Showing posts from May, 2012


The Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth is one of my favorite feasts.  I love it for its humanness; I love it for its glowing simplicity.

Mary visited Elizabeth because she had BEEN Visited by God.  She didn't go to Elizabeth alone - she went with the Presence of Christ inside her.  As members of the body of Christ, we carry Christ also.  Oh, not in the same unique way, certainly.  But according to Church teaching, we indeed carry Him within. 

Mary went on a simple visit to Elizabeth.  It was an occasion that I'm sure went unnoticed by many.  A woman went to visit her kinswoman; something that happened all the time.   No one would have cried out: "look, there goes Mary on mission!" or "how about that!  This visit will be written of in the Bible!"  From the merely human perspective, it was simply a time of normal interaction between two women, two relatives. 

You and I have opportunities every single day to visit people with the presence of Christ.  In the everyday…

The Five First Saturdays for the Blessed Mother

Special prayers for Her Majesty the Queen in Catholic parishes this weekend

Special prayers for Her Majesty the Queen in Catholic parishes this weekend

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has requested that every parish celebrate a Mass with prayers to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II this Sunday 3 June - the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. During this Mass, the first reading will be replaced by 1 Kings 3:11–14 and the prayer for the Queen will be said after the post Communion prayer and before the final Blessing.

Prayer for the Queen

V.O Lord, save Elizabeth, our Queen.
R. And hear us on the day we call upon you.
V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come before you.
V. The Lord be with you.
R. and with your spirit.

Almighty God, we pray,
that your servant Elizabeth, our Queen,
who, by your providence has received the governance of this realm,
may continue to grow in every virtue,
that, imbued with your heavenly grace,
she may be preserved from all that is harmfu…

The Christian Imagination and the Contemporary Search for Wisdom


PreConcert Ramble in a Cathedral

Our son's chamber music group held their concert last night at Trinity Episcopal Cathedralin Trenton,  New Jersey, about an hour's drive from our home. I had to drop him off at 5 p.m. and the concert didn't start until 7. One thing I did to while away the time was to take some photographs of the cathedral with my cell phone. Two photos worked out pretty well.
This is a segment of a stained glass window of St. George, the patron saint of England. He was born in Turkey to Christian parents. A Roman soldier, he was martyred in 303, the year that began the the "Great Persecution" against Christians. The late afternoon sun really showed off the vivid blue helmet, the red halo and the determined look on his face.

This is the synod hall, where a reception was held after the concert. Check out the ceiling: like much of the Cathedral property, it has the look and feel of a parish in the English countryside. Instead, the cathedral is surrounded by a blue-collar urban neig…

Christians in the Holy Land and the Church

23 May 2012 ive been asked to cross post Fr Seans reflection this week. M B-W
'Receive the Holy Spirit.' Sunday Reflections, Pentecost
Pentecost, El Greco, painted 1596-1600
Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Mass During the Day
Readings(Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)
Vigil Mass and Mass During the Day (The readings for the Vigil Mass are on the upper part of the page, those for the Mass During the Day on the lower part of the page).
Liturgical Note. Pentecost, like Easter and some other solemnities, has a Vigil, properly so-called. This is not an ‘anticipated Mass’ but a Vigil Mass in its own right, with its own set of prayers and readings. It fulfils our Sunday obligation. There may be an extended Liturgy of the Word,er similar to the Easter Vigil, with all the Old Testament readings used.
The prayers and readings of the Mass During the Day should not …

Truth Himself

Truth Himself

a lovely Blogg



How like a timid virgin comes the May,
In verdure robed and crown'd with chaplets sweet
Rifling earth's choicest treasures, to lay
Rich spoils of beauty at Our Lady's feet!
And, her to honor, from her teeming stores
Of leaf and bud, in greening garths and bowers,
Nature her lavish offering outpours
Of delicate blossoms and of fragile flowers.
The south wind whispers and young grasses stir,
Renascent blooms from crypts of winter rise,
Lily and rose awake to worship her
Who is the peerless Rose of Paradise.
Spirits of Spring - crocus and daffodil
And violet and lilac fresh and frail -
At Mary's shrine their fragrance sweet distill
And in her praise their passionate souls exhale.

Madonna! Mother of our Christ and Lord!
Now in the opening year's auroral prime
Heaven and earth in rapturous accord
Hail thee and hymn with canticles sublime.
All innocent things, and all things pure and fair,
Hasten their homage at thy throne to pay;
And we, thy children, …

Gluten-Free Goodies

I love the site for the ways in which it has allowed me to satisfy my sweet tooth since I've gone gluten-free (and more recently anti-candida). What a great site! If you are, like me, dealing with health issues that have forced you to navigate a whole new way of looking at food, you will love what Adrienne offers on her site. 

I've found it to be a wonderful resource with great print-ready recipes that really do taste great (don't get me stated on how many e-books I've downloaded only to find the recipes taste like cardboard). Adrienne has a nice team of bloggers and contributors that are tackling the same sorts of things I am--and maybe you are, too. 

If you are gluten-free and still crave some sweets, or if you or someone you love has allergies that restricts the sort of cooking you can do, you will love what you find at

Today I am going to try making the grain-free lemon squares:-)

Thank you, Adrienne

Summary of Major Concepts: Fundamentals of Moral Theology

Do you like everything in a nutshell?  Here is a list I stumbled across today while I was reviewing my file folder of notes from a course I took in 2000.  I don't know the source.  It may have been a handout from the professor, Richard M. Gula, S.S., who was an excellent teacher.

If you are interested, you can read the list here.

Get Serious!

Get Serious!

Father's day is approaching - Take a look (in the link above) at a book perhaps very fitting for a special father in your life.

Miracle twins born 15 weeks premature survive being born with combined weight of just three and a half pounds | Mail Online

Rambling Follower: Brutal Blessing: "Saints of the American Wildernes...

Rambling Follower: Brutal Blessing: "Saints of the American Wildernes...: Let me tell you, there is no way I would have our 12-year-old child read this book. I ordered "Saints of the American Wilderness" by Rev. Jo...

A Felt Icon for a First Communion

You know what I love about the internet? You can discover all kinds of information with your fingertips AND you can buy all kinds of obscure stuff from all over the world. Quirky things that can actually help build a child's faith and prayer life. Alec, a family friends' middle child, celebrated his First Communion today. That's him at his home next to his dad after the Mass after he changed into a plaid shirt and striped shorts. His patron saint is Alexander of Comana, the charcoal burner. Seriously? I had never heard of the guy.

Read more here...

World Communications Day 2012

The Daughters of St Paul are a religious congregation with a particular mission to evanglising through the media. In the past, this has been typically the print media and then audio-visual media. Nowadays it includes the electronic media. One of their sisters in the United States has a blog which reflects their engagement with electronic media: Windows to the Soul Blog. I have in the past found it an interesting blog because of posts offering reviews of films or observations about how films, sometimes unexpected films, provide a way of exploring questions of a spiritual nature.

Another of their sisters has written a reflection on silence to mark the World Communications Day: The Sounding Silence. I was particularly taken by this paragraph, referring to Pope Benedict's message 2012 World Communications Day entitled Silence and Word: Path for Evangelisation:
The Pope wrote exclusively about silence as it relates to interpersonal communication and the sharing of “advice, ideas, infor…

An Ascension Poem

Sonnet XCVI. Ascension Day, 1845 by Henry Alford
They stood and gazed into the summer sky,
That earnest band of holy men and true:
It was no vision that might pass them by,
As the bright clouds enwrapt Him from their view;
No self--withdrawal of His form still nigh:
As victory was strange, and hope was new,
More gloom athwart their hearts this sorrow drew,
While vainly upward searched each eager eye.

But on their ear those voices' unison
Broke, as the choir of heaven on men below:
And, as the portals of the morning, shone
Their glistering raiment; and though still alone
We dwell without our Lord, yet this we know,
That He shall thus return as they beheld Him go.

Growing with Mary

One of the most beautiful aspects of my Catholic faith has been devotion to Mary, the Blessed Mother. I was thinking about this post today before mass as I was waiting for PSR to get out so that I could go to church with my family, chasing my toddler down to brush her hair, and struggling with a pecular stinging sensation in my lower back, and asking Mary to pray for me! And then it occurred to me that my understanding and devotion to Mary has grown and changed as I have grown and changed. I didn't need a degree in Marionology to understand a relationship with Jesus's mother. She has always met me where I am.

When I was little Mary seemed like the elegant lady, the untouchable, unreachable, princess-like figure of the beautiful pictures and statues we had of her. And although I felt so small compared to Mary, her presence as Queen filled me with awe and respect.

As a teenager I wondered how Mary, a shy and quiet teen herself, managed to deal with the momentous task that had be…

Prayer requests

Of your Charity please pray for,

Many known to us who are ill and their families,
Pregnant women and their unborn children,
Those who mourn and the souls of the recently departed,
A private intention of my own.
Trusting in the Mercy and Love of God
I entrust my prayers to St Joseph wise and loving patron and friend.

Present my prayers to your Most Holy and Beloved foster son my Lord and my God.

‘Meaning and Hope – Christianity’s place in Modern Britain’

His Eminence, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor delivered the Far and Near Club Lecture at Leicester Cathedral yesterday evening. He explored three ways in which religion and, most particularly, Christianity relates to society in the public square. The Cardinal’s reflection focused on the centrality of the family, the dignity and importance of elderly people and the relationship between faith and reason in today’s world.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness”. This quotation is well known and comes, of course, from Charles Dickens,A Tale of Two Cities. But what about today? The philosopher, Martin Buber speaks of “epochs of habitation”, and “epochs of homelessness”. In the former, man lives in the world as in a home. In the latter, man lives in the world as in an open field and at times he does not even have four pegs with which to set up a tent. Sometimes I look round and wonder if we are not living through …