Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Deacon John's Homily From Last Sunday

As promised, here is the homily from my pal Deacon John Simmons:

Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
Joshua 24:1-2a.15-17,18b
Ephesians 5:21-32
John 6:60-69

“As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” That was a pretty bold statement for Joshua to make, but one that needed to be made. It has never been easy to be a follower of God. Obviously, it must not have been easy for the tribes of Israel, or Joshua would not have had to say what he did. He had to say it because the people were surrounded by all sorts of distractions, all manner of things designed to pull them away from God, all manner of things that sought to replace God. Joshua had to take a stand, to challenge the people, to bring them back to the service of God. It has never been easy to be a follower of God.
It did not get any easier for people to follow God. For the past three Sundays the Gospel has described Jesus speaking hard things to the people following him. Eat my flesh, drink my blood, if you would have life within you. This wasn’t just hard for the people to hear, it was absolutely scandalous. How was he going to give them his flesh to eat and his blood to drink? How was such a thing possible? Many of those who heard it could not accept it. Many walked away. They simply could not see what Jesus was telling them, they were scandalized, and walked away from him. Jesus even turns to his core followers, those closest to him and asks if they will leave as well. Perhaps some thought about it, but one stood up, refusing to be driven away and prophetically calling the others to stay. It has never been easy to be a follower of God.

Today, it still is not easy for us to be followers of God. The Israelites had their distractions, and we certainly have ours. It seems at times as if the entire culture is geared toward pulling you away from God, challenging your faith, calling on you to replace God with some worldly item. Money, power, comforts, all try to drag us away, to replace God. It has never been easy to be a follower of God. As for scandal, well the last few years haven’t been easy. Being Catholic meant facing questions, questions about the scandals occurring in the Church, questions about how you could stay there. If we are honest, we have to at times questioned what was going on. I know I have. I questioned whether or not I could remain in the face of what was happening. Some did not. It has never been easy to be a follower of Jesus. When I felt overwhelmed, and wondered about my faith, I came back to what Jesus was telling his followers in these Gospel readings. I returned to the sacrament, to The Sacrament, the thing that binds us together. I realize that I cannot have an effect on what happens in the Church if I am not in the Church, I can not be a positive force if I leave. I can stay because of The Sacrament. We gather today to celebrate that Sacrament, the Sacrament that makes us one with Christ and one with each other. We are drawn together, deriving strength from this sacrament of unity, a sacrament that allows us to draw strength from each other. Through this sacrament we can together echo the words of Peter, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

Deacon John Simmons
At St. Meinrad Archabbey
Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

Monday, August 28, 2006

More Ironic Reasons to be Catholic

Reasons 90 - 81 are up at Ironic Catholic.

My personal favorite of this bunch has to be #86 chrism chapstick.

Though we did #82 bury St. Joseph when we were selling the old house and sure enough three hours after he went into the ground we had an offer. Coincidence? Rock Solid Faith? Who cares, we sold the house and moved him to the new house with us.


Wish I'd Written That Headline!!!

Army Gives Bishop the Finger

Thanks to our old pal The Curt Jester.

Keep up the good work.


Coming Soon To Your Favorite Coffee Shop

Metaphysical Workouts

for the

Ontologically Challenged

Because there is nothing worse than a flabby mind even if it is unknowable.


Sunday, August 27, 2006

A Vision of What is to Come

Mark Mossa SJ has granted my heartfelt request and posted a link to an article in Vision in which he gives a glimpse of his journey toward ordination.

I realize his need for a fast from blogging, but when he uses terms like One last thing. I get a little frightened that his fast might take him away from St Blogs for good.

I realize that might be what God calls him to, but personally I am not ready to give him up just yet.

Mark, if you need me to act more uncivilized, so that you can evangelize me, that can be arranged, really, just ask mrangelmeg.

Thanks for the reprieve.


Not All Sadness

This weekend isn't all sadness though. It also marked my last Modern Philosophy Class. So long as I complete my Final Assignment (three killer questions on Kant) before September 10th I will have survived my first Philosophy requirement with only the ancients and midievals to wade through before my Comps in the Fall of 2007.

Is that light I see down there at the end of the tunnel?

Actually, deep down in my heart I came to realize that all this philosophy was beginning to make sense. O LORD . . . It really is true . . .

resistance is futile. Soon I will think like them.



My Last Weekend

With sadness I spent my last weekend on the Hill (the term we use for Saint Meinrad). I actually have two more classes, but one is independent study and the other is in Indianapolis, so this was my last weekend as a resident weekend student there.

I think what I will miss the most is our Student Liturgy. Ever since we began these I have played in the music ministry, and I have enjoyed that so much. Being a part of the music has really helped me to enter into the spirit of the liturgy in a way that I never could as a guest of the monks at monastic liturgy.

The other experience that I will miss is being able to hear my good friend Deacon John Simmons preach. He really has a gift for it. John is an anomaly in our lay student program, you see he is one of the few ordained members in our ranks. He is an ordained permanent Deacon of the Diocese of Louisville. I noticed the very first time I saw him preach that he has a mannerism while he is preaching that is very endearing; he plays with his wedding ring as he talks. I don't know if he realizes at the time that he is doing it, but it sends a very loud message even if he isn't intending it. This is a man who was called by God to two distinct vocations. That of the ordained Diaconate and Marriage.

I mentioned to him today that when I see him touching his ring when he preaches it connects the two vocations for me in a very powerful way. He reminded me that he was called to his vocation of marriage first, and then to the vocation of Deacon.

For a while now I have been privileged to be a part of a small group of people to whom John sends homilies occasionally via email when he feels compelled to write them even when he doesn't have to preach. Today he gave me permission to begin sharing them here on my blog. So from now on I will be including guest Homilies from Deacon John on occasion. You are all so lucky. I know you will find them as inspirational as I do.

I am just sorry that we can't podcast them, because to read them isn't nearly as amazing as to hear them preached. Maybe someday, you never know.


Friday, August 25, 2006

No Fine Line Here

This story made my skin crawl, this wasn't a case of a legal medical procedure, this was murder.

When will the double-speak that the anti-life side of this argument uses be seen for what they are?

We all understand that every abortion is a murder, but if the police have to be called out every time a child is born alive during one of their "legal medical procedures" and then murdered, so be it. Perhaps it will be easier for our side to prove that life begins at conception.


Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Famous Five Meme . . .

Because I will do anything to put off doing my Philosophy Homework I am going to take this tag from UKoK

If you could meet and have a deep conversation with any five people on earth, living or dead, from any time period, who would they be?" Explaining why is optional.

Name five people from each of the following categories:Saints, Those in the Process of Being Canonized, Heroes from your native country, Authors/Writers, celebrities.

Five Saints
St Ignatius of Loyola, because in the last ten years he has come to mean so much to my spiritual journey I would love to be able to thank him for helping me to define and shape my spiritual life.

St Margaret Mary Alaqoque Until I was ten I thought the Church had named a saint after me because each time they sang the litany of the saints they sang St Margaret Mary and that was my name. I was devastated to find out there really was another woman with that name until I read her biography in Lives of the Saints. I would love to actually meet her in person.

St Dymphna It is a long story, but I had a panic attack once in a strange place a long way away from home and a St Dymphna holy card showed up and eased my fears.

St Denis The Patron Saint of Migraine Sufferers. I have prayed to this man so often and for so long I would love to meet him. I would love to ask if the hagiography about his carrying his head for 25 miles is true.

St John (the gospel writer). Whoever wrote this particular gospel is someone that I would love to meet and have dinner and a bottle of wine with and ask a whole lot of questions about spirituality and holiness and love.

Those in the process of being Canonized
Mother Theodore Guerin because she is from Indiana, but not originally. I would like to commiserate with her about the difficulties of being a transplanted Hoosier. This conversation had better happen quickly, she will be canonized October 15th.

John Paul II so many questions to ask, so much to say.

Mother Teresa I think for these two I will be standing in a long line.

Bishop Fulton Sheen I loved to watch his old television shows and read his books. I would love to have him autograph his books.

Giorgio Frascati (sp) I would like to talk to him about helping me to keep my children Catholic as they move into adulthood.

Heroes from my own country This is a tough category for me
My mother's parents they both died before I was born and and they are heroes to me because they were immigrants from France. My grandfather sold wholesale fruits and vegetables during the depression before he was able to obtain teaching credentials and eventually become a professor of French and Spanish at a college.

Roger Marris He broke Babe Ruth's home run record (without medical assistance). He was one professional athlete who had a lot of class. I would love to have had the chance to meet him while he was alive. He may have played for the stinking Yankees but he had the good sense to end his career playing for the Cardinals.

John Carroll This man was the first bishop of America and a Jesuit. I am a real fan.

Rosa Parks She may have intentional started the civil rights movement, or she may have just been a tired woman who wanted a place to sit down. Either way I would love to have a chat with a woman who had the strength to stand her ground against ignorance and intolerance.

Authors Writers Celebrities
Harper Lee Favorite book of all time. Would love to meet her.

Evelyn Waugh I recently rediscovered his books. There is so much I would love to know I don't know where to start.

Flannery O'Connor I am such a big fan I would love to have had the chance to chat with her about faith and writing and life and peacocks.

Morris West love his books, he writes very strong women which to me means he must have known strong women and loved and been loved by them.

Jim Caviezel because he is such a great actor, not at all because he is so handsome, not at all.

I would like to challenge my husband to answer these questions in the comment box because I would love to know how he would answer them. Other than that, anyone else who wants to take this tag may have at it.


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Great Advice from a Fine Man

Yesterday I was listening to my guilty pleasure: The Bob and Tom Show on my car radio as I did the school drop offs. The guests happened to be Football greats Archie and Peyton Manning. They were there to promote an auction to benefit Peyton's charity the Peyback Foundation, and they were about as funny as any comedians that Bob and Tom have ever had on their show. One of the items that was being auctioned was signed by Eagles Quarterback Eli Manning, Peyton's brother and Archie commented that Eli had made Peyton wait in line for the autograph, Peyton retorted that Eli had made him pay for it.

Tom Griswold asked Archie Manning how he had managed to raise three such well mannered and considerate young men as Peyton, Eli and their older brother Cooper. Archie's response was the most amazing defense of sacramental marriage. He said that the trick was that you had to marry the right woman. He gave all the credit for how wonderful his boys had turned out to his wife, their mother Olivia.

How cool is that?


Five Things Meme

Still avoiding homework . . .

This sounded like fun so I stole the tag all the way from Australia.

Five things in my freezer
Extreme Moose Tracks Ice Cream
Totinos Pizzas
Frozen Shoestring Potatoes
Ice Packs
Base for Ice Cream Maker (so we are ready when the spirit hits)

This is the chest freezer, the freezer upstairs has a bottle of tequila but that's another story.

Five things in my closet
chest of drawers (walk in closet)
jewelry box
shoe tree full of shoes
stuffed ape holding a rose (gift from me to mrangelmeg)

Five Things in my car
pack of gum (I have an obsessive need to chew gum when I drive)
car charger for my cell phone
CD case with assorted CD's
an old prescription bottle that belonged to my mom that I haven't thrown away yet, (gotta get to that someday)
jumper cables which I really hope I will never personally have to use.

Five Interesting things in my backpack
Modern Philosophy book (NOT interesting, but required)
The Idiots Guide to Philosophy (not interesting, but necessary if I have a prayer of understanding the above entry)
mechanical pencil (don't like pens or old school pencils)
post- it notes (not necessary but possibly interesting, since we use them to pass notes in class)
Dove brand dark Chocolates (decidedly both interesting and necessary)

Five tags
Ironic Catholic
I would tag Korrectiv, but I am affraid to find out what they hoard.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Things I am happy I didn't say out loud

So yesterday we spent the day at a Holiday World. I spent the day in a mass of humanity. For those of you who know me at all, you know that I am extremely challenged when it comes to being in crowded places. I just can't stand to be around large masses of humanity all at once. Especially the great unwashed variety that show up at theme parks on Sunday afternoons.

I was really pretty happy with my behavior yesterday though. I am what you might call an extroverted introvert. I am extremely shy, but I process everything out loud and that gets me in a heck-uva-lotta trouble on days like yesterday because while I was challenged by many of the people I saw I managed to keep most of the comments that were sprouting like weeds in my fertile imagination in an internal garden of prose.

My one regret is that when I saw the woman who was severely beating her son on the behind at the waterpark I didn't say something. At the time I was so stunned to see such as savage act of brutality being perpetrated on a child that I was totally speechless.

Why is that I wonder, when the minute I saw the obese guy with "Patriot" tattooed on his huge gut I immediately thought "Well look out enemies of the state, now I feel safe."

go figure?


Because I Really Don't Want to Start My Philosophy Homework . . .

I offer you this gem I found surfing the net:

If the Goal Is to Go Home at Five, Then You're on the Right Track

Employee: Someone just called me. They said, "Hello," and asked if I could help them because they had a question. I didn't know what to do, so I said, "No," and hung up. Was that okay?
Boss: I guess that's one way of handling it.

US Patent and Trademark Office
Alexandria, Virginia

Overheard by: Why Me?

via Overheard in the Office, Aug 3, 2006

When you have stopped laughing check out the rest of the site.

NOTE: This site is deffinitely R Rated, but way funny.


Saturday, August 19, 2006

I Have Seen My Future

This comes from the Zenit Daily Dispatch which I read religiously:

Book Talks Math to Philosophers
1st Publication of STOQ Project ROME, AUG. 18, 2006
A program launched by the Holy See, three pontifical universities and the Templeton Foundation to promote dialogue between faith and science wants to help philosophers and theologians understand math.

The STOQ Project -- for science, theology and the ontological quest -- collaborated with Michael Heller, founder of the International Society for Science and Religion, to produce "Some Mathematical Physics for Philosophers."

The book was developed from an introductory course on mathematical physics offered at the Gregorian University in Rome.

Heller, who is also an adjunct member of the Vatican Observatory and ordinary member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences of Rome, attempts to explain mathematical methods in physics to students of philosophy and theology.

The academic and scientific directors of the specialization in science and philosophy at the Gregorian University, Father Marc Leclerc and Gennaro Auletta, said the publication "will foster dialogue between and integration of two disciplines that sadly drifted apart over the course of the last two centuries, namely philosophy and science."

The book is published by the Libreria Editrice Vaticana together with the Pontifical Council for Culture. The STOQ Project is directed by the Pontifical Council for Culture.

Supported financially by the Pennsylvania-based Templeton Foundation, the initiative is being carried out by the Lateran University, the Gregorian University and the Regina Apostolorum university.

The project seeks to foster relations between the Churches and Christian ecclesial communities with the scientific world.

From someone who is struggling to understand philosophy, and has always had to struggle to understand higher mathematics (I would have failed high school Calculus if I hadn't had the most compassionate teacher who gave me points for trying). They might as well call this new book A Season in Purgatory because that is what it will seem to me if I try to comprehend what it contains.


Friday, August 18, 2006

End Of Summer Blowout

So we have been planning to go to Holiday World all summer, and it looks as though we are finally going to get all of our ducks in a row and get there on Sunday.

I am really excited, because they have a new rollercoaster this year and I have taken the virtual ride on the internet and it looks really great.

It is not an exaggeration to tell you that I am not a big fan of theme parks. I practically have to be dragged kicking and screaming to them anymore. I just don't enjoy most of the rides or the long lines or all of the walking, and all in all I figure that they are an incredible waste of money. There are so far two exceptions in the entire country to this rule. One is Busch Gardens Williamsburg, which is one of the most fun parks I have ever had the pleasure of spending a day in. The other is Holiday World, the best little theme park in the Midwest. I have never had a bad time at Holiday World. The park is always clean, the people who work there are always gracious, and the cost is still very reasonable for all of the fun between the water park and the dry rides.

I am actually really looking forward to our day of family fun. All but one of the kids is coming with us, our oldest daughter has to work. Her job is still too new to be able to ask off for just any day she wants.

An Appearance that we can really sink our teeth into

Workers at Bodega Chocolates in Fountain Valley California discovered an amazing sight when they found this small figure that appears to be the Blessed Mother formed organically from chocolate drippings.

You can read the rest of the story here.

I am not a great believer in these types of apparitions and sightings, but hey if Mary is going to show up don't you think she would do so in good gourmet chocolate before she would in a humble tortilla or as a splotch on a glass wall?

I believe, but then again I am a chocolatarian, this is an apparition that goes along with my lifestyle choice.

hat tip to Ironic Catholic for the link.


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Spiritual Reading for the day

From the Book of Armaments: chapter 2 verses 9-21

And St Atilla raised the hand grenade up on high saying "O Lord bless this thy hand grenade that with it thow mayest blow thine enemy to bits in thy mercy" (ROTFLOL)

hat tip to God Spede ye Plough for the laugh


It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year . . .

for a stay-at-home-mom anyway. My girls are going back to school, and by the end of the week my days will be filled with peaceful silence, well at least once they get used to the morning schedule and we don't have to pry them out of bed with a forklift.

Once, when my oldest daughter was really struggling in school I prayed long and hard about whether or not it might be a good idea to home-school. Other people I knew were bravely taking their children out of the school system to assure that they were getting what they needed, so I thought surely I should do the same for my daughter. After many, many nights of prayer I was assured by my father in heaven that my children would be much better off if I left their education in more capable hands. I, you see, can barely get them to do homework and keep their rooms clean. It would have done much harm to us all, both mentally and spiritually if I had endeavored to teach my very special needs children at home. Their handicaps and needs were way beyond my personal abilities.

And I will have to admit, with the exception of just a few times, my children have been blessed with very caring teachers who have made a great impact on their lives, and broadened their horizons in a positive way. We have been blessed, because I believe we have been faithful, and vigilant and stayed as active and connected to what was going on at their schools as we possibly could.

Because I am not working this year, I am going to do something I did for my older children. I am going to be a library lady volunteer at the angelbaby's elementary school. I went in to meet the Media Specialist yesterday, and we are going to schedule a time slot so that I can become a regular weekly volunteer. That way I get to spend time at the angelbaby's school without seeming like I am snooping or being in the way.

I am pretty excited about the chance to be in there again. So long as it is only one morning a week.

The rest of the time I want to enjoy the quiet house while I have the chance. Christmas break will be here sooner than we think.


Sunday, August 13, 2006

3 Things Meme

Three things that make me laugh
funny commercials
Steven Colbert on The Colbert Report
Monty Python

Three things that scare me
clowns (long story, Steven King understands though)
really big bugs that crawl on you in your sleep
thunderstorm and tornados

Three things I love
being in love, especially with mrangelmeg
the smell of a just bathed baby

Three things I hate
intollerance, especially from self righteous people
driving somewhere I have never driven before, especially at night or if I am late

Three things I don't understand
how someone can presume to think they know how good a christian someone else is
people who get bent out of shape by what songs are sung at liturgy when the Eucharist is validly consecrated
why anyone would choose philosophy as a career

Three things on my floor
a NAB bible from my youth ministry days (where did that come from?)
my suitcase that was just unpacked yesterday and isn't put away yet
Three things I am doing right now
talking with my youngest angelbaby
counting down the days till school starts around here, (T minus three -- woo hoo)
Three things I want to do someday
Write and publish a book
travel to Ireland
speak another language fluently

Three things I can't do
speak another language fluently (hence above)
play the violin
bluff at cards convincingly

Three things I should listen to
the voice of the Lord
my gut
my kids

Three things I shouldn't listen to
rap music
country western music
any voice that would lead me astray

Three things I like to drink
decaf coffee (hot or iced)
baileys Irish cream
Simply Limeade

Three favorite foods
chocolate (the darker the better)
rosemary roasted chicken
broccoli with cheese

Three shows I watch
Psych too funny
The Office can't wait for the new season, for now I am watching the webisodes
Project Runway what can I say, this is one reality tv show I love


Top 100 Reasons to be Catholic

Visit Ironic Catholic for a fun look at all (Well this installment is 100 - 91) the great reasons for wanting to be Catholic.

You go girl!


At Least it Didn't Come Up Philosopher!


h/t to SFO Mom


Saturday, August 12, 2006

Wise Words

“It’s getting so I always make a sincere

Act of Contrition before I go into a meeting.

Statistically, it’s a good bet I’m going to die during one.”

Fr. General Vincenzo Giuliani SJ
From The Sparrow
By Mary Doria Russell

I think I may make this into a wall hanging for my spiritual director.


Friday, August 11, 2006

All That Jazz

Thursday Night my friends John and Pat took me to The Jazz Factory for dinner and some great Jazz violinist named Zach Brock. There was a singer there as well named Spider Saloff, and a guitarist Steve Ramsdell. The music was amazing. Zach got tones out of that violin that I have never heard from any other violin in all my years of music appreciation. Steve was getting amazing riffs that sounded electric from an acoustic guitar, and Spider's voice was a really mellow throaty contralto. Together they made an awesome trio.

This venue has to be one of the best Jazz clubs around, it was just the right size and configuration for good music and the food was great. We had a great time. John and Pat go there about twice a month and sometimes more often even than that.

If you ever get to Louisville Kentucky and find you have an evening that you want to make very special spend it at the Jazz Factory. You won't be disappointed.


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Just? One Book Meme

I have enjoyed reading this meme all over the net and have been patiently waiting my turn, but have decided that this is probably as close as I am going to get to being personally tagged.

One book that changed your life:
Mere Christianity I am a cradle Catholic, but I really only understood what it meant to live as a Catholic Christian full tilt 24/7 after I read this book.

One book that you have read more than once:
Too Kill a Mockingbird I read it the first time when I was about seven or eight, and I have read it every two or three years since then. I don't think there is another book that is as well written in the world. Reading that book, more than anything else in the world made me want to be a writer.

One book you want on a desert island:
The Ultimate Survival Guide I am sure that I can talk to God without the bible,so I am going to be practical and get instructions on how to start a fire or build shelter or even catch and clean fish.

One book that made you laugh:
Any of Junie B Jones series by Barbara Park are absolutely laugh out loud funny. Alexander and the Terrible Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst is so funny I can't read it out loud.

One book that made you cry:
Daughter of Silence by Morris West There is something about how Mr. West writes his women characters that makes them so real I felt her pain and cried for her.

One book you wish would have been written:
Chicago Cubs World Series Champions in the Third millennium hey we can all dream.

One book you wish had never been written:
anything by Joel Osteen his stuff is too shiny happy God for me.

One book you are currently reading:
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell recommended by my online Jesuit friends and my Associate Pastor who calls it "Jesuits in Space. I am not usually a fan of Science Fiction, but this is really really good.

One book you have been meaning to read:
When the Heart Waits by Sue Monk Kidd was recommended to me by someone I love when I quit my job and I have been meaning to read it. I actually even bought a copy of it, but until this darn Philosophy class is over I doubt that I will have time to read it.

Now that was a lot of fun, the hardest part was limiting each category to only one book.

I would like to tag Mark Mossa SJ when he gets back from his retreat if he hasn't already been tagged, because I am interested to see what his answers would be.

Sense of the Faithful?

This commercial was passed around the School of Theology last fall. Thanks to Ironic Catholic and my favorite fun site YouTube it has reemerged. Some may be scandalized by it, I saw it as great fun, possibly because there have been times when I was younger (and unmarried) when I had an attraction for a nice looking young man only to find out he was a seminarian or priest. (Father What-a-waste).

This commercial made me laugh. I hope you enjoy it and take it in the spirit in which it was intended and are not scandalized by it.


Monday, August 07, 2006

Is This the Good Kind of Tired?

So I have been working the Alumni Reunion today and I have been running my legs off helping the alumni, most of whom are priests (this is a seminary after all) find their way around and get to where they need to be). It has been exhausting and fun.

Tonight I had the pleasure of serving dinner at the banquet celebrating the returning classes. The people at my table were celebrating their 50th year reunion from St Meinrad High School (yes years ago young men came here when they were 14 and stayed through major seminary if that was their vocation). Who should sit at my table but Daniel M Buechlein OSB Archbishop of Indianapolis, my bishop and until a few months ago a man I worked for indirectly. Happily he didn't recognize me as someone he knew, and was very gracious.

Another man who sat at my table was from the parish where I used to work. In fact I have seen three older men from my former parish here that I haven't seen since I quit my job. It was nice to talk to them and let them know that I am all right an doing pretty well in my sabbatical.

I am really tired tonight. I think though all in all this is the good kind of tired, because I have been busy all day being helpful and making a difference. When I go to sleep tonight I will sleep really well.


Sunday, August 06, 2006

Finally, News from Namibia

Maureen Martin at CatholicNews.org posted today that all is well in Namibia. Little St. Banana Sunshine Smoothie came into the world on July 14th and Maureen's C section recovery is going well.

Now if we can just get the kid on a regular schedule so that Maureen has just a little time to come back to all of her avid readers for an occasional posting.

Welcome little Banana Sunshine, now go to sleep and let your mom write and that is an order from your aunt angelmeg!


Tis Good Lord to be Here

Today is the Feast of the Transfiguration. Often I have heard friends bemoan the fact that they are waiting for those transfiguration moments in their spiritual lives. I suppose I look at things a little bit differently.

It is good that I get the mountaint top experiences, but I am more of the mind that it is good that I am wherever it is that God wants me to be at this moment. Even if this moment doesn't seem to be a very glamorous or exciting moment, there must be some good reason for God wanting me to be in this moment.

I need to learn to cultivate the idea of gratitude that will allow me to say "It is good Lord to be here" at every moment of my life. When I am taking care of my family and their needs, or I am dealing with the struggle to handle our van being in the shop for over a week and two weekends and all of us not being able to fit in one car to go anywhere together. Or when I am doing something fun and new.

If everything is truly gift, then I should find good in everything. My spiritual director used to say that was finding the grace in every moment. Sometimes the hard fact is that the grace in some moments isn't for us. Especially in our suffering. Sometimes the grace of those moments is meant for others, and often the effects of that grace we will never know or see. But because God is good, it is good that we are there and that fact we can know if we allow ourselves to believe.

I need to to finish packing and hopefully tackle the rest of those midterm questions. I am leaving for an adventure this week; I am working the alumni reunion at St Meinrad and then visiting friends for a few days and then back to Meinrad for a workshop Friday and Saturday.

Mrangelmeg, two of the daughters and Suzanne's son are off to a Cardinal's game, and the rest of the house is still asleep because we went to Mass last night.

So, Blessed Transfiguration to you all.

Friday, August 04, 2006

A Lesson in Ethics on Reality Television?

So my daughters and I were watching our guilty pleasure show Project Runway last night. Who would have thought that it would have offered an awesome lesson in ethics and a great debate among us about knowing the rules and abiding by them from the outset of a competition.

It seems that Keith, one of the designers on the show this season was found to be in possession of pattern books in his apartment even after they were told when they began the show that those types of books were NOT to be in their possession. Whether or not he used those books to aide in his design process is beside the point, mere possession of them is against the rules of the program and the producers had no other recourse than to ask him to leave the competition.

Personally I didn't really like Keith because the week before he felt he was above the rules of the program when he "chose" not do design an outfit for the dog in the challenge that included the dogs. Rules apply to everyone I told the girls last week when we were watching him try to defend his actions, and yet they allowed him to stay. His defiance of the rules finally came back to bite him (ha, I didn't intend the pun, but it is funny).

The easiest way to work is to play by the rules, then you don't have to worry about trying to defend your actions later.

I hope my girls learned a lesson from Keith's foolhardy actions, and I hope this poor young man did as well. Perhaps his public embarrassment will be enough to ensure that he will understand that rules are there for a reason.


Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Human Spirit Soars

Wow, if this doesn't prove the worth of one man's life. It brought tears to my eyes.

I have seen this all over the net.


Note to Self

Quit Complaining

Esther has the details.

Thanks to GOP Soccer Mom for the link.


Dream Analysis Please

So I had this horrible dream last night.

I was taking my Modern Philosophy Midterm. Each time I would successfully write the answer to a question about Descartes or Spinoza or Berkeley or Hume, and I would be so pleased that I had completed the question and could move, I would hit the save button on my computer and the program would work like a random question generator and change the questions so that the answer no longer matched up with the question I had just completed or the previous ones I had done.

Someone please help analyze this dream for me because it is totally freaking me out. I am beginning to second guess all of the work I did on the questions I answered yesterday (all five of them out of twenty). This thing is already giving me daymares, now nightmares too!

Oh well I had best get back to the test before the questions change!

Say a quick prayer for me.


Marriage is a Duel to the death!

So I am busily working on my Philosophy midterm . . . okay so that is technically untrue, I am postponing even starting work on it this morning by doing a bit of a blog stroll. I have been taking advantage of the amazing links on the B-Team blogroll and every day I pick a random link I have never followed and am exposed to another Catholic voice.

I must admit it is a bit like any parish; some I really like, some not so much.

Today's link was In Veritas Ambulare where I came across this amazing gem:

Whether it is true that marriage is not a gamble

My favorite line has to be the one I quoted in the title. Marriage is a duel to the death. ROTFLOL sometimes it sure feels that way.

I did like the line: The "outcome" of marriage cannot be in doubt, as our Lord has promised all necessary graces to spouses who seek them. Failings, then, can be ascribed only to the participants, and not made a quality of marriage itself.

I believe mrangelmeg and I have had discussions about this point before. He even mentioned this last night before we went to sleep, when we were talking about what it takes to be a real man. A real man does what it takes to make a marriage work and doesn't bail when the going gets rough.


Tuesday, August 01, 2006

LOVEly New Meme

This one is from Confessions of a Hot Carmel Sundae:

Five things I love about my husband:
1. He is consistently the same, you could set your clock by his routine. There is something solid and trustworthy in knowing that he does the same thing at the same time almost every day. I love to listen to him getting ready for work in the mornings because I know what he is doing by the sounds of his toothbrush on the sink, or his razor in the water.

2. He has a killer sense of humor. He is so quiet that most people don't even realize how funny he is until they have known him for a while, but he can always make me laugh.

3. He makes me feel as though I am the most beautiful woman on the planet.

4. He really sincerely cares for other people, even strangers.

5. His faith is unwavering.

Five things I love about other family members:
1. my son is overcoming his disabilities and is learning how to drive and I am so proud of him for that.
2. my oldest daughter is coming off of a very bad time but she has really taken great strides recently in taking charge of her life and getting back on track
3. my second daughter is fielding calls from colleges and military recruiters like a pro, even with her disabilities. She is creative and I am sure will find here way in the world
4. my third daughter has proven that she can play the piano beautifully, and willingly takes on any task around the house that I ask her to do.
5. my baby girl is learning to be a ballroom dancing queen, and a very compassionate friend.

Five things I am proud of in people I love:
1. mom is bearing up with her illness very well
2. Suzanne has handled the stress of her husband's accident with so much grace, but then she always handles these things that way, she is always an inspiration to me.
3. Maria has quit smoking, and I know from experience how hard that is. I am so proud of her for that.
4. Meg and Brian will have a baby soon, they are going to be the best parents ever.
5. Jeff, who I had hoped would one day be my future son-in-law, is going to meet with the vocations director of the Passionists this week to explore a vocation to the priesthood. I am so proud that he is still listening to God's voice, even if it means I will lose him to God.

Five Happy memories I have about people I love:
1. When I was growing up I remember waiting on the front steps of my house for my dad to come home from the school where he taught. He used to walk to work and I would wait patiently on the steps for him to come back in the afternoon. Thinking about those times still brings back very happy memories for me.
2. My mom used to read to us kids every afternoon. That was one of my favorite things we did together. She read everything from The Wizard of Oz to Stewart Little.
3. I used to stop in to see my Godmother at the Bank where she worked when I went downtown when I was little. She always made time for me no matter how busy her day was. She was the Executive Assistant to the President of the Bank, and I know that the last thing she probably needed was a little girl hanging around her desk, but she always made me feel as though I was the most important thing in her day when I stopped in to see her.
4. Driving to and coming back from the retreat that Diane and I went on last October. I won't say that the retreat was all that great, but the trip there and back was amazing. It really solidified our friendship.
5. Fr. Charlie showing up in the angelbaby's hospital room after she almost drowned. This may seem like a strange happy memory, but he was supposed to be on vacation and we were desperate to find a priest, and he showed up out of the blue. He stayed with us for an hour and was there when she woke up.

Five things I want to thank God for:
1. my sisters (and brother but mostly my sisters)
2. the church, salvation Eucharist, it's all tied in together
3. the ability to think, reason and remember ( because I know mom can't do those things now)
4. a sense of humor and laughter
5. friends old and new, close and far away, intimate and those I only know online

If you are reading this and would like to do it, consider yourself tagged.


Happy Blogoversary to Me!

My dear little blog is two years old today!!!

It seems like yesterday that I started this foolhardy venture of placing my spiritual musings on the internet for all the world to see (and two loyal readers to eventually find). Some of you late comers may not know that I did this after my first Jesuit retreat as an act of obedience to my director.

After having to spend a week listening to me read from my retreat journal, and laughing hysterically every time we met, he told me that it was a shame that I didn't share my spiritual insights with others. When I told him that I really didn't have a forum by which I could share, he recommended that I start a weblog, and thus Transcendental Musings was born August 1, 2004. So I suppose you could blame the Jesuits if you must.

In two years, according to my site meter nearly 10,000 hits have been made (probably a third of those are me checking back and making changes to the site) but even if you take out that number it still adds up to quite a few more hits than I ever would have expected.

I realized about a week ago that I have done a lot less spiritual writing in the last few months, which might have been due to the stress of my job transition, or other things that were going on in my life, but I hope to change that. I really do look forward to writing on my blog and sharing my journey of faith, and I have come to cherish the friendships I have made, even the ones who call me cupcake; and you know who you are.

I hope for many more years of happy blogging, because you see even if the site meter never registers another hit it sure is cheaper than therapy.