Thursday, December 29, 2005

God Came So Close We Could Touch Him

I have been meditating on this image of God coming close to us in the incarnation. I have been parsing out how this worked itself out in the grand scheme of things. The Transcendent and all loving force that holds us into being wanted to be even closer to us, even more apparent to us than that, so he stooped down and humbled himself to be born of a woman, in human form. He became a little baby, with fingers and toes, breathing and crying and grasping and wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in the manger so that He could be a God that we could touch.

He became like us in all things except sin, so that we could learn to be like Him. He wanted to teach us how to be in relationship, so He showed us the way to live, and pray, and treat each other in the way He lived His life here on earth with us.

But then, when it was apparent that He wouldn't be able to stay here with us, He gave us an even greater gift. He gave us Himself in the Eucharist, so that even after He had died, been resurrected and ascended, we would still be able to touch Him, and become one with Him and have Him become a part of us.

When I sit in Eucharistic Adoration I think about how amazing it is that God is so close that I can reach out and touch Him. I am filled with awe in His presence.

I just wanted to share my thoughts with you all.


Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Yes Aquinas There is a Santa Claus

Or maybe someone went a little crazy at the end of term this semester over at

The Peeping Thomists. either way it is a fun read.


My Favorite Chritmas Gift

has to be a DVD of the movie Millions.

It is the sweet story of a young boy who is dealing with the death of his mother by living in the world of his imagination which is populated by the saints and martyrs that he loves to read about. He and his father and brother move to a new house and he comes into posession of a bag of money which he thinks has been sent to him by God. He tells his brother, and the rest of the movie is a wonderful tale of how the money complicates their lives.

The acting is really great, the story is charming and the entire experience was just a lot of fun.

But you don't have to take my word for it, here is Sr Rose's review as well.


Tuesday, December 27, 2005

SNL's Chronic-What?-cles of Narnia!!

With a great big kiss to mrangelmeg who saw this on SNL (way past my bed time) and then found it on the internet for me. I hope you all enjoy it as much as we did.


Sunday, December 25, 2005

Another Reason Why I Love B16

From his Urbi et Orbi address on Christmas:

men and women in our technological age risk becoming victims of their own intellectual and technical achievements, ending up in spiritual barrenness and emptiness of heart." "That is why it is so important for us to open our minds and hearts to the Birth of Christ, this event of salvation which can give new hope to the life of each human being," he explained. . . .

"May the birth of the Prince of Peace remind the world where its true happiness lies; and may our hearts be filled with hope and joy, for the Savior has been born for us." ZE05122505

Merry Christmas to you all, from an ailing angelmeg,


Friday, December 23, 2005

The Gift no one Wants at Christmas

I can't deny it any longer, I am getting a cold. I can feel the little viral invaders running amok in my system as I try to barrel through all the things I need to do to get the Christmas plans organized so that I can make dinner for mrangelmeg's mom, sister, brother-in-law, nephews and niece-in-law, and our angelkids tomorrow. I am fighting a losing battle with these little buggers.

I am so tired I can barely stay awake and I haven't even begun to make tonight's dinner, let alone prep stuff for tomorrow night's meal. I think the more prudent thing for me to do at this point is to admit defeat and call out the reserves. I may have to ask for help from the kids to get things in order.

Luckily my oldest two already took the angelbaby out to do the last bit of her Christmas shopping, so I could stay home and medicate myself. Mrangelmeg came home and started right in on the dishes (I love a man who isn't afraid to pitch in around the house). I have been trying to pick up here and there the last few days, so we are really in not bad shape.

Who am I kidding, it will take a minor miracle to get everything done on time. I may have to call in the:

white tornado

(otherwise known as my sainted mother-in-law) to come over early tomorrow and help out with the dinner preparation. I know she won't mind at all. She shows her love by cleaning and I have learned after all these years to humbly accept her love by letting her do it.

To think back in the old days I used to get offended when she cleaned my house. Now I pray that it happens more often. Tomorrow it will be the greatest Christmas gift she could give me, and may just save the feast.


Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Maggie's Papal Wardrobe Lesson for the day

Now, just so those of you who aren't in the know, don't go thinking B16 went all Santa for the holidays, have you ever heard of a Camauro? That would be the natty hat that B16 is sporting in this Reuters News Service picture (Vatican December 21, 2005. REUTERS/Alessia Pierdomenico)

This is an old traditional papal garment. It hasn't been worn in a while, but I must say he looks resplendent in it.

What do you suppose we will be seeing next? I for one can't wait to find out.

Thanks to Rocco at Whispers in the Loggia for the heads up, pardon the pun on this one.


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Joke for the day

A man in Phoenix calls his son in New York the day before Christmas and says,"I hate to ruin your day, but I have to tell you that your mother and I are divorcing; forty-five years of misery is enough."

"Pop, what are you talking about?" the son screams. We can't stand the sight of each other any longer," the father says. "We're sick of each other, and I'm sick of talking about this, so you call your sister in Chicago and tell her."

Frantic, the son calls his sister, who explodes on the phone. "Like heck they're getting divorced," she shouts, "I'll take care of this'"

She calls Phoenix immediately, and screams at her father, "You are NOT getting divorced. Don't do a single thing until I get there. I'm calling my brother back, and we'll both be there tomorrow. Until then,don't do a thing, DO YOU HEAR ME?" and hangs up.

The old man hangs up his phone and turns to his wife. "Okay," he says,"they're coming for Christmas and paying their own way."


Comment problem should be all fixed.

Thanks to all two of my loyal readers I have been made aware of a problem with the settings on the comments section of my blog that was blocking everyone's ability to leave witty comments.

I was beginning to wonder if anyone was bothering to read my blog anymore, since I hadn't had a comment in weeks. Now I think I have it fixed, so you should be able to comment away.

So, just to make sure, if you read this let's do a little experiment. I have always wanted to try this:

In the comment box type the letters that show up in the word verification section: it will be just like a mini typing test, and should be a lot of fun.

I have often gotten some that looked like words in foreign languages. I will do the first one as an example.


Monday, December 19, 2005

Christmas Blessings

I am so blessed. I have a patient and loving husband who has been supportive of everything I have had to endure both physically and emotionally in the past 23 years. I have five of the most wonderful children who amaze me every day with their compassion and love for their fellow man.

I have many friends that I have known for years, and co workers who truly care about me. These people really enrich my life and remind me that God never intended me to be alone in this world.

I have very challenging work that allows me to share my love for God and my love of my Catholic faith every day. While I may have to leave this position in the next year I feel as sense of peace, that whatever the outcome, wherever I eventually go I will be doing it because it is God's will and not my own, or someone else's. That feeling is a great blessing as well. I know that as much as I will miss the work I am doing now, the future will be filled with great things if I am doing them with great joy for God.

I had parents who gave me a great start in life. While now I am experiencing the end of my mother's life, I am blessed that her faith sustained me in some of the darkest times, and now I can give back to her by sharing my faith to sustain her on this her final journey.

I have a large and scattered family of five sisters and three brothers who are, by the grace of God all still alive. While I complain, as recently as a few weeks ago about my relationship with them, I have very fond memories of growing up in this large loud family. I know that I am the person I am because of my brothers and sisters. I am saddened sometimes that we aren't closer, but that is as much my own fault as it is theirs.

I have a wonderful community that God has placed me in at St. Meinrad for Gradual School that at times is closer than family (and more annoying) and at times I need as much. I count on them for support and prayers and counsel.

I have bonded with a wonderful community of friends through the internet and blogging, that serve some of the same purposes. I know that they are praying for and with me as I make the big decisions in my life and as I navigate the changes ahead, and I count on their advise and support and love, and wisdom even when it isn't exactly what I want to hear.

I am blessed beyond comprehension, and I have peace in the face of what might be a very uncertain and very terrifying future, but because I have all of these blessings, I have a peace that surpasses all understanding that comes from God, who gave all these blessings to me.


Saturday, December 17, 2005

Bai MacFarlane writes:

I copied this verbatim from Mark Shea but I don't think he will mind:

Would ask your readers to do something to help protect children and dedicated spouses from routine no-fault divorce?

I need to find publishers and writers who want to inform readers about our current civil court challenge. We are working to protect marriage from no-fault divorce. I also need to find organizations who regularly invite speakers to address attendees, and radio/TV broadcasters whose listeners are displeased with the current divorce situation in this country. If you know anyone who fits this description, please contact me.

Law Professor, Steve Safranek, is challenging the constitutionality of no-fault divorce for those who had agreed to be married for life, in accordance with the guidelines of their church. For those who agreed to be seriously married, the civil courts don't have the authority to force a dedicated spouse to accept no-fault divorce. Many people agree to be married for life, and they understood they were not to separate, simply because one feels like it if he or she is unhappy. Seriously married people expect protection for those who are abandoned. If no-fault divorce was not a legal option, abandoners could be required to repair damage they cause by abandonment, and children could at least retain their home with the dedicated parent. Such abandoners might also consider reconciling, if divorce were not so easy and rewarding.

In the present no-fault divorce system, children are ordered to live on a rigid schedule visiting the abandoner - away from home. They are forced to live life going between two broken homes. In no-fault divorce, civil courts routinely prevent children from having day-to- day interaction with the dedicated, innocent spouse. Civil courts also routinely force stay-at-home moms to get work, putting children in day care, or force the dedicated parent to pay support, though he or she is no longer integrally involved with the upbringing of his or her children.

With his project, Safranek is appealing a no-fault divorce in Ohio.
It is my case. I was a dedicated, stay-at-home mom, and my husband abandoned me and petitioned the civil court for a no-fault divorce. The civil judge removed my children from me, and gave my husband full custody, and ordered me to pay him child support. No one testified that I had been a bad mother. Professor Safranek observed that the judge took my children away because I was a homeschooler and because I refused to teach my children that divorce didn't break our family. I also didn't want a court psychologist making parenting decisions for my children; so the judge took my children away altogether.

Please help us 'get the word out' regarding this important opportunity to protect children and dedicated spouses from no-fault divorce. Help us find more news media to cover this story.


Law Professor Safranek's website is

Safranek also founded Ave Maria Law School in Ann Arbor MI.To listen to excerpts from a recent interview, visit

To see existing news coverage, visit

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Maggie here,

I have been watching this case and it saddens me to see a woman being torn apart by the court system for doing exatcly what she felt called to do by her faith and her heart. I have so much compassion for Bai, she is constantly in my prayers now.


Thursday, December 15, 2005

St Mike of Chicago,

The unofficial feast day of St. Mike of Chicago is today, December 15th: my dad's birthday. My dad was a big man, who loved his kids and his wife and loved his job. He lived life so fully that even though we struggled with very little money growing up, we kids never knew how lean things really were.

My dad came from the mean streets of Chicago. He and his two younger brothers grew up and could have just as easily become hoodlums as college kids (in fact one of my uncles was pretty lawless there for a while). But dad found a way to channel his energy, get a good education and go to college: he played football. He played football for De la Salle High School in Chicago, a very prestigious Catholic prep school. They gave him a full scholarship. After high school and a stint in the Coast Guard during World War II he played College football for St. Ambrose. He told me once that football was the gift God gave him to show him a way to get an education.

In College, he was studying to be a priest until in his words " I found out just how soft women really were." I think actually it was until he saw my mom across an all male college campus. Mom worked in the registrar's office there, her father was a French and Spanish professor.

My dad and mom got married the fall of dad's Senior year in college, and he quit playing football, much to the dismay of his coaches. He was afraid that he might injure himself and not be able to support my mom and their future children. He took his Philosophy degree and went into teaching.

Speaking of future children, there were nine of us in 13 years. But sadly, ten years after my younger brother was born dad died of a brain tumor. The last three years of his life were a horrible roller coaster ride of misdiagnoses and misunderstandings and humbling experiences, as he was told that he had everything from emotional problems to thyroid disorders. His hearty healthy frame wasted away, and he died a mere shell of a man.

I loved my father. He gave me the gift of my faith. A love for old movies, and good literature. He told the greatest corny jokes, and could whistle so loud you could hear it blocks away. We couldn't go anywhere in town without running into someone that he knew, or had taught, or had coached. He was just so well liked.

Even now, 35 years after he died, I still talk to him. I wish he had been around to meet mrangelmeg. I think he would have approved, they are a lot alike, they both like to watch football on television, they both love to play golf, and they both love the Catholic faith more than anything in this world.

So, today is the day to raise a glass of beer to St. Mike, the German Irish Saint of the half-time nap.

We miss you down here, but we know you are still keeping an eye on us.


Tuesday, December 13, 2005

I Have Lived Down Here Too Long

Gashwin had a link to this quiz which says that my dialect is

gasp, I can't believe it

60% Dixie, (barely in the southern range, but Dixie nonetheless)

What happened to my Northern Illinois born and bred childhood dialect? Swept away by nearly 30 years of living in Southern Indiana.


Soon I'll be saying Y'all

I got tagged by Mark Mossa. Go to this website and type in: top 100 Songs,and the year you graduated from high school and a list of the top 100 from that year will come up. Then you bold the ones you loved, and italics the ones you hated. It brings back memories, and makes you feel old, because they play them on the classic stations. Hey Thanks a lot Mark!

Well, here goes nothing:

Top 100 Songs of 1978
1.Shadow Dancing, Andy Gibb
2. Night Fever, Bee Gees didn’t like the bee gees or Saturday Night Fever
3. You Light Up My Life, Debby Boone
4. Stayin' Alive, Bee Gees
5. Kiss You All Over, Exile
6. How Deep Is Your Love, Bee Gees
7. Baby Come Back, Player
8. (Love Is) Thicker Than Water, Andy Gibb (BIG Andy Gibb fan)
9. Boogie Oogie Oogie, A Taste Of Honey
10. Three Times A Lady, Commodores
11. Grease, Frankie Valli amazingly this is the only song from Grease that I like
12. I Go Crazy, Paul Davis
13. You're The One That I Want, John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John
14. Emotion, Samantha Sang
15. Lay Down Sally, Eric Clapton
16. Miss You, Rolling Stones
17. Just The Way You Are, Billy Joel (BIG Billy Joel fan too)
18. With A Little Luck, Wings
19. If I Can't Have You, Yvonne Elliman (we used to change the lyric to say If I can’t have you I’’ take anybody baby)
20. Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah), Chic

21. Feels So Good, Chuck Mangione ( loved jazz, even then)
22. Hot Child In The City, Nick Gilder
23. Love Is Like Oxygen, Sweet
24. It's A Heartache, Bonnie Tyler
25. We Are The Champions / We Will Rock You, Queen (Queen was a right of passage,)
26. Baker Street, Gerry Rafferty

27. Can't Smile Without You, Barry Manilow
28. Too Much, Too Little, Too Late, Johnny Mathis and Deniece Williams (Loved Jonny Mathis but this title said it all, )
29. Dance With Me, Peter Brown
30. Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad, Meat Loaf
31. Jack And Jill, Raydio
32. Take A Chance On Me, Abba
33. Sometimes When We Touch, Dan Hill
34. Last Dance, Donna Summer
35. Hopelessly Devoted To You, Olivia Newton-John
36. Hot Blooded, Foreigner
37. You're In My Heart, Rod Stewart
38. The Closer I Get To You, Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway
39. Dust In The Wind, Kansas (still have bad flashbacks from the retreat where this was the communion reflection song, some poor liturgist is still spinning in his/her grave)
40. Magnet And Steel, Walter Egan
41. Short People, Randy Newman
42. Use Ta Be My Girl, O'Jays
43. Our Love, Natalie Cole
44. Love Will Find A Way, Pablo Cruise
45. An Everlasting Love, Andy Gibb
46. Love Is In The Air, John Paul Young
47. Goodbye Girl, David Gates
48. Slip Slidin' Away, Paul Simon
49. The Groove Line, Heatwave
50. Thunder Island, Jay Ferguson
51. Imaginary Lover, Atlanta Rhythm Section
52. Still The Same, Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band (my freshman roommate at college fell asleep every night to Bob Seger, I learned to hate his music after about a month)
53. My Angel Baby, Toby Beau
54. Disco Inferno, Trammps
55. On Broadway, George Benson
56. Come Sail Away, Styx
57. Back In Love Again, L.T.D.
58. This Time I'm In It For Love, Player
59. You Belong To Me, Carly Simon
60. Here You Come Again, Dolly Parton
61. Blue Bayou, Linda Ronstadt
62. Peg, Steely Dan
63. You Needed Me, Anne Murray
64. Shame, Evelyn "Champagne" King
65. Reminiscing, Little River Band
66. Count On Me, Jefferson Starship
67. Baby Hold On, Eddie Money
68. Hey Deanie, Shaun Cassidy
69. Summer Nights, John Travolta and Olivia Newton-john still love to sing this one at karaoke nights
70. What's Your Name, Lynyrd Skynyrd
71. Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue, Crystal Gayle
72. Because The Night, Patti Smith
73. Every Kinda People, Robert Palmer
74. Copacabana, Barry Manilow
75. Always And Forever, Heatwave
76. You And I, Rick James
77. Serpentine Fire, Earth, Wind and Fire
78. Sentimental Lady, Bob Welch
79. Falling, LeBlanc and Carr
80. Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood, Santa Esmeralda
81. Bluer Than Blue, Michael Johnson
82. Running On Empty, Jackson Browne
83. Whenever I Call You "Friend", Kenny Loggins
84. Fool (If You Think It's Over), Chris Rea
85. Get Off, Foxy
86. Sweet Talking Woman, Electric Light Orchestra
87. Life's Been Good, Joe Walsh
88. I Love The Night Life, Alicia Bridges
89. You Can't Turn Me Off (In The Middle Of Turning Me On), High Inergy
90. It's So Easy, Linda Ronstadt
91. Native New Yorker, Odyssey
92. Flashlight, Parliament
93. Don't Look Back, Boston
94. Turn To Stone, Electric Light Orchestra

95. I Can't Stand The Rain, Eruption
96. Ebony Eyes, Bob Welch
97. The Name Of The Game, Abba
98. We're All Alone, Rita Coolidge
99. Hollywood Nights, Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band see # 52
100. Deacon Blues, Steely Dan


Monday, December 12, 2005

What He Said!

Mark Mossa SJ has a post of my favorite prayer of all time:

Nothing is more practical than finding God,
that is, than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.

It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you will do with your evenings, how you will spend your weekends,
what you read, who you know,
what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.

Fall in love, stay in love and it will decide everything.
- Pedro Arupe SJ

Go here to see his beautiful graphic, and read the comments from his faithful readers.


Narnia Roars!

Three of my children and I spent the afternoon yesterday in marina with Lucy, Susan Edmund and Peter. What a magical experience it was. From the first visual of the movie we were in the world we had anticipated so anxiously.

Everything about this movie was so beautifully and lovingly set upon the screen. From the anxiety of the London air raids to the tension between Edmund and Peter.

The Christian imagery was carefully preserved, and I will admit that I was in tears for most of the scenes between Aslan and the children. The battle sequences were masterfully filmed, and the character development was very carefully fleshed out.

If you loved the books you will love the movie. If you haven't yet read the books, go ahead and see the movie. I would warn you to bring tissue though, because if you are anything like me, you will cry.


This is So Cool!

Click here for a way cool Advent Calendar.

I know I am a bit late sharing this, but better late than never. Thanks St Margaret Mary's Parish in Naperville Illinois.

BTW: My real name is Margaret Mary. A little known fact about me is that until I was ten I believed that the Church had named a Saint after me. I was crushed to learn that she had actually lived centuries before I was even born.


Saturday, December 10, 2005

Thanks for the Reminder

I was having a very bad day today. I didn't get much sleep last night and the workshop I was in wasn't going as well as I would have liked. I was really getting pretty down when I took a trip to the bathroom.

What I saw just made my day.

There is a tag in my underwear that is there to remind me that I shouldn't try to iron them. Whew, I can cross that little task off of my to-do list.

I am not sure why, but seeing that tag just gave me the giggles and broke my mood and reminded me that God can bring joy into my life in the most unexpected ways.

God is good, all the time.


Tuesday, December 06, 2005

I Confess . . .

I never get tagged with the cool meme's. so I am going to steal this one from The Anchoress because I feel the need to confess at least twice a year anyway.

I confess that I haven't been eating as well as my Dr. Would like for me to, but I have been losing weight. Which is a really nice trade off, but has more to do with the silly medicine than it does with my diet. And exercise? Forget about it. I really do need to start taking better care of myself.

I confess that I wish I were better at keeping my house in order than I am. It seems as though my excuse of being so busy isn't fair to mrangelmeg and the kids. Just once I would like to have all the laundry caught up and a nice meal on the table instead of hamburger helper and piles of unmatched socks.

I confess I would rather get sick over Christmas, than have to spend time with my siblings. I hate to say this, but I really do prefer the two state buffer rule when it comes to most of my family of origin.

I confess that as much as I love hearing Latin sung in church, I really do like some of the stuff from the 70's and 80's better than I do chant.

I confess that I actually cry at those sappy Christmas commercials, you know, like the Folgers one where the kid comes home from college and he and his little sister make coffee to wake up the rest of the family. I cry even harder at the Hallmark ones.

I confess that my biggest fear is that I will never be as good a writer as I would like to be be.

I confess that I am still so shy that even now, three years into Gradual School I get sick to my stomach every new semester at the thought of having to start a new class and meet new people and new teachers.

I confess that I am so paranoid about going to confession to a priest who knows me that I almost never go in my own deanery. I take advantage of the opportunity to go to confession every time I go out of town for work or school or any reason where they offer private confessions, so that I won't have to go back home. How silly is that?

I confess that I am much more purposeful at the thought of organized prayer than I am at the practice of it. I have the Liturgy of the Hours books, but I get around to reading them about once a week. I carry a rosary with me all the time, but say the rosary about once a month. I much prefer just talking to God than doing anything with structure.

I confess that I am head over heals in love with my kids. I don't pretend to understand them in the slightest, and they drive me batty. And yet, just when I think I have had all I can take, they will do something that will remind me what special creatures God made them to be, and I stand in awe of each one of them. I suppose that is a good thing since it appears as though we will have them living with us until the third millennium at the rate they are maturing.

As for passing this on, since I stole it, anyone who wants it can have it.


Monday, December 05, 2005

WOW! You have to experience


Thanks Tony for the awesome link.


Sunday, December 04, 2005

Musical Meditation

There have been some feathers flying at Catholic Pillow Fight over the appropriateness of certain styles of liturgical music, and specific songs in particular. One specific song that someone in the com box mentioned has always held a very special place in my heart, and I have been thinking about it a lot today, because they were supposed to sing it for the Rite of Welcome at my parish this morning, but more on that in a minute.

I have been pregnant seven times. The first five times I had what could only be termed near death experiences with hyper emesis (which means that I up-chucked all day every day for the first four months of every pregnancy). I spent over two weeks in the hospital during two of my pregnancies trying to keep from getting dehydrated, and find a way to keep some food and water down, so that I could maintain pregnancies.

Two of those first five pregnancies ended in miscarriage, which had nothing to do with the hyper emesis, but still added to my tension around being in the early stages of pregnancy.

I was always trying to find ways to get any kind of food to stay down in those early months without being sick. I finally had to give in and take anti nausea drugs, but even getting those down was a struggle. I came up with a solution when I found that if I took them with Country Time Lemonade, for some reason they seemed to stay down. So I would get up every morning and take an anti nausea pill with a glass of Country Time Lemonade and then go back to bed for a half hour, praying to St. Gerard that it would stay down, so that I could get up and live a sort of normal life for the rest of the day.

After the pill began to work, I could eat a little bit, and food tasted wonderful. I began to understand what the Israelites must have felt like in the wilderness when they ate the manna that God sent them. They could taste and see that the Lord was good.

After those experiences, when I would hear that song in Church it always had a special place in my heart because I had been without food, and knew what the psalmist meant.

I suppose that what I am trying to say is that just because you don't like a particular song, doesn't mean that it doesn't have some very deeply spiritual meaning for someone else. Only a real snob would say that her or his type or style of music is the only one that is suitable with which one can praise God.

We are many parts, but we are all one body. We all have gifts to share, if you don't like a particular song, don't sing along.


Saturday, December 03, 2005

St. Blog's Population Explosion

I love babies.

Christine of Hot Carmel Sundae is awaiting the birth of a child, Maureen Martin recently let us all know that she and her husband are expecting, and now Der Tommissar and his wife are expecting. It appears that St. Blog's Parish will need to expand it's cry room really soon.

Considering that our "baby' is now 9 years old, and out second youngest will be 16 on the 6th of this month, I am beginning to get a little nostalgic at the thought of having a newborn around. I was thinking just the other day that I would love to have another baby. And, to be honest, if I looked deeply into my heart, I would have another baby in a heartbeat. Unfortunately for me, that heartbeat would most assuredly be mrangelmeg's last one, because when I told him of the blessed event, he would keel over of a heart attack.

No, I am only kidding. I am much, much too old to even consider something as foolish as having another baby of my own. I suppose I will have to be content to wait patiently until the (many years from now when my children are old enough and married to their soulmates and have ) grandchildren.



Friday, December 02, 2005

Lark Alert

The New Issue of Lark is out.

Get ready to laugh at ourselves.


Thursday, December 01, 2005

Supreme Court's Abortion Case

The Supreme Court is hearing a case on Abortion Rights. Really what the Supreme Court is hearing is a case which is going to determine if anyone has the right to do invasive surgery on an underage female child without notifying her parents. This is ridiculous for two reasons.

1) a girl at this age can't even get her ears pierced without parental consent, and yet abortion providers want permission to do surgery without telling her parents

2) if a child of this age is pregnant someone abused her, and that person should be at least investigated by the police.

NOW says this is all about keeping abortion safe and legal. I say this is all about keeping children safe from unnecessary harm. Some crime has already been committed, don't compound that crime by forcing her into an abortion which will leave her with emotional scars that will never heal.

As a parent this case has me screaming inside. Some women's organization wants to tell my daughter that they know what is right for her, without my knowledge or consent. I am praying so hard on this one. Please join me in storming heaven so that the judges will see the hypocrisy of the argument in the NOW case.


Statehouse Prayers

Only in Indiana does the Statehouse have the guts to pass a rule telling the visiting chaplains that when they come to pray in front of the houses of government here that they should refrain from speaking of Jesus, or other specifically religious persons by name.

Next they will ask them to refrain from praying to God. Let's hope it will be okay to pray to the great transcendent Other. But Other forbid they should mention a specific deity by name, because that might offend someone.

Lordy, Lordy, where are we headed? We will not be free to worship, we will be banned from worshiping. There is a difference.


Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Thomas Grows Up, and I Got an A Woo Hoo

In another bit of shameless self promotion I am going to remind you all about this post from last August. I had just realized that even though I thought I was going to get away with not having to take a class in Thomas Merton in Gradual School, God was making sure that I was still going to have to study Merton anyway. Why? I am still wondering that myself.

Anyway, after a grueling semester reading about Tommy Boy my final assignment was to write a paper discussing aspects of Christian Maturity from the book using what I had learned in the class. I tell you, that paper had me terrified. I started it three, no four times really. I just couldn't get a handle on how to get old Tommy Boy through adolescence. So, I decided to make that my thesis.

The Long Adolescence of Thomas Merton was the title of my paper. My thesis was that his early life was so odd, that he went into adolescence with no coping skills and it took him forever to navigate and complete the tasks necessary to actually move on to adulthood.

Anyway I submitted my paper on Sunday afternoon, and begged my professor to be in a magnanimous mood when he graded it. Without patting myself on the back too much I do want to share a few lines from the email I received with my grade (a 94% Woo Hoo!)

You did a very nice job of narrowing your focus and sticking to it. Consequently, you write with some nice clarity and depth on the subject. You have clearly given your paper a lot of thought and effort. It's gratifying for me to read that you have learned a lot.

pat pat pat

okay I will stop patting myself on the back now. I did learn a lot in that class. In fact I think it was one of the best I have taken so far in Gradual School. But, I am so glad that I am done with Mr. Merton's long adolescence. Goodbye dear Thomas.


Sunday, November 27, 2005

Blessed Advertisementide

The Curt Jester is at it again.

This time he is skewering the all out advertisement blitz that advent has turned into.
I can't wait to make my own Advertisement wreath.


Birthday MEME for Mrangelmeg

Because right now I want to do just about anything but finish my paper for Gradual School

due tonight at midnight (tick tock tick tock)

Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.

Mark 6:21 She had an opportunity one day when Herod, on his birthday, gave a banquet for his courtiers, his military officers, and the leading men of Galilee.

Luke 6:21 Blessed are you who are now hungry, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who are now weeping, for you will laugh.

John 6:21 They wanted to take him into the boat, but the boat immediately arrived at the shore to which they were heading.

So there you go mrangelmeg, where your treasure is there also will be your heart who will throw you a party where you will be satisfied and laugh and get where you are going!!

Not a bad birthday message!

I love you.

Now back to work, waaaaaah!


The Good News About the First Sunday of Advent

What I say to you, I say to all: (Watch!)
This is the message for the first Sunday of Advent, the time of the church year when we prepare the way for the coming of the Christ child at Christmas. It is also the message for the second coming of Jesus. Jesus will come in a blinding flash, the blink of an eye the next time. Not like the first time when He came in a manger in a little town far away. The next time we will all have to be ready for Jesus before He comes. There will be no time to get ready after he arrives.
Have you ever stayed up to watch a meteor shower? They always seem to happen in the middle of the night, when I am very tired. If you aren't careful you may fall asleep and miss the best ones streaking across the sky. Missing Jesus' return would be a lot worse than missing a falling star. We need to be prepared every moment of every day for the judgment that will come when Jesus returns.

Family Car Chat (for the ride home) What are some things I can do each day to make sure that I am ready for Jesus' return? How can my family (community) help me to be ready?

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Shameless Self Promotion: Take 3

Hereditas Magazine has finally recovered from the terrifying hurricane season that nearly destroyed the spirits of all the wonderful Catholic writers who contribute to this amazing Literary endeavor with the never say die spirit.

If you click on the Link above you can see the online teaser for the Fall issue, which is really the recovered summer issue that was nearly swept away by Katrina and Rita.

The teaser for my particular article, a theological reflection on how the Blessed Mother's relationship with Jesus, her adult son helped me to learn to transition into an adult relationship with my own son, can be found at this link. It is called Who is My Mother? and is found second to last on the page.

If you would like to order a copy of the magazine so you can read the entire article, you can find ordering information at this link. Consider it a donation toward their rebuilding fund.

I hope you enjoy the entire magazine. I can't wait to see it when my copy gets here.


Indie Flicks! That's Me.

The Movie Of Your Life Is An Indie Flick
You do things your own way - and it's made for colorful times.Your life hasn't turned out how anyone expected, thank goodness!
Your best movie matches: Clerks, Garden State, Napoleon Dynamite
If Your Life Was a Movie, What Genre Would It Be?

Thanks to Joel at On the Other Foot


I Stole a Tag for this MEME

With permission from Tony at Catholic Pillow Fight

Look up the Gospel references for your Birthday:

Matthew 3:17 And a voice came from the heavens, saying, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."

Mark 3:17 James, son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James, whom he named Boanerges, that is, sons of thunder;

Luke 3:17 His winnowing fan is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."

John 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.

A very masculine message. Oh well

By the way, That's March 17th, just in case you were thinking of getting me a birthday gift. Yes you saw that correctly March 17th, Saint Patrick's Day.

When I was born the Dr. told my mom she should call me Patrick in honor of the day. I think our family Dr. Was a bit of a lush. Mom raised herself up on her elbows and asked him (in her most polite voice, of course) if he had in fact passed basic anatomy in Med School, because, he was at the time, holding a female child.

So, I ended up with a beautiful Irish lass first name, to go with my dad's German last name. But I fixed that by marrying mrangelmeg, whose last name sounds Irish, even if it probably isn't.


Oh I almost forgot to pass along the meme, Since I stole it from Tony I guess I should just let someone steal it from me.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

I am making my very favorite thing this holiday . . .



Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Being a Parent Can Really Teach You A lot . . .

About God's Unconditional Love.

Our beloved oldest daughter came home from College for Thanksgiving with a piercing right under her lip in the middle of her chin! I looked at her with stunned awe. $5000 in orthodontia we just spent on this child and she celebrates getting her braces off by marring her beautiful face by placing another piece of steel through her skin!

All I could think of as I seethed internally, was that God loves all my sinfulness and stubbornness. I should do everything I can to love her through this rebellious phase she is going through. We have lived through the orange hair, and the shaved head and the horrid rag picker fashion victim clothing choices.

To be really honest, my other thought was, at least she didn't get her tongue pierced.

I am still totally amazed at my ability to restrain my comments. Though I did offer to help her to remove the stud, which she did tell us that she no longer likes and wishes to remove, but it is on so tight that the cannot remove it on her own. Mrangelmeg offered her a pair of needlenose pliers to help in the removal.

I can't believe that we will have to look at it all weekend. Each time I look at (it, I mean) my lovely daughter, I will try to remember that God's love is unconditional, and mine for her can be too.

Pray for me, I am going to need it.


Tuesday, November 22, 2005

When God Speaks

Addenda: just yesterday I wrote this in my blog:

3) I am going to try to remember something mrangelmeg has been telling me for a while now: That is isn't always about me. I am going to try to live by this rule every day.

I really do intend to live by that rule, and it isn't always about me, but. . . sometimes it is:

I went to Mass tonight and God spoke to me in the first reading in a deeply personal way that was completely unexpected and almost brought me to tears. Especially considering all of the turmoil I have been going through in my work environment lately. The reading was from Hosea chapter 2 verses 16 and following.

* So I will allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak to her heart. From there I will give her the vineyards she had, and the valley of Achor as a door of hope. She shall respond there as in the days of her youth, when she came up from the land of Egypt.
* On that day, says the LORD, She shall call me "My husband," and never again "My baal." Then will I remove from her mouth the names of the Baals, so that they shall no longer be invoked. I will make a covenant for them on that day, with the beasts of the field, With the birds of the air, and with the things that crawl on the ground. Bow and sword and war I will destroy from the land, and I will let them take their rest in security.* I will espouse you to me forever: I will espouse you in right and in justice, in love and in mercy; I will espouse you in fidelity, and you shall know the LORD.

The really interesting thing about that is that if you look on the website for the USCCB, that isn't what was supposed to be the reading for today. It was supposed to be from Daniel. I suppose that there is some logical explanation for why at my parish this particular reading was the one that was chosen to be read on this particular day. I know why though, because God needed for me to hear these words, spoken by Him to me today when I was in distress.
God is so amazing, all the time.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Trinity Meme for the liturgical Year

I got tagged by Penni at Martha Martha on this one. What a great idea for the New Liturgical Year.

A Meme in Honor of the Blessed Trinity

Three things I am thankful to God for in the last year.

1) That I was able to be patient enough to listen to His call to me to change my major, and move into an entirely new course of study.

2) That our son's SSI benefits came through on appeal without having to resort to a lawyer and litigation, he is on his way to independence from us as an adult in this world.

3) That mrangelmeg got to get to know what my school environment is like, and that he got to hear me play my flute and sing at Mass at school.

Three ways I want to improve my relationship with God in the new year:

1) I am doing the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius with an internet group, and it has been very powerful

2) I have been waking up a short time before the alarm clock every morning, and I intend to begin reading morning prayer and the office of reading again each morning.

3) I am going to try to remember something mrangelmeg has been telling me for a while now: That is isn't always about me. I am going to try to live by this rule every day.

Three Friends I want to pass this on to:

Kevin, Suzanne , and Gashwin: Happy meme-ing

Peaceful Changes Ahead

It looks as though changing my major at Gradual School isn't the only change ahead for me. I won't be staying at my present parish after my contract year ends. There are some reorganizations going on, and I am uncomfortable with how things are looking in terms of the duties and the level of work that is going to be expected, as well as the work environment that I am finding since the pastoral change.

Since my retreat (Jesuit of course ) I have been holding it all lightly, whether I stayed at the parish or not, and when I was informed that my current contract would not be renewed, but I was more than welcomed to apply for the new position whatever it might be, I was pretty certain that it wasn't for me. After discussing it with mrangelmeg we both agree that it is time for me to move on.

There is such a sense of peace about my leaving there. Peace that comes from knowing that I am leaving not because of a decision I made, or the parish made, but because God decided that I should go at this time, in this way. I will complete this program year, and leave at the end of June.

Kevin at Romecoming, has been a great inspiration to me in this, though his transition is a bit more dramatic than mine, but as I have been discerning I have kept his courage in mind.

Who knows where I will end up, perhaps at another parish, perhaps I will be substitute teaching for a year or two until I complete my studies? It reminds me of the Merton prayer: Lord, I don't know where I am going . . . but oh the journey will be so amazing, so long as I know I am trying to do your will (well actually that last part was all mine.)

Keep me in your prayers.


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Good News About the Thirty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Click here for the Readings for Sunday November 20, 2005.

'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison,and not minister to your needs?

This week's Gospel story is the parable Jesus tells that challenges his followers to see Him in everyone they meet. If they do not (or choose not to) treat each person that they meet is if they are meeting Christ, and ministering to Christ, then; He tells them they are not doing His will.

Blessed Mother Teresa used to say that we must treat everyone we meet, even the most wretched beggar in the streets of Calcutta India, as if he were Christ. Are you willing to do this in your life? Are you willing to look into the face of the person in your week who causes you the most grief and irritation as if he or she is Christ? Are you willing to see the person who needs your time, when you don't have that time to give, as Christ needing your time?

Only when we are willing to forego our own needs and wants in order to do what others need, as if we are doing these things for Christ; only then can we truly begin to understand what God's unconditional love feels like.

Family Car Chat (for the ride home from church) Who is the most difficult person in my week for me to see as the face of Christ? How can my family help me to become more accepting, and helpful to that person, so that I can begin to see the face of Christ when I look at them?

It's Hip to be Square

a quote from Barb Nicolosi in this article about whether Christian dollars will save Hollywood gave me my laugh for the day:

Recently the entertainment TV show Inside Edition invited Nicolosi to be a guest. “When I first came [to Hollywood], I never thought I’d be on Inside Edition,” she confessed to the host before the show. “Didn’t you know?” he replied. “‘Christian’ is the new ‘gay.’”

Well it's nice to know we are good for something.

Thanks to Mark Shea for the link.


This Generation's Better Living Through Chemistry

This Article in the New York Times (You may have to register to view it, but the registration is free) is a bit frightening. The new generation knows exactly what it wants, paxil, prozac, no wait a minute, today I need a ritalin or two.

I guess what really scares me about this isn't the self medication, it is their sense of entitlement. Perhaps Huxley wasn't so far off in Brave New World, when his characters took pills to cure all their ills.

These young execs trade prescription drugs like they are sweaters they don't need anymore, and they seem to feel as though they know more than the medical community. I wonder if they realize that some drug dosages are based upon weight, so the pill that was the proper dose for a 210 lb man might be an overdose for a 115 lb woman? I wonder even if they care?

It also occurs to me that they probably don't care since the article says that they lie to their Dr's to get medications that they think they need. I am sure that their medical insurance is picking up the tab for the prescriptions as well. And we wonder why we are all paying so much for our prescription drugs.


Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Fun With Hamlet and Ophelia

Thanks to the Peeping Thomists I was linked to this wonderful rendition of Shakespeare's Hamlet for the early elementary set.

Just in case we are worried that their reading material at that age level isn't stimulating enough. After all, why should they wait until high school to have all that fun reading about murder and intrigue in the royal household?

What a total hoot!


Monday, November 14, 2005

The Good News About the Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sorry this is late, but I was sick last week and it was on my work computer and I didn't get back to the office till today. This week I will post it on Wednesday.

Link to the readings

"To everyone who has, more will be given to him and he will grow rich."
This Gospel of the talents is about using wisely the gifts we are given. If we simply bury our gifts and offer back to God only what He has given to us, what does that say about what they mean to us? God expects us to use the gifts He offers us to further His kingdom here on earth. The servant who buried his talents for fear of losing them thought he was being prudent. God asks us to step out in faith, and risk for the kingdom. If God gives us the talent to do something, and we keep that talent to ourselves, not sharing it to further His kingdom, then we are saying that that talent doesn't mean much to us. If on the other hand, we offer our gift to the world in service to the kingdom, then it will return to us and in some way we will be rewarded. If you have a lovely singing voice, but only sing at home, how can that voice ever praise God? If you sing in the church choir, your voice can praise God and other people will be inspired to praise God as well, and your gift will bring others closer to God. Knowing that you are bringing others closer to God will bless you richly.

Family Car Chat (for the ride home) what gift do I have that I am hording? How can I share my gift for the kingdom of God?

God's Gifts are So Simple

I was at Gradual School last weekend. Friday night I had a horrible dream. I woke up feeling terrible Saturday morning; still feeling the effects of the flu, and shaken from the dream. I decided that I probably needed to go to Mass more than I needed breakfast before class.

I don't usually go to Mass, because it gets out just about the time class starts, but we are lucky this semester because our professor is one of the Monks. As he told us the first weekend; "The Rule of St Benedict says to prefer nothing to Liturgy, so I don't prefer you." As a consequence, he shows up late for class on both Saturday and Sunday mornings in preference to his monastic liturgy schedule.

Anyway, I went to Mass on Saturday morning and got the most amazing gift from God; my friend David, a fellow student in my Gradual School program who graduated last May, has taken a place in the stall with the monks in the monastery! He told us this summer that he had discerned that he was ready to take this step some time this fall, but I had heard that the monastery had taken two postulants earlier and he wasn't one of them so I thought perhaps there had been a hitch.

I was so happy to see him there, a man (dressed in street clothes yet) among the monks. He looks like he is growing comfortable already. I can't wait to see him next month when I go back, because by then he will be wearing the habit of a postulant, and he will look even more as though he belongs in the stalls.

We are joking in our class that we need to get to work and come up with his monastic name, because he will submit three to the Abbot. We think it is our duty as his previous community to share in this transition by helping him to come up with is name. Some of the men in our program have been suggesting names like Thor and Flash . Well, you get the idea, we love David, and we want him to have the proper kind of name as he begins his monastic life.

I am so happy for David. It really makes me feel good that he is there, praying and working and living out God's call to him. And now even though he has graduated I will still get to see him when I go to Gradual school; if I get up and go to morning prayer that is.


Friday, November 11, 2005

Birth Control by Sperm Wrangling?

The Curt Jester has an astute article here about a new form of birth control from Serbia in which the sperm are shocked into submission, thus making them unmotile (is that a word) for up to ten days.

I would have hated to be the guys who had to be the testers, to see just how much shock it took to get the right effect. Don't expect to see the at home kit available in this country any time soon. Hey at least this is one the guy can take for the team.

There are just too many jokes here to choose from.

Maureen, Any thoughts?


Update on Results of CAT Scan

No contrary to popular rumor, they did not find a hair ball on my CAT Scan. What they did find was an ovarian cyst, praise God, which should resolve itself in just a short while and I should be back to my old cranky self.

Thanks to all of you who were praying for me as I waited for word on this. I am still having some pain, but it is subsiding, so perhaps the cyst is what is causing the pain.

Unfortunately just as I was finding out about that I came down with a bad case of the flu. right before my last weekend of class for the semeseter. So I am off to Gradual school feeling just horrible, but I have all my little medicines lined up and nice warm clothes to wear and I plan to take really good care of myself and not overdo it in the partying department (we tend to stay up late and drink a bit -- I heard that laugh -- when we get together).

So, while one malady is being resloved another is coming on. And so it goes.


Sunday, November 06, 2005

The Good News About The Thirty Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

But he said in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.’
In today's Gospel Jesus tells another parable about the importance of being prepared all the time, because we do not know the day or the hour of His second coming. The important message of the story isn't knowing, but being known. If someone were to look at your life, would they be able to tell that you are a Christian? Everything you do or say should be an example to others that you are a follower of Christ. You should live your life like the wise virgins in the story, prepared for the coming of the bridegroom. The most important person who must be able to recognize what your life is showing is Christ. When he does return will he look at you and say "I do not know you"?

Family Car Chat (for the ride home) what can I do to be a better example of a Christian in my life to those who see me? How can I show I am a Christian to those who don't know me very well?

A Note of Explanation

Since the Summer of 2003 I have written a weekly reflection for the bulletin at the parish where I work. It is called The Good News About . . . and is a short piece for Whole Community Catechesis that has a question or two after it for families to discuss on the way home to extend the gospel into their week.

I was informed that there will no longer be room for my reflections in the bulletins beginning this Sunday. As I have found these to be such a great help to my own spiritual development and preparation for Sunday liturgy I am planning to continue to write them and from now on I will be posting them here, so that all two of my loyal readers can benefit from them as well.


Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Well That's Good to Know

You made a clean getaway.No one toys with you...& you won't deal with it.
Everything's still in tact & you don't even
have a scratch. WELL DONE! I'm impressed...

Will you survive a HORROR MOVIE??
brought to you by

Unbelievable, but True!

Proof that no good deed goes unpunished, Katelyn Sills, the young woman who's mother reported that a Drama teacher at Katelyn's Catholic High School was working as an escort for planned parenthood in her "free time" which subsequently led to the firing of said teacher, has been expelled from the school!

Can you believe the irony of this? Katelyn is a subversive force in a Catholic High School for standing up for Catholic beliefs with every breath in her body and every ounce of moral fiber she possesses. I really question how the administration of the school handled this entire episode, as noted on Rick Lugari's Blog, sending letters like this to all the students seems very mean spirited and vindictive.

My only thought is; perhaps it is time for the Bishop to take a long hard look that this "catholic" high school and decide whether or not they can continue to call themselves a Catholic School. If this is how they resolve a simple issue like this, obviously they don't understand what it means to be Catholic.

As for Katelyn, perhaps she needs to find a more Catholic high school community in which to thrive. She is certainly my hero. I wish I could send her a big hug, because I know that this must really hurt.


Monday, October 31, 2005

My Best Trick-or-Treat Memory

Mrangelmeg takes the kids trick-or-treating. It has been years since I have ventured out with them. Before we moved out to the boonies, my excuse was that someone had to give out candy. Out here we never get anyone coming to our door, so I don't have that handy excuse.

You see I hate to trick-or-treat. I never really liked it even as a kid. I don't know if it was because I was so shy, or if it had something to do with the amount of physical exercise involved, but I never really enjoyed the act of tromping around begging candy from everyone in the neighborhood just to get a bag of candy, most of which I didn't really like to eat anyway.

In fact, my absolute favorite Halloween memory from when I was a little kid was the year my mom dressed me up as a clown (I must have been about three at the time). I sat on the couch waiting for it to be time to go out trick or treating, and fell asleep. When I woke up an hour or so later there was a nice bag of candy by my side and I never even had to leave the couch. Now that was the best time I ever had trick-or-treating.

I do love Smarties candies though. My kids always come back from their forays into Halloween and bring me back offerings of Smarties because they know how much I love them.

Anyway, Happy All Hallows Eve.


Sunday, October 30, 2005

Mrangelmeg's Genius Comes to Light

This all began with an inocent enough request from a friend of mine for a recipe for Persimmon Cookies from my husband's mother. The following is what she got in three email exchanges. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Mrangelmeg is a genius, and very funny, and I love him dearly.

Part I: Here is my Mom's recipe for Persimmon Cookies:

1 cup persimmon pulp 1 teaspoon baking soda (not powder)
1 cup sugar (it used to be 2 cups, but since you're so sweet, 1 cup is enough)
1/2 cup margarine or butter (Mom just uses stick margarine)
1 egg 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cloves (I asked Mom to pick one and she said she uses somewhere in between. I guess that means 3/8 of a teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1 cup chopped walnuts (Mom had an option to substitute raisins for the walnuts. She has never put raisins in persimmon cookies, but if you want to go ahead and ruin a perfectly good batch of cookies, feel free to use raisins)
Instructions: Beat persimmon pulp thoroughly. Mix in soda. In separate bowl, cream sugar and butter/margarine, then add egg and mix thoroughly. Sift together dry ingredients and mix into creamed mixture. Combine all ingredients and drop by teaspoon onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Mom reminded me that this was for one batch and she always makes a double. She further reminded her engineer son - no fewer than three times - that in order to make a double batch, you need to double the above ingredients. Since you have the PhD, I'm only telling you once.

You can freeze persimmon cookies to enjoy later ... say when we might be back at St. Meinrad again. If you freeze them, or leave them out for a few days, they will turn from reddish-brown to almost black. They still taste as good.

Part II: Raisins and Persimmons

And, for the record, I like raisins, too ... but only in oatmeal-raisin cookies (2nd favorite), raisin bran, and raisinettes ... as God intended them to be. Raisins do not belong in persimmon cookies. I even have scriptural backing on this from the Book of Raisins found in Codex XIII from the recently discovered Nag Yerhubbi Library (the Nag Yerhubbi Library also includes "The Gospel of Trash" and "The Apochryphon of the Leaves").

A fragment of the surviving Book of Raisins text was originally interpreted as: "... thou shalt not combine the dried fruit of the vine with other fruits ... ... verily I say: excessive combining of fruits will bring about the people of the village." Of course, now we know the end of that sentence should have been translated as "The Village People."

Regardless of translation, raisins are not to be combined with persimmons. Speaking of discovering ancient religious texts, another little-known fact is that Rastafarians actually discovered the Dead Sea Scrolls and were told by the Jewish scholars of the day that God's Word could be found inside the scrolls, also known as the rolling papyrus, or more to the point ... rolling papers. And that is how they got their start.

I just heard that on Paul Harvey's "The Rest of the Story" on the way into work this morning, so it must be true. Feel free to cite any of the above research in your coursework; and have a nice day!

Part III: Further Research

The Nag Yerhubbi writings as the Neuter-o-Canonical apocrypha (apocrypha meaning "hidden away" or secret -- so don't be surprised if even your professor hasn't heard of them). They're also sometimes referred to as the Canon-and-on-and-on-ical Scriptures.

As hidden as they may be, I'm sure that John has heard many of the Nag Yerhubbi volumes proclaimed in his household ... perhaps "The Exegesis on the Toilet Seat" being one of the most cited books. Certainly, John is familiar with the longest book, "Litany of the Honeydew," the first Chapter of which begins: "Now that you're retired, maybe you could help out some around here."

On a historical note, the scribes that copied the sacred texts would meet about once a month and painstakingly copy each letter. Some would write so hard, they would even get cramps. Of course, the Nag Yerhubbi texts were not written on scrolls, but on individual sheets of paper and bound into large books, called Codexes, as at Nag Hammadi. The blank sheets were manufactured in pad form, similar to paper pads we have today, but the Nag Yerhubbi paper was much, much larger than the pages found at Nag Hammadi. Thus, the Nag Yerhubbi scribes called their paper source the Codex Maxipad. I know a few more historical details along these lines, but enjoy sleeping indoors far too much to list them here.

Finally, the Nag Yerhubbi documents will not be hidden much longer, as the Lifetime Network plans to feature them as part of a miniseries about all Old Testament and early Christian scriptures. The first episode is being shot right now and the working title is "The Burning Bush" featuring Farrah Fawcett as a young Moses (a stretch, but this is the Lifetime Network after all). The final release title is expected to be "Torah! Torah! Torah!" which ends with Pat Morita starring in the role of Joshua as he plans the sneak attack on Jericho. The scripts for the Nag Yerhubbi segments have yet to be written, but I'm sure the Lifetime Network will portray the men as kind, caring, and sensitive (that has to be the least believable line of this entire thread).

I think that's all I can safely say about the sacred texts in the Nag Yerhubbi Library; I'm already at risk of a discovery any day now at Nag Damaggi.


Saturday, October 29, 2005

The Challenge

Matthew Lickona at God'sbody has proffered the challenge of a six word story, ala Ernest Hemingway's famous:

"For sale: baby shoes, never used."

I don't usually go in for writing stories, but I thought I would try.

She spoke. He listened. They loved.

What do you think? Too preachy?


Friday, October 28, 2005

My blog is worth $1,129.08.
How much is your blog worth?

Via Tony at Catholic Pillow Fight

I'm with him, where do I get my green?

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Shameless Self-Promotion Update

Some of you may remember this post a few weeks ago. I thought I should update you with what I know.

Hereditas Magazine is finally getting back on its feet after being hit by both Katrina and Rita. You may actually at some point in the near future be able to read my humble submission online.

I am so happy that they are up and limping. I would hate to think that two hurricanes could dampen the spirits of all those wonderful Catholic Writers.

I will keep you updated, and as soon as they are fully on-line I will link to their page. Which I guess will give away my true identity to those who don't know who I really am, since the article isn't submitted under a pen name. Oh well.



CAT Scan successfully survived. But nearly nine hours later I still have the most horrendous taste in my mouth. Can someone please tell me what will take that nasty taste away. I have tried everything from mint to chicken to spicy. Nothing seems to work.

The test went very well. I wasn't the least bit claustrophobic, but then I didn't have to be squeezed into the little tube as you do in an MRI, so that was nice. It also took a lot less time.

I do have a bit of a headache. I wonder if that is from not eating enough, not drinking enough water, or the contrast? Or maybe it is just the nice stressful work environment I am currently experiencing and has nothing at all to do with my test today.

I guess I will have to take something for the headache if I plan to sleep tonight.

The Mass readings were wonderful today. If God is for us, who can be against us.

I am too tired to do much of anything more but go to bed. Thanks for all the prayers guys.


Angelmeg's Frightening Halloween Treat

Thanks to Rick Lugari, if you click on

this link

you will get the scare of your life.

I would have posted it on my page but it was just to frightening.

As Rick says, thanks to Arthur of Angry Twins too.


I'm OK You've Got to Be Kidding!

This is TOO FUNNY! I especially liked the Sacrament of Holy Odours and we tolerate you. Unfortunately, since I have been in initiation ministry I have heard some horror stories about some RCIA programs that were about this - uhm - experiential.

Thanks to my newest blog find Gashwin for pointing me in the right direction.

I agree this sounds a lot like something Jeff at the Curt Jester might have come up with.

Enjoy, but if you want an RCIA and a Parish with the real truth and real meat. Come to my place.


What a Cool Thought!

Today is the feast of St. Frumentius. A friend I hadn't yet met, but one I am happy to know and add to my growing list of those in the Church Triumphant whom I can call upon for help in times of need.

The prayer I read in honor of St Frumentius today said "when things don't go the way I had planned them to go, help me to welcome the unexpected." Boy could I use that in my life right now. There isn't a lot that is going the way I had planned for it to go, and I am really struggling with welcoming the unexpected. With St Frumentius' help I think I will begin to work on that.


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Banana Smoothies for Lunch Thursday!

My test has been rescheduled for Thursday at lunch time. Oh well, a little schedule juggling and I will be ready to go.

How blessed are the flexible for they never get bent out of shape has been my motto for the last five years or so.

I am praying that this test will lead to a diagnosis, and a treatment for whatever is causing this pain. It is really hard for people who don't live with constant pain to understand what it is like for people who do. I have arthritis, and I have learned to live with pain in my joints. But when you walk around with a pain in your side that at times catches you off guard it can be very debilitating.

I mediate on Paul's words about the thorn on the flesh. For someone without chronic pain he can sound like such a whiner. I walk in his shoes.

Hopefully this will be the test that will help the Dr. visualize the problem and find a treatment and cure.


Tuesday, October 25, 2005

When I Can't Stand Waiting, He Makes Me Wait Even Longer

I was supposed to have a medical test tomorrow. One I wasn't particularly looking forward to having, but one that I was hoping would help to determine what was causing a pain I have had in my left side for over a year now. I found out this evening, when I had finally gotten up enough nerve to actually be calm about the test tomorrow, that due to an administrative mix-up between my Dr.'s office and my insurance company and the hospital, I will have to postpone the test for at least a day and maybe longer until the insurance company can pre-certify that I really do need to have the test.

I don't think I like the fact that some bean counter in Missouri is making medical decisions about what types of tests I need or don't need based upon actuarial tables without ever having consulted with my care or talked with my Dr., but such are the vagaries of modern health care under our current managed care system.

So, tomorrow morning, all the people who were supposed to be praying for me while I was having my test will be praying for me while I practice my new mass music and run a few errands. I won't be able to let them all know that my test has been postponed probably. Oh well, no prayer goes wasted. I will just redirect those prayers to whoever is having their test in my time slot.

On a happier note, I get a reprieve from drinking that yummy Barium Banana Smoothie for breakfast.


Pro Life Teen Persecuted in Comment Box

The teen who wrote about the Drama teacher at her school being fired for working as an escort at Planned Parenthood has had to endure some horribly nasty comments on her blog from fellow students at her high school and from anonymous members of the blogging community.

If you get a chance stop by her blog and let her know how courageous she is for standing up for the truth and for what is right in a world where situational ethics rule the day.

I think she is truly a hero of our times. I can't imagine what it must be like to have to endure some of the hate filled comments in her latest post, but she does, because she knows that the truth is on her side.

Her poise and grace under all this strain are a lesson for us all.


Rosa Parks: One Life That Made a Difference

Rosa Parks died Monday.

As I was growing up my parents told me her story and helped me to understand that she was the type of person that I should want to be, someone who stood up for what she beleived against great odds. It didn't matter that she was terrified, because she knew that she was right.

My father spoke of her with great respect. She was such an example of what one person can do. That was something that he really tried to instill in us, his children, that we could make a difference.

Rosa, the world will not miss you because your life made such an impact that many generations from now people will still know who you are, and learn from your example.

Rest in Peace dear sister.


Friday, October 21, 2005

An Insulting Gravestone From a Loving Husband?

These words are engraved on Terri Shiavo's Gravestone:

born Dec 3, 1963
departed this earth Feb 5, 1990
at peace March 31, 2005

So compassionate was Michael Schiavo, that Terri's family did not know where she was buried. They discovered her burial plot by reading the newspaper.

Fr. Frank Pavone, of Priests for Life comments on the above gravestone with this:

"that is an insult to every disabled person, telling them they are not on this earth. It's an attitude rooted in the heresy of dualism, that we are really a spirit, while our bodies are only a shell. But we believe that the human person is an integrated unity." source

This story continues to allow me to love Terri more and more, and wonder how a judge could have ever sided with her "husband" as her voice in this world.


Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Mid-term Mid-life Mid-sentence

This week I am in the middle of things. I am at Mid-life, (God willing I live to be 90 I suppose). I am at the mid-point of a very taxing semester of Gradual School, which has most of my fellow students and I pulling out our hair (what little some of us have, and you know who you are). I am even in the middle of my Mid-term exam, which is a take home and I just this afternoon completed half of the questions, woo hoo!

My work day was interrupted midway today by a funeral. I sang in a funeral choir this morning for an older member of our parish today and it really made me sad. The choir (all 9 of us) was by far larger than the group of family members who were there to mourn her. Oh well, I guess that is the essence of Christian Community. We come to bury our dead, even it it means singing Amazing Grace which we never got to finish, because the crowd was so small we only sang two verses.

I guess the point of this reflection is that somehow I feel incomplete this week. Even my daily prayers have felt somehow interrupted. Nothing feels as though it is all together. Perhaps when I finish the last two questions on my mid-term and get it posted off to Br. John Mark, I will feel a sense of accomplishment that will put a stamp on this week. I cannot say.

My prayer is, that something gets accomplished finally, because the midway-ness of this week is beginning to give me the creeps.


Another one for the Bishops with Backbone File

This article give me hope. If a Bishop was willing to move quickly to remove a teacher of Drama from a Catholic high school for her public display of rejection of Church teachings then maybe there is hope for the USCCB after all.

Follow this link to read a response from a student at the High School.

Thanks to Rick Lugari at De Civitate Dei


Our Prayers Have Been Answered!

Maureen Martin is back on the job over at Catholic News . Org. Bringing us the greatest Satire in Blogdom.

We are so happy to hear that her husband is back safe from his duty in Iraq, and home and hearth are back to normal. Now he has given her back to us. What a nice guy.


Monday, October 17, 2005

Radical . . . That's Me!

You scored as Radical Catholic. You are "Radical" in its Catholic sense -- from the Latin word radix, or root. You are not just a "church person" but you are a disciple of Christ, making a total commitment to the Gospel, to voluntary poverty, and self-sacrifice for others. You give without counting the cost.
You need to be sure that you remain obedient to the Church and your superiors, and do not consider yourself a prophet or become elitist. Try to make good examinations of conscience and to be humble.

Radical Catholic


New Catholic


Traditional Catholic


Liberal Catholic


Evangelical Catholic


Neo-Conservative Catholic


Lukewarm Catholic


What is your style of American Catholicism?
created with

Via Martha Martha

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Another Reason Why I Love B16

During a question-and-answer session with a half-dozen children, one boy told the pope that he had been told that Christ was really present in the Eucharist, or Communion.

``But how? I don't see him,'' the boy said. Benedict chuckled.

``We don't see him, but there are so many things that we don't see that exist and they are essential,'' Benedict said. ``For example, we don't see our reason, but we still have reason. We don't see our intelligence, but we have it ... We don't see the electric current, but we still see it works: We see how this microphone works, the lights.

``We don't see the risen Lord with our eyes, but we know that where Jesus is, men change, become better, become a bit more able to have peace and reconciliation.''


Thanks to Curt Jester


Friday, October 14, 2005

Angelmeg's Retreat Insight

Say only those things

which improve on silence.

-Dyonysius the Elder

Okay, so I admit that this one will take a bit of time before it begins to bear fruit in my life but I am trying.


Wednesday, October 12, 2005

I Can Live with This!

Strong and Beautiful that describes me. . .

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?



Monday, October 10, 2005

It Was 23 Years Ago Today . . .

On the day that Maximillian Kolbe was canonized, October 10, 1982 two young college kids went to mass together for the very first time at St. Benedict Catholic Church in Terre Haute Indiana. This was my parish church, and I had invited a young man from the nearby engineering school to attend Mass there because he was complaining about how liberal the campus ministry church was. I had long ago abandoned that church which I affectionately called "Our Lady of hte Nuclear Winter" for the much more conservative family of St. Ben's. It so happened, that my mom was also a member of the parish and after Mass, she invited us to come to her house for breakfast, and since we were both poor college students, we took her up on her offer, and my new friend and I went for a free meal.

St Ben's happened to be a Franciscan Parish, and since St. Max was one of their own, they were having a parish wide party to celebrate the happy event. Since we were both poor college kids, we decided we couln't pass up another free meal, so we attended the gala event and were well fed and learned so much about St Max that he became a very special friend to the both of us from that very day.

A week later, that young man and I went on our first official date, and a month and two days later we were engaged, and 23 years later we still celebrate the day that St. Max brought us to Church together before we even went on a date, or kissed.

Not a bad start for a Catholic Courtship, especially in the early 80's.

Happy Anniversary Mrangelmeg, love of my life.


What's This Man Stuff? We All Know Wisdom is a Woman!

You are Proverbs
You are Proverbs.

Which book of the Bible are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

The Angelbaby Already Wants to do a Stand-in Line-athon

Barb Nicolosi recommends The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. Click on the link and read her reasons why we should all go and see it.

I know that my angelbaby has been bugging me ever since she found out they were filming this, one of her favorite book series'.
She, at 9, would be willing to do a stand-in-line-athon the likes of Star Wars if mrangelmeg and I allowed her to. I am so happy that I can take her to see it opening weekend, because as I have said on this blog before, if Barb recommends something I know that I will love it.

So, you will see us there, opening weekend. My daughter will be the one sitting on the edge of her seat in the last row (our favorite place to watch) and I will be the one with the box of tissues, because I know I will cry every time Aslan comes on the screen. I hope we see you all there.


Sunday, October 09, 2005

Angelmeg's Retreat Insight

One doesn't go on retreat to be instructed,

one goes on retreat to savor.

-- John Henry Cardinal Newman


The Great Disturbance in the Force has Been Righted!

My retreat is over and I can talk again.

They had a lot of nerve calling this weekend a "SILENT RETREAT"!!

Last year I went on my first Jesuit Silent retreat. I met with a spiritual director twice a day and the rest of the time I was either supposed to do nothing or some exercise that my director assigned me to do, all the while observing grand silence so as not to disturb the other women who were on retreat with me.

This year I was on what I thought was a silent retreat, but this time there were EIGHT TALKS by a Jesuit Priest! Now I am sure that this man is a wonderful retreat master, but somehow it mars my idea of a silent retreat to be forced to sit through eight talks on the spiritual exercises interspersed throughout the day. On top of that there was the rosary and stations of the cross and spiritual direction. One could hardly qualify this as a silent retreat except for the fact that we were supposed to not talk as we went between all of the functions we were supposed to attend.

I still was able to enter into the spirit of the time away and I came away with pages of insights and notes to help in my discernment over the next few months. I came in contact with four new Jesuit priests, one of whom stayed up late with me as I worked through an issue I have been trying to come to terms with, and gave me great counsel. I am so happy to have found my spiritual home in Ignatian spirituality and the Jesuits. Whenever I need clarity in discernment I know that I can count on the Jesuits to lead me to it.

If only Bellermine would have a real Silent retreat for women, all silence with no talks or mandatory rosaries or stations, just silence, direction, and the exercises I would go back in a heartbeat. Well I might have to reconsider the drive through Chicago, that took forever, but the grounds and the staff were nice.

I will try to remember to post some of my insights (at least the less personal ones) on my blog from time to time so that you can all benefit from what I learned.

The first one will be my next post.