Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Landfill Harmonic

You would think that a movie about children of families who scavenge in landfills who play instruments made from trash would be depressing, but if this trailer is any indication, this won't be depressing at all!

Monday, November 26, 2012

the true comfort that remained for men

Thanks to Mr. Timothy Kieras, S.J. of the Magis Institute's Daily Ignatian Reflection for this quote:
"...the true comfort that remained for men [after the fall], and that embodied and gave reality to their conquering struggle against every despair, was surely Song."  ---Hilaire Belloc
So, Sing!

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

A Prayer in Time of Need, (and two helpful quotes)

I came across this prayer at Happy Catholic (of course) and I think it is worth captruing and sharing:

Heavenly Father,
in my present need,
help me to believe that you are aware of my anxiety
and will do what is best for me.
Give me the strength to trust you
and put the present and future in your hands.
Grant this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
There is also a quote, not really a prayer, that  I have on my cubby wall, from St. Augustine:
Trust the past entirely to the mercy of God,
The present to His tender love,
And the future to His providence and care over you.
These are reminders that we are not in this alone, that God is with us at all times.  And how about a closing quote from Paul Claudel:
Jesus did not come to do away with suffering or to remove it.  He came to fill it with His presence.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Have you asked God what it is He wants?

Here’s a short little essay entitled “Have you asked God what it is He wants?” It’s a nice little meditation on Divine Providence, and quotes one of my favorites, Abandonment to Divine Providence by Jean-Pierre de
Cassaude. I especially like the part about the Sacrament of the Present Moment!

Here's a good quote from de Caussade:
Everything has a supernatural quality, something divine about it that can lead us onward to holiness. Everything is part of that completeness which is Jesus Christ

Yes, Caroline, it is indeed a slow day here at work today!

Natural law

Here is as good a nutshell explanation of natural law as you are likely to find:

Once again, let me emphasize that the natural law is not a specifically Catholic thing. Astonishingly, each time I have mentioned the natural law, some have insisted that it is unfair to expect others to conform to Catholic doctrine! Truly, the mind boggles, for the whole point of the natural law is that it is universal and, well, natural. The critic’s very appeal to lack of fairness is in fact an appeal to the natural law. All rational moral argument appeals to the natural law, even when it erroneously uses one part of the natural law against another. Confusion, passion and self-interest may at times cause us to make mistakes in interpreting and applying the natural law, but the inescapable fact remains that the natural law is the only way we have of knowing when the positive law is immoral. Without it, there can be no concept of “right” apart from the concept of “power”.

Thanks to Dr. Jeff Mirus from CatholicCulture.org

Monday, October 15, 2012

Lord, Thou knowest better than I myself that I am growing older

Today is the feast day of St. Teresa of Avila, the first woman named Doctor of the Church, a mystic, and one who was not afraid to speak bluntly. Once, when she had fallen off her horse on a journey, she is said to have scolded God with, “it is no wonder you have so few friends, considering how you treat the ones you have!” (I’ve always loved that quote!)

Anyway, this morning on the radio I heard this prayer attributed to her. I had seen the prayer before, but never heard that it was hers. Be that as it may, it’s a great prayer:

Lord, Thou knowest better than I myself that I am growing older and will someday be old. Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion.
Release me from craving to straighten out everybody's affairs. Make me thoughtful but not moody; helpful but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom, it seems a pity not to use it all; but Thou knowest, Lord, that I want a few friends at the end. Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point. Seal my lips on my aches and pains; they are increasing, and love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by.
I dare not ask for improved memory, but for a growing humility and a lessening cock-sureness when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken.

Keep me reasonably sweet**, for a sour old person is one of the crowning works of the devil. Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places and talents in unexpected people; and give, O Lord, the grace to tell them so.

** in some versions, I have seen this phrase added: “I do not want to be a saint - some of them are so hard to live with” . I’ve never agreed with that, because I don’t think most saints are unpleasant. Truly holy people I’ve met are gracious and charming!

Friday, September 28, 2012

From Therese of Lisieux..

...whose feast day is Monday.  This is from Kathryn Jean Lopez over at Patheos portal:
Is This Ironic or All too Appropriate for the Internets?
From St. Therese of Lisieux:

We have only short moments of this life to work for God’s glory. The devil knows this and this is why he tries to make us waste time in useless things. O, let us not waste our time! Let us save souls!

Now, get back to work!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A meditation on youth

... and Strat-O-Matic baseball.  Here's an excerpt:
And somewhere along the line, what seems to slip away is time—the time to have time for losing yourself in such things as baseball seasons played out with dice rolls. The world intrudes, the boy grows, and the games prove less enthralling. Still, the lessons of Strat-O-Matic were real and vital, in their day. A realization of the interplay of order and randomness, for instance. A grasp of the sheer reality of the past, the truth that others lived before us. The civilizing of boys by appealing to their impulses to forget themselves in the mathematics of the world and the inner secrets of a game like baseball.

Read it all if you know anyone who was once an adolescent boy.  Even if he didn't get his Strat-O-Matic game until 1985.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

The Wisdom of Nero Wolfe

I actually found someone else who remembers this:

One of my favourite quotes is from the fictional detective Nero Wolfe: “To me the relationship between the host and guest is sacred. The guest is a jewel resting on a cushion of hospitality”. I think that’s the golden rule of entertaining. Whether you style is barbecue or dinner at eight, you’ll never go wrong if you keep it in mind.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

A consolation

The Anchoress posts a quote used by Julie Davis (Happy Catholic) at last weeks' Catholic New Media Conference in Dallas:
“Sometimes it may seem to us that there is no purpose in our lives, that going day after day for years to this office or that school or factory is nothing else but waste and weariness. But it may be that God has sent us there because but for us Christ would not be there. If our being there means that Christ is there, that alone makes it worthwhile.”

— Caryll Houselander, Reed of God, Page 60
For those of us with jobs as opposed to "careers", this is a consoling thought.

Friday, August 31, 2012

How's this for an intense prayer?

From the days when people really knew how to pray!
The holy Body of Christ Jesu be my salvation of body and soul. Amen. The Glorious blood of Christ Jesu bring my soul and body into the everlasting bliss. Amen. I cry God mercy; I cry God mercy; I cry God mercy; welcome my maker; welcome my redeemer; welcome my Saviour; I cry thee mercy with heart contrite of my great unkindness that I have had unto thee.

"This is an extract from the first work of Catholic spirituality printed in the English language,..." Read more here.
I am busy coveting the book he reviews, but right now it is $65.00 on Amazon.  But it is going on my wish list!

Monday, June 11, 2012

So long, Tom and Ray!

This is almost like losing a member of the family.  Tom and Ray Magliozzi have been entertaining me for so long that I've just taken them for granted.  To be honest, the thought had never occurred to me that the show would end some day.  Saturday's on NPR just won't be the same without them.

Jeffrey Overstreet at Looking Closer has a list of 7 reasons they are a joy to listen to.  I concur on all seven. At the end he has three short observations about their infectious joy, the last of which is: 
What can I do so that... my presence brings more of this kind of thing into the world?
Which got me thinking...when I was about 25 years old, I was busy taking myself super-seriously.  I'd left Kenrick Seminary a year or so earlier, and was struglling with what I should do with my life.  Having been so recently in school, most of my thoughts were on things like philosophy, theology, psychology--some kind of academic pursuit--as being the really important work in the world.  What would I do with my life.  What wonderful work would I accomplish for God?  (I wonder if God realized back then houw much He needed my help?)

Somewhere along the way God tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Look at your Uncle Louie."  One of my mom's many older brothers, he had worked as a custodian at St. Cecelia's church.  After retiring, he spent his days helping his neighbors, giving the older ladies rides to the store or the doctor, helping in any way he could.  He was the farthest thing from a martyr.  He always had a smile on his face, and somehow he made me feel like I was doing him a favor just by being me.  He brightenend any room, shoot, he brightened the world.  If I could bring that kind of happiness and peace to the world, I'd be doing the Lord's work just fine.

Some lessons take a lifetime to learn.  I have a thick head, a bit of a melancholy streak, and I still take myself too seriously.  I get gloomy thinking about all the Great and Important Things I could  have accomplished in my life and didn't.  When I am at my gloomiest, God will once again tap me on the shoulder and say, "Remember Uncle Louie!  Go and do likewise."  His memory, and his example, still brighten any room.

Friday, June 01, 2012

A different take on those payouts in Milwaukee

This from Kathryn Lopez at National Review.

Don't believe everything you hear fron the N Y Times and SNAP!

Like Judas or like John?

"For you will certainly carry out God's purpose, however you act, but it makes a difference to you whether you serve like Judas or like John"
C. S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain.

TV's 25 best catch phrases

Courtesy of Jonah Goldberg

My favorite:  Yabba Dabba Do!

What's yours?

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Good stuff I found yesterday:

The Best Walking Playlists

Wallking for weight loss playlist

and one more goodie:

Homeschooling families should love this article:

Here’s a sample:

I wish that as I was growing up, the role of wife and mother had been more fully present as a respectable and important option that also needs time and training, not just an afterthought that automatically tacks on to a career. Much of the skill set I acquired in university is not very useful in the home. Although I know how to write legal briefs, I wish I knew how to sew, play family songs on the piano and cook without a cookbook, and even that I was more familiar with caring for little ones and for a busy household. All the chores I was protected from in order to enable me to study as I was growing up – maybe I should have done them after all,
including some babysitting. I want to give these experiences to my daughter, so that she will be better equipped not just for a career, but also for motherhood.

Aren’t you glad we didn’t shield you from all those chores?

Here are some Father's Day ideas for your favorite Dad:
That's all for now.  Candy, Ding Dongs, and golf balls are alwys welcome as well!

Monday, May 07, 2012


“Ideas lead to idols; only wondering leads to knowing.” --St. Gregory of Nyssa

Friday, May 04, 2012

I just saw this on my facebook page:

Faith in God includes faith in his timing
                              ~~~Neal A. Maxwell

Thanks to Dana Kopff.
I found this at Egregious Twaddle, via Happy Catholic, who sent me there:


It doesn't have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don't try
to make them elaborate, this isn't
a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.

Joanne at Egregious twaddle tells us that this poem is "from Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mary Oliver. This is from her 2006 collection, Thirst, and a big H/T to Julie at Happy Catholic, who posted it some time ago."

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Today's Quote

Courtesy of Happy Catholic:
Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.

Henry Van Dyke

Thursday, March 29, 2012

From Archbishop Charles Chaput

This is good stuff:
The great Green Bay Packer theologian, Vince Lombardi, liked to say that real glory consists in getting knocked flat on the ground, again and again and again, and getting back up – just one more time than the other guy. That’s real glory. And there’s no better metaphor for the Christian life. Don’t give up. Your prolife witness gives glory to God. Be the best Catholics you can be. Pour your love for Jesus Christ into building and struggling for a culture of life. By your words and by your actions, be an apostle to your friends and colleagues. Speak up for what you believe. Love the Church. Defend her teaching. Trust in God. Believe in the Gospel. And don’t be afraid. Fear is beneath your dignity as sons and daughters of the God of life.

You can read his whole talk at the link above.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Lenten reading suggestion

The Imitation of Christ

I was reading along in The Imitation of Christ, thinking, “Boy, this is just not speaking to me.  It seems like so much pious prattle.”  The very next thing I read was this:
“At times you will be forsaken by God, at times troubled by those about you and, what is worse, you will often grow weary of yourself. You cannot escape, you cannot be relieved by any remedy or comfort but must bear with it as long as God wills. For He wishes you to learn to bear trial without consolation, to submit yourself wholly to Him that you may become more humble through suffering. No one understands the passion of Christ so thoroughly or heartily as the man whose lot it is to suffer the like himself.”  (Book 2 Chapter 12, THE ROYAL ROAD OF THE HOLY CROSS)
Further on in the same chapter he says, “The cross, therefore, is always ready; it awaits you everywhere. No matter where you may go, you cannot escape it, for wherever you go you take yourself with you and shall always find yourself. Turn where you will -- above, below, without, or within -- you will find a cross in everything, and everywhere you must have patience if you would have peace within and merit an eternal crown.”
How does he do this?  How does he know me so well?    A few days earlier, I was reading along, my mind wandering, when this jumped out at me:
“The devil does not sleep, nor is the flesh yet dead; therefore, you must never cease your preparation for battle, because on the right and on the left are enemies who never rest.”   ((Book 2 Chapter 9, WANTING NO SHARE IN COMFORT).

If you are looking for some Lenten reading, try a chapter a day.  Sometimes the chapter seem like a collection of brief sayings, sometimes they are extended reflections on a theme.  Most are short, a page or two, and they are aimed at common folk like us.  You don’t need to be a monk or a scholar to profit from this.  There is a reason this is the second best-selling book of all time, after the Bible!  You can find an online version here.