giant waving lawn Santa on December 26th. Christmas is a joyful celebration of the coming of the King of Kings.  The story is familiar, but if we step back enough to appreciate it, it is astounding.  So we do, every year.  Poets, artists, musicians, an

Christmas Blessings, 2011


'In Times Like These', a song dedicated to the victims of Typhoon Sendong/Washi

 Glenn, a young man who is studying law at Xavier University in Cagayan de Oro, the southern Philippines city hardest hit by Typhoon Sendong/Washi a week ago, wrote and recorded this song. His sister Maria Fe produced the video. Their parents, Joe and Annie, are teachers who grew up in Columban parishes in Mindanao. Please continue to pray for the souls of those who have died, for those who are trying to pick up the pieces and for the many people who are working together for a better future for all.

The Stable of Bethlehem

O come Lord Jesus, tiny, frail, weak, helpless infant, come and remind me of why I adore you, lead me to the stable, welcome me to the manger! There allow me the humility to hear the very Word of God, spoken out of love, clothed in the flesh of the new born baby Jesus! The stable scene is at the heart of the Christmas season. I have put my stable up in the sitting room of the presbytery. The baby is not in the manger yet but the scene is one of tranquillity, one of peace, of blessed serenity. That is how it should be. Despite the turmoil, the panic, the upset, the clamour and clatter of living; despite the rush and the hustle and bustle of the nature of modern living there the stable scene stands, offering peace, displaying utter peace. Why? Because he has come, the Word has been made flesh, the love of God once invisible is now visible, nothing in time will ever be the same again! I spend hours each Christmas adoring at the stable, lovingly gazing upon the beauty I see before


In a far distant time, In a story so well known throughout the lands, We hear once again about an angel Who visits a young girl to announce God's plans.  We hear about the angel's proclamation, "Behold..."  and her response, "Behold..."     In both the Online Dictionary and in Merriam Webster dictionary the definition of BEHOLD is a transitive verb meaning: 1: to perceive through sight or apprehension : see 2: to gaze upon : observe Literally, they are saying, "Watch, this will happen," it's an action on both sides; the Holy Spirit will come down and bring forth the pregnancy in Mary and, in turn, Mary will allow this in cooperation with God as His handmaid.  Human and divine working together for one purpose, love . Behold, our God will bring us a savior, His name is Jesus!  Jesus loved us so much and He showed us in not so small ways throughout His earthly life.  Here, His mother begins His journey towards the goal of salvation! The magn

Typhoon Sendong/Washi: Pastoral Letter of Archbishop of Cagayan de Oro, Philippines

Photos from San Lorenzo Ruiz Church, Iligan City, a temporary evacuation center. The Columbans are very familiar with both Iligan City and Cagayan de Oro City, the two places most badly hit by Typhoon Sendong/Washi last weekend. 'Washi' was the international code-name for the storm, 'Sendong' the Philippine name. Columban Fr Rolly Aniscal lost a cousin and her two children in Cagayan de Oro. The children's bodies haven't been recovered yet. I'm posting photos taken in Iligan City, which is about 90kms from Cagayan de Oro City. New Zealander Fr Paul Finlayson and his team in the Columban-run Holy Rosary Parish, Agusan, Cagayan de Oro, are taking care of 25 families whose homes were destroyed or badly damaged. Venus Guibone, who worked in Ireland as a Columban lay missionary whose house was very badly damaged is among those being accommodated at St John Vianney Theological Seminary. Full post here .

'There is nothing further for him to say.' Sunday Reflections for Christmas Day

Adoration of the Child , Gerrit van Honthorst, painted c.1620 'God takes delight in his people' . [Psalm 149, Grail translation, used in the Breviary.] Readings (New American Bible, used in the Philippines, USA) : Vigil Mass Mass During the Night Mass at Dawn Mass During the Day Each Mass has its own specific prayers and readings. By attending any of them we fulfill our obligation on this great holy day. The beginning of the Holy Gospel according to John (John 1:1-18). This gospel is read at the Mass During the Day. The translation is that of the Revised Standard Version - Catholic Edition). In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He

Help Me Out Here: Is The Family Christmas Letter A Uniquely American Tradition?

Every year since my husband and I started having babies, I have written and mailed a family Christmas letter. The first year, I hand wrote it since we didn't have a home computer and I traced our infant son's hand in the letter. For me, our first letter was a sign I really was a grown up. After all, I now had a husband, a baby, a washing machine and an annual Christmas letter. Today, I emailed this year's letter to a dear friend, a graduate student who has moved home to Milan. "Thanks for the letter!" she emailed back. "Is it an American tradition? I've never read one before." Read more here...

Christmas Cookies Recipe (Revised Translation)...Or Formally Equivalent Christmas Cookies Recipe

Commonweal Online Enjoy and Have A Merry Christmas!!!