Sunday, July 31, 2011

We Are Alive

VEE: Sheesh this place is neglected. DS go update something :P Where to start? At the beginning I guess ...on my way to Texas I saw this at my transit airport:

DS: This was started back when VEE was on her way to visit me. Its been more than a week now, and we haven't posted as much as we'd like. Well, it is our first meeting, and it has been one event after another. Lotz of fun had by the both of us, and we are still not through!

Just to comment on the picture VEE posted above ...that's a Nashie, not one of my Ann Arbor Dominicans. Catching a Dominican out in the world is like spotting a rare bird in the wilderness! I love it!

VEE: Blecck OPS <_<

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


I think we should have a secret handshake as picturered above.  Thursday at noon we shall see what happens! :D

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Peace and Pride


I love this prayer of St Francis as I slowly see the depth in it. I used to read it and be like "meh" but gradually it is sinking in and in particular the second half.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
My problem is Im selfish and I want to be consoled, understood, and loved. by others even though as Teresa of Avila says "God alone suffices" which He does. He has everything Id ever need as He is Love etc itself yet I still feel the sting when other people dont treat me as I think they should. It is pride and I know it so to counter it I like this prayer of St Francis as well as the litany of humility found here
I also find images of the Passion helpful in remembering who needs to be consoled, understood, and loved first. Him. I mope over wounded pride yet He bore the sins of humanity and I think Im suffering most? Sheesh! I dont know how God puts up with us, or at least me.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel!


♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

What is there to say except we love our Mama!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bl Kateri Tekakwitha

VEE: Today is the feast of Bl Kateri Tekakwitha and while I had heard her name many times I had not read about her until today. I was not altogether surprised to learn she died at the age of 24, I tend to be more surprised when saints (and blesseds) make it out of their 20s! While reading this article, it reminded me of another I had read in my diocesan paper. What gets on my nerves is the mis-representation or misuse, or something, of Bl Kateri in conjunction with American Indian culture.

In an article titled "Celebrating Bl Kateri and the Medicine Wheel" I read about a parish retreat that was led by two Sisters, based on the teachings of the Ojibway medicine wheel with other ceremonies of hand drumming and smudging also included. The article says nothing about oh I dont know... Bl Kateri and the cross, or Bl Kateri and the Eucharist, or that Jesus guy?

From the CNA article about her life

The life of the Mohawk village had become violent and debauchery was commonplace. Realizing that this was proving too dangerous to her life and her call to perpetual virginity, Kateri escaped to the town of Caughnawaga in Quebec, near Montreal, where she grew in holiness and devotion to the Blessed Sacrament.

Kateri lived out the last years of her short life here, practicing austere penance and constant prayer. She was said to have reached the highest levels of mystical union with God, and many miracles were attributed to her while she was still alive.

Jesus, the cross, the Eucharist, the Rosary, all transcend cultures, they are universal they are Catholic and it is in them people will understand themselves, and find healing and life. This is what Bl Kateri knew and followed not the religious practices of her tribe.

In Bl Kateri I also think young women, especially young American Indian women, can be taught and find a model of chastity and purity when so many of them become pregnant and/or sexually active at a young age. In her they can see hope and an example even when it means going against the grain. Retreats and seminars need to be taught on this kind of thing and forget the darn medicine wheel.

DS: Bl. Kateri was born in what is today New York state. When she was only a small child, she lost her family to smallpox. She herself was affected physically from the disease. It left her disfigured in her face and with limited eyesight. Her very name, "Tekakwitha" means "she who bumps into things." (Vee says, if she had an Indian name, it would mean, "she who drinks beer." :P)

VEE: (and if DS had an Indian name it would be "hole in head")

DS: <_< Anyways---

When Kateri was a teenager, she converted to Catholicism. Unfortunately, Kateri suffered greatly from the others in her family and her tribe when they persecuted her for her Christian beliefs. She even received death threats. She moved to Canada, to a settlement of Christian Indians. There, she lived out the rest of her short live in prayer, piety, works of charity and devotion to God. She died from the ravages of disease. She is known as "the lily of the Mohawks."

You can find more about her on her shrine's website:

To address the abuse of inculturation Vee mentioned, I want to direct readers to take the time to actually read the Vatican II document, "Sacrosanctum Concilium." Inculturation was never meant to include pagan beliefs and pagan rituals as legitimate forms of worshipping God. A person's cultural practices need to conform to the teachings of Jesus Christ. It is the Christian view and understanding that takes precedence over a culture's traditions. If Bl. Kateri could be here, she would have opposed the use of the teachings of the Medicine Wheel at a Christian retreat. The document can be found here: Although it addresses the Mass, we can easily deduce that the same directives should be used in all aspects of our Faith, and the spreading of the Faith.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


He is God and I am not.
That is the short answer on why I go to Adoration even on vacation, because any time is Adoration time. He is Truth, Love, Beauty, Hope, etc. and without Him I am sin, misery, foulness and evil. In His compassion and mercy He allows me to sit in His presence, a presence that in the Old Testament would kill anyone who looked at Him. Remember the Ark of the Covenant? Now, however, thanks to Mary's "yes" which counters Eve's "no" I who am nothing can sit before He who is everything. At Mass, if I am in a state of grace, He even comes to me body, blood, soul, and divinty. I can consume my God and in turn He consumes me and gives me worth, value, and life. So fully does He permit me to enter His presence that my miserable sinful self becomes one with God and what else is there? Is there anything better I could be doing? Even if I am on vacation that doesnt mean a vacation from my Lord and God. I left Him before in my life, God forbid I ever do that again! Without Him it is not really life for He is God and I am not.

Pope Benedict came out with the following:

Pontiff: Don't Forget the Gospel When Packing for Vacation
VATICAN CITY, JULY 3, 2011 ( When packing for vacation this summer, leave space in your suitcase for the Gospel, Benedict XVI urges.

The Pope said this today when greeting those gathered in St. Peter's Square today to pray the midday Angelus. Speaking in French, the Holy Father offered a brief reflection on summer vacation.

Vacation, he explained, "it's not about leaving for the sake of leaving and resting, but rather it's about living our relationships with our loved ones in a new way with God."

He noted that the Gospel passage for this Sunday (Matthew 11: 25-30), which speaks of the yoke of Christ, points out to us the need for "rest and serenity."

"Jesus invites us to come to him, to trust him," the Pope added. "Faith in his presence gives us the serenity of one who knows he is always loved by the Father."

"Place an emphasis on reading God's Word, especially the Gospel, which you are sure to put in your holiday luggage," Benedict XVI concluded. "Good pilgrimage to all!"

In English, the Pope added: "At this time of year when so many of you are taking your annual holiday, I pray that you will truly find refreshment for body and spirit and an opportunity to rest in the Lord. May God bestow his blessings of joy and peace upon all of you, and upon your families and loved ones at home."

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Weight of the World. The Weight of the Cross

DS: I love this picture. I believe it is the superior of the Missionaries of Charity here in the States. She seems to have the world on her shoulders...

...and so, her hands are clasped tightly as she prays...

No doubt, she is imploring the assistance of her Spouse? The One who teaches us, "Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your selves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

I could never understand these words from Scripture. What is the Lord trying to tell us? Take from Him his yoke?? His yoke is easy?? But he was brutally crucified! His "yoke" was a heavy wooden cross! What exactly is He trying to tell us? I finally came to understand, when one night I had a dream ...

My mother had just passed away. I found myself sinking in a mire of exhaustion and anguish. I felt no comfort. I felt no hope. I felt all alone. As I did for many a night after her passing, I fell asleep weeping in my bed. One night, I fell into a deep sleep. I began to dream. I dreamt I was standing on a dusty road, and coming toward me was Jesus Christ, carrying His cross. He beckoned me to come to Him and I did. He placed one beam on my shoulders and whispered to me, "If you suffer without love, you will feel the full weight of the cross. SUFFER WITH LOVE, and your burden will become light." The cross was a little heavy at first, but then it became light. I wanted nothing more than to stay here, close to Jesus, carrying the cross.

When life brings us down, and we feel the full weight of the world---our problems, our anxieties, our fears, our concerns for family and loved ones ...we need remember to not suffer in bitterness, not in self-pity, not in despair, but suffer like the One who suffered for us all: with great love and with a purpose...

VEE: Ah to suffer with love and He who is Love... This reminds me of the homily at my parish this past Sunday where the deacon said something along the lines of "if we feel we are being crushed by our burdens then we are trying to carry too much on our own." A yoke is for two animals and likewise Christ's yoke, His cross is for two people you and Him. Even He didnt carry it alone, remember Simon of Cyrene? Jesus doesn't expect us to go it alone! He is always there for it takes two to carry a cross.

I've never been in the military but have heard that the training exercises are intentionally made to be done as a team and one cannot complete them alone. I think the Way of the Cross, the way that we each must take, is not meant to be completed alone either and when we forget that, we feel the weight. I once heard somewhere the following: " the cross without Christ is a curse, the cross with Christ is a blessing."

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Vee: In a couple of weeks...

DS: It's about danged cotton-pickin' time

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

DS: Here in my part of Texas, fireworks are banned, so I thought I'd just put them here. When I think of the 4th of July, I think of fireworks, barbecue, the beach, picnics, my family, hot summer day, beer, hot dogs and apple pie ...

I think of all our soldiers in foreign lands, and I think of all those who have died making this country the greatest nation on earth. I'm a Patriot, and all I can say is ...these colors don't run!


VEE: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government..." I think the Declaration of Independence is one of the most beautiful things Ive ever read. Ive also seen it in person at the National Archives and must say it is right to be guarded that closely. Truly though it must be guarded in each of your hearts for that is where it matters most. I am grateful to God for what He has done with your country because its people love Him.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy Canada Day

St Joseph
Patron of Canada
pray for us

St. André Bessette
first locally born saint
pray for us

The North American Martyrs
pray for us

St. Jean de Brébeuf S.J martyr
pray for us

Labatt Blue, the finest Canadian beer, keep our thirsts quenched

DS: The only good that ever came outta Canada is hockey, beer and my best friend, Vee8! Happy Canada day!!!