Saturday, September 30, 2006
The campus newsletter says that there are monks and seminarians helping out on the build, and that they are using the Monastery kitchens to provide food for the workers. It will be really interesting to see this new house in a few weeks when I go down there for a visit. I am actually glad that I have a reason to go down there now, seeing as I don't have a class this semester. Mrangelmeg and I are planning to drive down for the day on the Friday of the next class weekend because they are having a gathering for Lay Students and Seminarians. My professor from Early Church History is going to be the guest speaker and I want mrangelmeg to experience Fr. Denis in element, preaching away like the Baptist he used to be.
You can watch the demolition here. Note the name of the street that the house is on, I have always gotten a chuckle out of that. In comparison to the other houses in town this new one will be a mansion. The next largest house in town after this one will be the Monastery guest house just up the hill.
I can't wait to see this episode and see if they show some of the grounds of the Abbey, they have to, it's right up the hill.
Friday, September 29, 2006
Today we were trying to get the non-fiction books back into some sort of order. It would really be nice if just for one week or so we could ban all kids from the library so that we could actually get things organized like they were at the start of school six weeks ago. No such luck sadly.
Anyway, the books may be on the shelves, but they aren't in numerical order anymore. I kept finding books that had been put back close to where they belonged, but off by a few points. As I was doing this though I kept coming across anomalies in the Dewey Decimal System that were about to drive me crazy.
Like there is a decimal category for Football, but not one for Soccer, so the soccer books end up being mingled into the football section for no apparent reason.
The other is that there are some books that come under one category, but a very similar book comes under another category and the two are not even close together. What is up with that?
If he weren't dead, I think I would have a sit down with Mr Dewey and give him a thing or two to think about. But as it is I will just shelve books where they belong in his hallowed system and keep my annoyances here on my blog.
Maybe I would understand it better if I were a Media Specialist. Nah I think this is one of those times when nothing will make this make sense.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Friday, September 22, 2006
Thursday, September 21, 2006
I have been trying to stay away from things that used to be triggers for me, but even that precaution doesn't seem to be helping much. The next step is to make sure that I get proper sleep and eat regularly because I tend to forget to eat in the mornings and that makes my head hurt more.
I just hope this doesn't turn out to be a really long couple of weeks. I will have to bring out the big guns, humor, chocolate and plenty of rest, to get me through. I know that having a good sense of humor about this will be my best defense. And if things get really bad I can just chop off my head and store it in the freezer for a few days.
I have already started praying to St. Denis, the patron saint of Migraine Sufferers. It just occurred to me that my Early Church History Professor's name was Fr. Denis; hmmmmm, that explains a lot. Only he was more of a carrier than a healer.
Keep me in your prayers.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Sorry for the inconvenience, I am trying to get someone with a little more blog tech savvy than myself (which would be any run of the mill 12 year old) to help me figure out how to fix this issue.
Until then, sorry for the inconvenience. In Internet Explorer you can see the Header just fine.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
An article in the September issue of Reader's Digest discusses how Neuroscientists are doing serious research into how our brains react to humor. It really is a very interesting article, and well worth a trip to your nearest library or news stand.
The gist of their research is that regular stimulation of the humor centers in your brain actually makes you a more creative thinker and helps you to retain information. In other words, flexing your funny bone is great mental exercise.
This is something that I have no problem believing. Ever since I started Gradual School I have noticed that those professors who are willing to engage in humor as part of their pedagogical methodology are much more likely to maintain my attention and teach me quite a bit. Those who do straight, boring pedantic lectures, are more likely to make me nap.
I think that has been true for all of my educational life. When I have had teachers who were humorless, I learned less. Which explains why I absolutely stink at Word History questions on Jeopardy (blame my teacher sophomore year who wouldn't know a joke if it bit him on the tush.)
Now I suppose that means I have to add a humor workout to my daily exercises. At least this is one that I can do sitting down.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
Some of them actually fall under the auspices of other of the deadly sins, some are just funny and some are tragically un-christian.
Two things I know: there is a God and I am not God. I would never pretend to know better than He what constitutes a deadly sin. But I have to admit internet spam comes pretty close.
h/t to Ironic Catholic for the link.
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Isaiah 50: 5-9a
James 2: 14-18
Mark 8: 27-35
If you are going to talk the talk, you have to walk the walk. I know it’s a cliché, but it became a cliché because there is a truth behind it. If you believe in something, you can’t just talk about it, you have to do something about it. Saying that you believe in something is one thing, showing that you mean it is some thing else altogether. That is the point James was making in his letter. We can say we have faith all day long, but if we never act on that faith, what does our faith really mean? We cannot simply say we are followers of Jesus Christ, we must ACT like followers of Jesus. We cannot ignore what goes on in the world around us. When we see people who need us, need our help, we cannot walk away. We cannot remain trapped in our insular little worlds, we have to venture outside of them, and then look around. The need of others is all around us. The poor, the hungry, the helpless, the voiceless, they are everywhere. We claim to be believers in Jesus, we claim to follow Christ. How do we live that belief out? We can talk the talk, but do we walk the walk? James is calling us to BE what we SAY we ARE. James is calling us to follow the example given to us by Jesus.
In the Gospel Jesus asks his followers, “Who do you say I am?” Peter quickly gives the truth, “You are the Christ.” Jesus acknowledges the truth, and then begins to tell them what he will do for them because he is the Christ. He tells them he must be handed over to the authorities, suffer, and die, and rise. Peter objected, but Jesus rebuked him. Jesus knew his role, he knew what He must do, He knew that he had to walk the walk. And He did. He did exactly what he said He must, and He did it for us. He gave us the example, the example that James is calling us to follow. Faith cannot be just words, faith is action. Jesus calls on us to take up our cross and follow Him. What will you do today to take up that cross? Live your faith. You may not be able to go work in a soup kitchen; you may not have money to give to help the poor, but you can pray for those in need. We’ve talked the talk, now let’s walk the walk.
Deacon John Simmons
Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Sept. 17, 2006
Hey wadda ya know! It did work!! Remember that it is better heard than read.
Father Cantalamessa Asks: Who Is Jesus for You?
Pontifical Household Preacher on This Sunday's Gospel ROME, SEPT. 15, 2006 (Zenit.org).-
Here is a translation of a commentary by Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher to the Pontifical Household, on the liturgical readings for this Sunday's liturgical readings. * * *
Who Do You Say That I Am? Isaiah 50:5-9a; James 2:14-18; Mark 8:27-35
The three synoptic Gospels refer to the episode of Jesus when, in Caesarea Philippi he asked his apostles what people thought of him. The common fact in the three Gospels is Peter's response: "You are the Christ." Matthew adds: "the Son of the living God" (Matthew 16:16) which could, however, be a manifestation due to the faith of the Church after Easter.
Soon the title "Christ" became Jesus' second name. It is mentioned more than 500 times in the New Testament, almost always in the composite form "Jesus Christ" or "Our Lord Jesus Christ." However, it was not so in the beginning. Between Jesus and Christ a verb was understood: "Jesus is the Christ."
To say "Christ" was not to call Jesus by his name, but to make an affirmation about him. Christ, we know, is the Greek translation of the Hebrew Mashiah, or Messiah, and both mean "anointed." The term derives from the fact that in the Old Testament kings, prophets and priests, at the moment of their election, were consecrated through an anointing with perfumed oil. But increasingly in the Bible there clearly is talk of a special anointed or consecrated one who will come in the end times to fulfill God's promises of salvation to his people.
It is the so-called biblical messianism, which takes on different hues according to how the Messiah is seen as a future king (royal messianism) or as Daniel's son of man (apocalyptic messianism). The whole primitive tradition of the Church is unanimous in proclaiming that Jesus of Nazareth is the awaited Messiah. He himself, according to Mark, will proclaim himself such before the Sanhedrin. To the question of the High Priest: "Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?" He replies: "I am" (Mark 14:61 ff.).
So much more disconcerting, therefore, is the continuation of Jesus' dialogue with the disciples in Caesarea Philippi: "And he commanded them energetically not to speak about him to any one."
However, the motive is clear. Jesus accepts being identified with the awaited Messiah, but not with the idea that Judaism had made for itself of the Messiah. In the prevailing opinion, the Messiah was seen as a political and military leader who would liberate Israel from pagan dominion and establish the kingdom of God on earth by force.
Jesus had to profoundly correct this idea, shared by his own apostles, before allowing them to talk of him as the Messiah. To this end is oriented the discourse that follows immediately: "And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things."
The harsh word addressed to Peter, which seeks to dissuade him from such thoughts: "Get behind me, Satan!" is identical with that addressed to the tempter of the desert.
In both cases, in fact, it is about the same attempt to deflect him from the path that the Father has indicated to him -- that of the suffering servant of Yahweh -- to another which is "according to men, not according to God."
Salvation will come from the sacrifice of himself, from "giving his life in ransom for many," not from the elimination of the enemy. In this way, from a temporal salvation one passes to an eternal salvation, from a particular salvation -- destined for only one people -- one passes to a universal salvation.
Regrettably we must state that Peter's error has been repeated in history. Also certain men of the Church, and even Successors of Peter, have behaved at certain times as if the Kingdom of God was of this world and should be affirmed with the victory (if necessary also with arms) over enemies, instead of doing so with suffering and martyrdom.
All the words of the Gospel are timely, but the dialogue of Caesarea Philippi is so in an altogether special way. The situation has not changed. Also today, people have very diverse opinions on Jesus: a prophet, a great teacher, a great personality.
It has become fashionable to present Jesus in shows and novels, in customs and in the strangest messages. The "Da Vinci Code" is only the latest in a long series. In the Gospel, Jesus does not seem to be surprised by people's opinions, nor does he take time to deny them. He only poses a question to his disciples, and he does so also today: "For you, who am I for you?"
A leap must be taken that does not come from the flesh or from blood, but is a gift of God which must be accepted through the docility of an interior light from which faith is born. Every day there are men and women who take this leap.
Sometimes it is famous people -- actors, actresses, men of culture -- and then they make news. But infinitely more numerous are the unknown believers. At times nonbelievers interpret these conversions as weakness, sentimental crises or a search for popularity, and it might be that in some cases it is so. But it would be a lack of respect of the conscience of the rest to cast discredit on every story of conversion.
One thing is certain: Those who have taken this leap will not go back for anything in the world, and more than that, they are surprised to have been able to live for so long without the light and strength that comes from faith in Christ.
Like St. Hillary of Poitiers, who converted when he was an adult, they are willing to exclaim: "Before knowing you, I did not exist."
[Translation by ZENIT] ZE06091501
This is angelmeg again. If you don't already get the Zenit daily dispatch it is well worth the effort to sign up for it, not just for the Papal news, but for great catechesis like this.
This isn't something that I have never heard before, in fact this is a lesson I myself had to learn along the way. Somehow, here and now I am certain that I was meant to read her post because I need to remember that if we believe that God has lovingly placed us exactly where we belong at this moment, then every act of obedience to that state in life should be seen as a gift.
Mrangelmeg is a great example of this. He almost never complains he just gets things done. The rest of our family could learn great lessons from him when it comes to obedience to state in life.
My biggest hurdle in the present is energy level. I want to be more organized and to do more around the house, but as yet I am still not working at 100% energy level. There are still days when after I have done the carting around of kids, and a few small chores it is all I can do to stay awake. I still often nap in the afternoons.
I keep hoping to gain back that energy level that I used to have before I got sick, so that I can really tackle some of the major jobs around the house. I know that eventually I will get stronger as my body adjusts, at least I hope so.
What I need is a plan. I might not be able to tackle all the big jobs at once, but if the kids all helped I could probably do one small job every day, and eventually all the small jobs would add up to a completely organized house. Sunday afternoon I will sit the family down and we will write out a battle plan for getting the house in order. Right after my after church nap.
Friday, September 15, 2006
Okay, I happen to be a child of the sixties and I watched Gilligan's Island every week, and then again in reruns for years after. I also happen to be a cradle Catholic, and a writer with (I hope) a pretty fanciful imagination, but I never would have made this connection in a million trillion light years.
It was an interesting read though.
Hat tip to Ironic Catholic for the link.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
I also went to our public library today and cleaned out everything they had about or by Walker Percy (which sadly was precious little, but enough to get me started) to add to my stack of books. He comes highly recommended by some guys I know.
As for the other reading I am still in the middle of about three other books, but I do have one to cross of the official list.
I love reading.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
When I first started going to him they practically had to give me happy gas just to get my teeth cleaned. Now though after five years of his constant steadying care and attention I don't even need to use the happy gas to get the Novocaine shots!
I kid you not, the only way I could make it through an exam was to imagine that the gates of purgatory were flying open and souls were being released from bondage because of my suffering. That was my happy place. My knuckles would be all white and my entire body would be so tense that I would have a splitting headache by the time the x-ray's were done.
Dr. Mike is the greatest though. He makes me laugh and explains everything completely before he does anything. He has never once given me any painful procedure that wasn't completely necessary. And when he has to do something that is the slightest big uncomfortable he is totally apologetic about the discomfort. I think he is the most skillful dentist I have ever had work on my teeth. I don't think I could go to anyone else.
I remember the day I had to have a root canal, and I was his first patient of the day at about 8:45 in the morning.
"Guess what I did last night?" he said with a big kid-like grin on his face as he began to shoot Novocaine into my jaw.
"I haven't got a clue" was my muffled reply, it is really hard to talk when someone has their hands in your mouth.
"I went to the midnight showing of Star Wars Episode III!"
"Moan" was my reply.
He stops his work and looks down at me. "What, you don't approve?"
"No, I just didn't realize my dentist was such a big nerd. Besides don't you think I would have rather thought, under the circumstances, that you had gotten a good nights sleep last night?"
"Because of the procedure? Nah, that's a piece of cake, I could do that in my sleep." he replied winking and yawning as he reinserted the needle in my jaw.
That is the kind of Dr. he is. A big kid who makes you feel completely relaxed about everything he is doing.
Considering that he is removing my three lower front teeth this morning to replace them with a partial because I have gum disease and bone loss, he has his work cut out for him. I went to mass this morning to pray for peace and strength, and I am going to tell him that purgatory will be a few souls lighter when he is through. I hope he appreciates that he is an agent of so much grace.
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Since then I decided to cut out the middle man (or would that be middle woman in this case) and offered to have Deacon John sign on as one of the Regular contributors to this site so that when the spirit moves him to craft a homily he doesn't have to hope that I check my email on the day that he intended the homily to be given.
I think I may have just called myself lazy, but then since I am, I suppose that's okay.
Hopefully we will all get more homilies from Deacon John this way. I personally love his homilies. And if he decides to spout off about any other subject, heck even philosophy (we were inmates in Modern Philosophy class together this summer) he is welcome to post as often as he wishes.
Be nice to him, he may be ordained, but he is also a married man, and in my book that makes him okay.
ever since I changed over to Blogger beta, (which blogger seemed to need for me to do with such urgency) I have found that I have A LOT of difficulty posting comments on other people's blogs because blogger can't figure out if it wants my blogger sign in or my google sign in.
If you, as one of my two loyal readers, are having trouble commenting on my site you may choose another option which will allow you to comment. You may sign in as either "other" which allows you to specify your name and website address, or you may sign in as anonymous in which case please sign your post so I know who you are.
I am so sorry for this mix up. I am really beginning to wonder if the switch to beta was worth all of the trouble that I have found since I made it.
Mom was so happy to have all of her kids back together, even if she can barely remember our names because of her illness. One of the things we did that day was to recreate a picture that was taken of us when we were younger (much, much younger). I am going to post both of them here for you to see.
The top picture is how we all looked in 1963, just a few months after my youngest brother Mat was born. I am the beautiful one at the bottom right.
I think I have blogged before about my struggles with family relationships. I am really not what you would call close with any of my siblings, but I do love them all and pray for them every day. I am the person I am today because of the family in which I grew up.
I just hope we don't wait another 15 to 25 years to all get together again. For all the minor frustrations of the weekend, it was really fun being around them for a little while. And, no one called me names, at least not to my face.
Monday, September 11, 2006
So much for the notion that people who are in comas are unaware of what is happening around them. This is especially so for those in permanent vegetative states. While the article says that one instance is not cause to make sweeping judgements, there should be more study.
I think that it is sad that testing like this comes too late to have helped keep someone like Terry Schindler Shiavo alive. Perhaps had they been able to prove to someone that she was aware and that her brain could respond to commands even if her body couldn't, she might still be alive today even if her husband wanted her dead.
We can never know. We can only hope that this new information will help keep someone else alive in the future.
Saturday, September 09, 2006
Sadly though I did spend a few days this week battling an ear and sinus infection on top of a cold I got from my kids, but thanks to my wonderful Dr. I am well on my way to good health now that I am taking decongestants and antibiotics and ear drops. Because of my cold though I had to miss my flute and piano lessons, I didn't want to infect my teacher.
We went to open house at the angelbaby's school on Thursday. I got to show mrangelmeg the Library where I spend my Friday mornings and introduce him to the Media Specialist.
RCIA began this week. I am so glad that my friend invited me to be a part of the RCIA process at her parish. I really would have missed it if I hadn't been involved at all.
So, you see, even though I am not in class I am hardly slowing down.
Friday, September 08, 2006
Thursday, September 07, 2006
This morning via Lapped Catholic I came across The DePaola Code, a very inventive look at those wonderful books by one of my favorite children's authors.
You have to click on over there and read for yourself. I promise you it is worth the trip. It was for me, just for the line about itchy Benedictines, as St. Meinrad is a Benedictine Abbey and I spend so much time around the monks there.
This was a total joy.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Can't Resist a Challenge, especially when I don't have a Gradual School class this semester so there are no pesky "reqired reading" stacks for me to wade through. Click on the picture above to link to the original blog, others are participating as well.
Here is my list, from the books I have lovingly stacked by my bedside for just such a time as this.
The Mystical Way in the Fourth Gospel:Crossing Over and Into God by L William Countryman
Hearing God's Call Ways of Discernment for Laity and Clergy by Ben Campbell Johnson
The Scarlet Feather by Maeve Binchey
Kything:The Art of Spiritual Presence by Louis Savary and Patricia Berne
Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher
Beach Music by Pat Conroy
When the Heart Waits by Sue Monk Kidd
Stories of God An Unauthorized Biography by John Shea
If I have time I would like to read another Mary Doria Russell as well.
It seams like a lot, but compared to some of the reading I have done for Gradual School Semesters it will feel like light reading.
Away we Go.!!!!!
No longer will I live with Cartesian doubt, or Hume's skepticism. No more will thoughts of Kant's theory of the impossibility of metaphysics take up so much of my waking life.
I must admit, it may take a while to stop humming the catchy tune that has accompanied me throughout the past three months.
My professor left us with the maxim that if we wished to be the smartest person in the world, all we would have to do is to work out all of Descartes mistakes.
Think I'll stay simple, old me and leave that mind numbing exercise to someone who really has nothing better to do. I have laundry to do -- which tells you where philosophy fits in the grand scheme of things in the angelmeg household, because laundry is very low on the list.
I have this semester off, except for a short paper on my spiritual formation and growth since I entered the formation program. It shouldn't be that hard to do, once I figure out how I want to write it and what I want to say.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
I am so stupid sometimes. It is a wonder I can walk and chew gum at the same time.
There isn't much damage to the car, just enough to destroy my ego and what is left of my credibility with my daughter. I am wondering if it is worth the cost to even get it fixed, since it will probably raise our insurance rates. Sigh.
Other than that, the day went amazingly well, until I had the temerity to try to help my mom find her money in the restaurant where we ate lunch. She yelled at me as if I were 3 years old. I stood there and took it and apologized to the poor woman behind the counter, who had no idea what was going on. Mom is much more combative in public, but a little of that is to be expected since she isn't so heavily medicated anymore. I simply forgot that she hates being reminded that she can't remember where things are.
She did like going out to lunch though. And two minutes after she paid for her meal she had forgotten that she was mad.
I had an appointment with my new spiritual director today, which went very well. He gave me an assignment to do in the next month before we meet again. I am supposed to read a book I happen to already have (interesting that he would mention to me a book that I had in my personal library but never got around to reading, coincidence? I think not!) This first visit was more getting to know you than real direction, but I believe that this relationship will work out well.
Tonight I presented a workshop to catechists on using our Archdiocesan Curriculum and the tasks of Catechesis. I think it went well, even though I haven't presented this particular workshop in over a year. I do the second round on Sunday, I think it should go even more smoothly.
Tomorrow I am going to be a table shepherd for the RCIA process at the same parish where I was tonight. It is a way for me to stay involved in RCIA, even though I am not in active parish ministry. I am really excited about that.
So, even though a few flaws shined through like beacons today, all in all it was a pretty good day.
God is good, all the time. In our weakness He can make us stronger.
Sunday, September 03, 2006
Dt. 4: 1-2,6-8
James 1:17-18, 21b-22,27
Mark 7:1-8,14-15, 21-23
“From within people, from their hearts, come evil thought, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly.” That’s quite a nasty little list of the things that are within each of us. We may want to deny it or hide from it, but when we are honest with ourselves, we know that it is true. We may look all prim and proper on the outside; we may, by appearances, keep all of the rules, yet with in us these dark things hide, and occasionally find a way out.
One thing all of these sins have in common is that they are, in some way, selfishness. Sin is all too often the placing of ourselves first. Making sure our needs are met, making sure our wants are taken care of, making sure our wishes are fulfilled. Sin is selfishness. When we allow these sins to manifest themselves in our lives, we harm other people, but we harm mostly ourselves.
In these sins, in this selfishness, we cut ourselves off from God, and from other people. We live in a universe of one, alone, separated from the rest of the world by our selfishness. We may look alright, but we are drifting in a lonely sea of sin, in need of God, in need of others, but unable to escape the world we have built for ourselves.
Now, we are not Calvinists, and I am not advocating the total depravity of humanity. The situation may look grim, but it is not inescapable. God’s grace provides us with the means to escape this world of our own making. It is never hopeless, it is never so desperate, because we are never really alone. God is there, offering us grace, offering us life.
Through God’s grace what we appear to be can be what we are. Grace opens the door, a door that we can walk through, a door that leads to reconnection, reconnection with each other, reconnection with God. Embrace grace, and be what you are meant to be, be what you want to be, connected to each other and connected to God.
Deacon John Simmons
Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Sept. 3, 2006
Saturday, September 02, 2006
|You Are From Neptune|
You are dreamy and mystical, with a natural psychic ability.
You love music, poetry, dance, and (most of all) the open sea.
Your soul is filled with possibilities, and your heart overflows with compassion.
You can be in a room full of friendly people and feel all alone.
If you don't get carried away with one idea, your spiritual nature will see you through anything.
Mrangelmeg was from Saturn
beats being from Mars and Venus I suppose.
Friday, September 01, 2006
I never really respected Clinton before that Mass in Africa, but afterwards I totally lost respect for him. I have always had an abiding respect for Bush, because he respects others. Here is more proof.