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Showing posts from May, 2013

Corporate Commentary

1. Elevators are inventions of evil, designed to force you to have awkward conversations with people you don't like or have never talked to in your life.  Keep the conversation vague and nebulous, and just remember it will be over quickly - or not, depending on how many floors are in your building.  Don't say anything stupid, lest the random stranger turn out to be an executive. 

2. Bathrooms are also an extremely awkward place of conversation.  You never know who you'll meet.  You are brought together by the common force of nature, but anything could happen.  General etiquette for both elevators and bathrooms entails that you say AT LEAST  a "Hello!" upon meeting and/or a "Have a good day" or something similar when exiting.  The situation gets more awkward if you both pretend to not notice each other's existence.

3. When passing someone in the hallway, smile and nod or say a cheerful "Hello!"  It's just odd to avoid each other's eye…

Life, Books and Weddings

For all my vows of spending frugally this summer, I did go and spend about $25 on a book-shopping trip with a good friend.  I still have the goal of cataloguing my library - which comprises many, many feet of books and at least half a dozen boxes - but I added about five books to it this week.  What can I say?  There's a type of mental state that's induced by the interior of a bookstore. 

I've been listening to a lot of Celtic Thunder, Simon and Garfunkel, Statler Brothers, Shostakovich and random classical music.  Classical's a lot less distracting while I'm at work, but that doesn't mean I'm a good girl all the time - I need my dose of CT! 

I'm about halfway through my first backpack of books from the library.  Went to renew my books just now, only to discover that apparently I left my card there...three weeks ago...and never noticed it was gone... 

Hoping and praying that all the music comes together for my sister's wedding on Saturday.  Also that e…

Pope Francis' Prayer to Mary

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Mother of the silence that preserves the mystery of God, deliver us from the idolatry of the present, to which those who forget are condemned. Purify the eyes of pastors with the balm of memory:that we might return to the freshness of the beginning, for a praying and penitent Church.
Mother of the beauty that blossoms from fidelity to daily work, remove us from the torpor of laziness, of pettiness, and defeatism. Cloak Pastors with that compassion that unifies and integrates: that we might discover the joy of a humble and fraternal servant Church.
Mother of the tenderness which enfolds in patience and mercy, help us burn away the sadness, impatience, and rigidity of those who have not known what it means to belong.
Intercede with your Son that our hands, our feet and our hearts may be swift: that we may build the Church with the truth in charity.
Mother, we will be the People of God, on pilgrimage towards the Kingdom. Amen.

Maronite Rite Mass

A few weeks before the end of the school semester, I and several of my friends joined our college chaplain for a field trip into D.C. to participate in a Maronite Rite Mass.  We were warmly welcomed at Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Church - one of the priests was kind enough to give us a very helpful explanation of the history of the Maronite Rite, and the liturgy itself.  We were then allowed to briefly visit the seminary across the street and see their chapel - which was beautiful!  The seminary trains men both for the United States and for Lebanon.  Some of the men assisting at Mass were from that country, as well. 

The Mass itself was absolutely beautiful!  I love listening to the chant.  It was all so very different, but honestly not hard to follow along.  (The pew missals were very useful too.)  I was especially happy that we went within the Easter season - it is loads easier to follow along when the only word you can really recognize in English and Aramaic and singing is "Al…

St. Aurea

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I saw this post here on Fr. Z's blog.  Today is the feast day of St. Aurea - a little-known 3rd century martyr.  My mother has always encouraged us to pray to the forgotten saints, the ones who have so many graces to give, but no-one ever asks.  Since there's something that's been worrying me and is going to continue worrying me for a while, I feel particularly called today to pray to St. Aurea.  I'll let you know if my prayer is answered!



The story of St. Aurea is a beautiful one!  Thanks to www.ostia-antica.org for the story.  If I had the time and the impetus, I'd have tried to translate all the Latin...  I love especially how she takes under her care the young boy who was raised from the dead.
During the reign of Claudius II Gothicus, when a vicarius named Ulpius Romulus was in command, a large-scale persecution against the Christians began. There was a certain commander with magisterial power, who was secretly a Christian, fearing God, and believing in the virtu…

Summer Art

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I was looking over past blog post and had the thought of putting together a collection of summer artwork.  It is time for finding beloved old pictures from the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and looking for new ones that, I suppose you could say, express "what summer means to me".  Now, maybe this is my feverish brain stuck in a khaki cubicle talking, but summer is still summer even if I don't have a window nearby!

First up - two old memories from homeschool IMA field trips.

Landscape near Arles by Paul Gaugin



The Reaper, by Vincent Van Gogh



Crimea. Gazebo. by Pyotr Konchalovsky - Doesn't this just make you want to ditch whatever you are doing and go sit in the shade with a lovely view, a good book, and a iced cup of lemonade?



Breakfast under the Big Birch by Carl Larssen.  Mommy and I discovered this Swedish artist when we picked up a little book of his paintings at the Carmel Clay Library booksale.  We thought the paintings were so pretty and so beautifully detailed!  I lo…

Evelyn Waugh: Helena

I just finished today the first of the "good classics" I pulled out of the library this week.  It wasHelena, by Evelyn Waugh.  An absolutely brilliant book, one I definitely want to add to my collection!  I was intensely struck by one part in particular, at the end of Chapter 11.  Helena is midway-through her Holy Land pilgrimage, and has been searching for the Holy Cross with no luck so far.  She attends Mass at the cave of the Nativity in Bethlehem on the feast of the Epiphany, and she offers up a beautiful meditation and prayer to the Three Kings.  I'm scheduling this post to be republished again on Epiphany next year, but I want to put it up now (before I forget) as I go through my literary adventure this summer.  The emphasis in the last few paragraphs is mine, the part I find particularly compelling.
“Like me,” she said to them, “you were late in coming. The shepherds were here long before; even the cattle. They had joined the chorus of angels before you were on you…

Modern Anti-Catholic Idiocy; Apologetics Practice

I ran across a delightful (insert sarcasm here) article on the web today.  A perfect example of the misconceptions that exist in this world of ours about the real Catholic Church.  As Venerable Fulton Sheen said,
“There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate the Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.”
This is also an exercise for me to see whether or not I can appropriately identify and rebut the accusations and misconceptions contained in this article.  My comments in red below, as I follow the pattern set by Fr. Z.  The article made me want to laugh and throw up at the same time.  I have a sneaking suspicion, though, that as soon as I go look for more information on the author, I'm going to find out that he or she is a fairly well-educated "former" Catholic who has become "disillusioned" with the Church.
Here's one of the many reasons Pope Benedict XVI hilariously abdicating hi…

Poem of the Month: May 2013

I suddenly realized that I haven't done a poem of the month for a disgustingly long time.  Perhaps because I am longing for a warm summer's day, I looked for summer poems.  For absolutely no reason other than that it is both Shakespearean and mentions summer, I chose Sonnet XVIII of William Shakespeare.  By fortuitous chance, this is also my hundredth post on this blog.

XVIII

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd,
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course untrimm'd:
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,
Nor shall death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st,

So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, a…

Summer Reading

Status update - I'm starting off the summer with the same IT contractor job I worked last year. Also working on the Catholic Writer's Guild conference and finishing up publication of the last volume of Dr. Warren Carroll's History of Christendom series. Helping prepare for my sister's wedding on June 1, attending another wedding of two friends the week before, visiting my other sister's convent in June, visiting my boyfriend's family in Michigan for the 4th of July, cleaning out my exceedingly messy and too-full room, exercising, and hopefully doing a fair amount of reading and writing! That's the to-do list, plus getting together with some friends.

I'm on my second day of the job and tonight my sis and I are getting together with our mutually-adopted brother. I was able to get to the library last night just before Sister Michael gave us a surprise call for Mother's Day (awesomely unexpected!) and came home with a backpack full of books. I want to re…

Novena to the Holy Spirit - Day 2

Holy Spirit Novena Prayers - Day 2


Joy

Let us bow down in humility at the power and grandeur of the Holy Spirit. Let us worship the Holy Trinity and give glory today to the Paraclete, our Advocate.

Oh Holy Spirit, by Your power, Christ was raised from the dead to save us all. By Your grace, miracles are performed in Jesus' name. By Your love, we are protected from evil. And so, we ask with humility and a beggar's heart for Your gift of Joy within us.

All of the Saints are marked with an uncompromisable Joy in times of trial, difficulty and pain. Give us, Oh Holy Spirit, the Joy that surpasses all understanding that we may live as a witness to Your love and fidelity!

Amen.

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.

O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be …

Holy Spirit Novena in preparation for Pentecost

Holy Spirit Novena Prayers - Day 1


Charity

Let us bow down in humility at the power and grandeur of the Holy Spirit. Let us worship the Holy Trinity and give glory today to the Paraclete, our Advocate.

Oh Holy Spirit, by Your power, Christ was raised from the dead to save us all. By Your grace, miracles are performed in Jesus' name. By Your love, we are protected from evil. And so, we ask with humility and a beggar's heart for Your gift of Charity within us.

The great charity of all the the host of Saints is only made possible by your power, Oh Divine Spirit. Increase in me, the virtue of charity that I may love as God loves with the selflessness of the Saints.

Amen.

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.

O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly…