Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
(as you know he is on a month-long business trip to California) Every time I go somewhere where people are used to seeing us together or seeing the entire family, I invariably get the question "Where is that guy?"
I am getting a little bored with having to explain that he is on another of his extended trips, so I sent out a request in my facebook status for some more random, clever or funny answers I might use to answer that question and mrangelmeg rose to the occassion and these are the ones he submitted overnight:
He went to take lessons at the D.B. Cooper School of Skydiving.
He's practicing for the Hide-n-Seek World Championships.
He went to Jupiter, Florida to earn a spot on the St. Louis Cardinals' roster. So far, the only thing he's earned is a court order to stay at least 300 yards away from Tony LaRussa.
He was muttering to himself about how the world would be better off if he'd never been born. His Guardian Angel, Clarence, showed up and said "Yep, you're right." I haven't seen him since.
He wants to see what he looks like on a milk carton.
He thought I told him to "go find yourself."
He went into the hall of mirrors three weeks ago and hasn't made it out. He's not lost, he just likes looking at himself.
He finally decided to chase his dream and is presently attending The Vidal Sassoon Academy of Cosmetology and Hairdressing in California.
The last time I saw him, he was driving his Toyota Tundra to the UAW convention.
He's trapped in a well somewhere and that bitch Lassie won't tell where.
Three words: Barnum and Bailey.
h/t to mrangelmeg for all the love I have in the world and for making me laugh this morning. I just wish I had read these before I had gotten my morning cup of coffee. Coffee splatter is a pain to clean up.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
In the early Christian era, people went out into the desert to gain clarity. It was a way to remove themselves from the hustle and bustle and distraction of city life, so that they could focus on what was truly important.
In the desert every choice could bring life or death, so one must become attune to one's surroundings or risk a fatal fall on loose ground, or be bitten by a poisonous snake hiding among the brush. Tuning in instead of tuning out was the purpose of heading into the desert. Tuning in to God, creator of all one surveyed. Faithfulness brings life.
Where do you find those times of solitude in your busy life? Where do you go to seek out the Creator? Where is your desert?
Monday, March 23, 2009
We are not talking here about giving up things, because that does not
strip the soul if her affective drive remains set on them. We are talking
about stripping away the craving for gratification (gusto, apetito) in those
things. That is what leaves the person free and empty in their regard,
even though she still owns them. Because it is not the things of this
world that take up space in the person or do her harm. [...]No, it is the will
and the hunger for them that dwells inside her.
The person has only one will, and if this gets caught up in a particular thing, it will not be free, complete, single or pure - yet that is what is needed if got is to transform it.
So, you see dear children. When we give up those things we think we can't live without we allow space in our lives for God to enter in and transform our lives. This is the basis for our Lenten fasting, and even though it is already the fourth week of lent, what in your life are you craving to the point of distraction that you can let go of these last three weeks to allow God room to transform you?
Friday, March 20, 2009
according to Calvin and Hobbes I was just a math atheist.
My rights were being descriminated against. Where was the ACLU when I really needed them?
h/t to Adoro for the link.
Turn to page 56.
Find the 5th sentence.
Post that sentence along with these instructions.
Don't dig for your favorite book, coolest book, most intellectual book, etc.
Only the NEAREST book.
My sentence comes from The Impact of God: Soundings from St. John of the Cross by Iain Matthew.
h/t to root canal deprived Karen, greatly in need of prayer for her bad tooth for the link.
I choose to tag anyone who wants to join the fun.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
"Say 'no' to your desires, and you will discover what your heart really
desires. What makes you think your longings are God's longings?"
If we stop filling up on the "things" in our lives, then there is so much more room for God to enter in and take that space and do with it what He wills. How much better for us to find what it is that we really need by stripping away all those things that we only think we can't live without.
Make room for God this lent.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
I am outing myself a bit here but I am so pleased that I am going to admit that
Rufus wrote me a Birthday Limerick using my real first name!!!
Thanks Rufus, I can't tell you how pleased I am to have one of my very own. I may have to print it out and frame it or something.
Everyone kept asking me all day what great Irish Delicacy we were having at the angelmeg household in honor of St. Patrick's Day and my birthday. They all looked a bit stunned when I told them that we were actually having Mexican take-out from Bahio, one of my favorite little grills just on the way home.
Oh well, Patrick would have loved Mexican food if he hadn't been so fond of pig slop I am sure.
Now I am going to spend the rest of the evening relaxing here at home, sipping port and eating nice dark chocolates (I got some wonderful home made dark chocolate truffles from one of my classmates) and wait for my scheduled web-cam date with mrangelmeg. Gotta get that face time!!
Thanks for all the birthday wishes, you guys all mean so much to me.
Monday, March 16, 2009
I have chosen something from Abba Daniel:
One day Abba Ammoes and Abba Daniel went on a journey together. Abba Ammoes said "When shall we, too, settle down, in a cell Father?" Abba Daniel replied "who shall separate us henceforth from God? God is in the cell, and on the other hand he is outside also.
This saying goes right along with what I have been gleaning from this Lent. God will not be placed conveniently in some box in our lives, separate from all the other parts of our life. God touches every moment of our living and breathing, and as such every moment is a spiritual one. If we learn to see with the eyes of faith we can find God in all the moments of our life, from the profoundly religious to the ridiculously mundane, because God is I AM, God of the present moment.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Anyway he has a blog, and it is quite a well written one. I would like to introduce all of my eight loyal readers to it. You can find it at:
The Long Journey into Light
In his blog, you will find reflections on the church year and on what he is experiencing as he prepares for his journey as a seminarian. He has a wonderful take on life as a Catholic and I think you all will enjoy reading it.
The other voice is that of Teresa, the daughter of my very close friend Suzanne. I haven't known Teresa her entire life, but very close. I think she was eight or nine when our families met for the first time. She is a beautiful young woman working full time and going to school to get an Eearly Childhood Education degree.
Her blog chronicles her work and her faith life and all the wonderful things she is thinking and learning along the way. You can find it here:
Taking it One Step at a Time
I have added both of them to my sidebar.
~ St. Paul, Romans 2:4
Each movement of heaven-winning virtue, and especially love, hope, faith and repentance, is made because the Holy Spirit has acted upon the soul in an efficacious manner.
~ Father Isaac Hecker, Servant of God,
founder of the Missionary Society of St. Paul the Apostle (1819 - 1888)
Friday, March 13, 2009
Tyson Southwestern Chicken Strips (in the freezer section of the store) 1 package for 6 people two for more etc. (you will have to mircrowave this a bit and cut it into cubes because it comes in strips, but the flavor is important)
cans of your favorite white beans ( use as many cans and varieties as you need to feed the number of people you are serving)
Pinto (not quite white but have great flavor)
Butter Beans (my favorite to add )
chopped onions ,celery and peppers (I use the frozen prepared mierpoix from the store prechopped and ready to go, as I said, semi homemade at best)
2 to 3 garlic cloves ( I also have prechopped garlic in my fridge that I love)
small amount of Olive Oil ( two tablespoons should be enough.)
One Cup Stock (chicken or vegetable)
One bottle of white wine (dry is better than sweet but whatever you prefer)
Mexican Blend Grated Cheese
How to prepare:
In a large soup pot, heat the oil till hot, toss in the mierpoix mixture and garlic,
heat until the onions are clear
Add wine, stock and chicken to the pot and cook for one hour at a medium simmer.
Transfer the chicken to a crock pot and add the canned beans (with all liquid). cook on high, stirring occasionally for about four hours.
You can also cook it in the soup pot, just add the beans to the soup pot and cook at medium temp for about two more hours stirring a bit more often.
That is it, you are done.
garnish with grated mexican blend cheese and sour cream.
Tell everyone you slaved over getting the spices just right (because most of the flavor comes from the wine and the pre-seasoned chicken.)
Unfortunately, as the day progressed I decidedly went downhill, and by the time I got home from my stint as a library volunteer at my daughter's school I was feeling like H-E-double hockey sticks. So I took some Thera-flu and got into bed.
The Thera-flu seemed to help, but the rest of the evening I had little energy to do much of anything (especially try to attempt to venture into Teresa's Castle). I pretty much vegged out on the couch and watched Thursday evening Television, with the kids: Foaming Bones, another spectacular Michael meltdown, half a Grey's Anatomy episode (I am not sure why I bother anymore) And the return of Doug Ross and Carol Hathaway and Dr. Benton to ER. By then I was so tired I just crawled into bed with my IPod sleep mix and went to sleep.
The question is; do I feel well enough this morning to venture out to my prayer group? I don't feel too bad, but I don't feel great. I hate to get all the way across town and decide that getting out was a huge mistake, but on the other hand I hate to miss my prayer group, especially when it is such an important part of my spiritual development.
I'm thinking I will go, if it is too much I can always come straight back after group and not go on to Mass (which is the normal Friday routine). If I do feel lousy, maybe being out already will be enough of a push to get me to stop in at our emergent clinic and get checked out.
It could happen.
NOTA: God is good all the time. Some decisions are made for us. I got a call just after I had managed to get dressed and was grudgingly making my way to the car with what little energy I had left. It seems that two of the three people in my group won't be able to make it and the third (the one who called me) would just as soon not meet with me this morning anyway (bless her, because she knows how bad I felt yesterday).
So, I took the angelbaby to the bus stop and then drove to the store for eggs, milk and beans for our soup tonight and came back home.
I intend to curl up in my nice warm bed, put on some studying music (the mix I made during Gradual School of songs with no lyrics to distract me -- all jazz and classical tracks) and plow my way through to the seventh mansion of Teresa's Castle and then make my famous white chili [minus the chicken] and some spelt bread with flax and sunflower seeds for dinner tonight. Maybe if I take it slow and comfy all day we can share our soup and bread with our church family at the Stations and Soup Supper this evening.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
He also speaks well, so it makes watching C-Span fun, which is more than I can say for most of the other politicians I have heard.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Thanks to St. Anthony, I woke up this morning and bumped into the last place on earth I would have ever thought to look for my copy of Interior Castle, so I am back to slogging through the sixth mansions (in which we undergo pain and suffering for the Lord).
I freely admit that while I love Teresa dearly, her writing style leaves much to be desired and I am ready to turn tail and run screaming from the darn castle before I ever reach the Seventh Mansions (in which we reach holy union with the Divine ).
I have stopped reading for any kind of comprehension at this point and am just marking the pages till I have read to the end of the book so I can say that I actually read it when I write the paper. I want to be honest in my paper and say that I read the book. Even though I know that I could write the paper now and get five very heart-felt pages about what attracted me and repelled me about this book!!!!
Oh well, back to reading. I will be interested to see just how much I comprehend of the final two sections as I read it "just to get it read." I will report on that later.
I am so happy there isn't going to be a test (at least in this life.)
In another story where the excitement over a "new and exciting technological breakthrough wasn't quite thought out well enough for the global economy; the promotion of biodiesel fuels around the globe and especially in third world countries is squeezing the already hurting food market prices and causing many to go hungry because they can't afford the more expensive cost of grains.
Zeigler said the crisis could cause 100 million people to slip back into poverty, while von Braun warned that high prices could force many more to limit food consumption, leading to drastic malnutrition particularly among children.
"The nutrition situation of the bottom billion of the world population is at risk when they are not shielded from these price rises," von Braun said.
Read the story here.
Think about that the next time you put that ethanol into your tank. How many little children will starve so you can reduce the size of your carbon footprint?
Today is the day to educate yourself about the Global Food Crisis. What are you doing to help feed the world? If you aren't doing anything, shame on you.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Catholics need to remember that “we owe no leader any submission or cooperation in the pursuit of grave evil. In fact, we have the duty to change bad laws and resist grave evil in our public life, both by our words and our non-violent actions. The truest respect we can show to civil authority is the witness of our Catholic faith and our moral convictions, without excuses or apologies.”
You can read the entire address here.
Evil flourishes when people of good will do nothing. Stand up for what is right. Don't be silent any longer.
Anyway I thought maybe if I posted this, St. Anthony might come to my rescue and help me remember where I put the silly book. If not at least I have the pleasure of hearing one of my favorite songs done in a new and interesting arrangement:
Enjoy, while I go back to looking:
Amazingly after the last few years when my Lents have been extremely arid and I have slogged through them wondering exactly what I was supposed to be "getting" out of the journey; this lent has been just the opposite.
Right from the start I have been bombarded with messages and experiences that have been very transformative that I am beginning to wonder if anyone will recognize me when I emerge at Easter. I began this lent with the simple prayer that Whatever God chose to send I would be open for, and I would be obedient to at least try.
Each day I have made that my watch phrase: Be open to where God is in this moment. Bring God to the forefront in every action, interaction and movement of my life. As the Jesuits say: "Find God in All Things".
Where is God leading, and if God isn't leading what is that particular activity, or interaction, or whatever doing in my life?
Now, I am not saying that I am going around like some holy monk or mystic, always in a trance and always doing exactly what God wills, but I must say that I think I am seeking God's plan in all things, and seeing God's fingerprints where I wasn't able to, or just didn't care to before.
Today I had the grace to talk all of this over with my Spiritual Director. I talked about how being aware of God's movement in my day has made me more aware of the Mass readings, and the Pauline message for the day, or even something as simple as my interaction with my kids. I am more aware of how I can be more present to their needs without being grudgingly so, if that makes sense. Now I am giving of my time to them with an open heart, as God gives to me.
Lent has been amazing, and each new day has brought a new thing learned or a new area that needs work revealed. With each revelation comes a loving response from me, not the old me response of "well that's not fair, nobody else has to give that up to be holy".
My spiritual director noticed that there is an abiding sense of peace with me this month. Something new, he added with a laugh. I told him that I had noticed it too, my prayer is peaceful, my lent is peaceful. My life is peaceful. It is a really nice place to be.
Monday, March 09, 2009
His homily was very inspiring; in fact one might say it was convicting in that he said something to the effect that ten days into lent we all might be struggling with what we had decided to give up and we might have, say given up cake, but had replaced that with more cookies.
When we were driving home from church the angelbaby said in her sweetest voice, "Mom, shame on you for offering us those fruit juice bars last night instead of the ice cream we gave up for Lent. Deacon John says we can't replace one treat for another."
I confess, there were some whole fruit juice bars in the freezer, and we as a family did give up ice cream for Lent, and I might have eaten one and offered them to the kids saying "these aren't ice cream they are frozen fruit juice."
Darn, it is really hard to be outed by your kids. At least I know she was listening to the homily.
Today dear children we are going to revisit and old friend whom we met earlier on our mystical journey.
Last night as I was preparing for bed I was reading a few pages of Markings by our dear friend Dag Hammarskjold and came across a little entry that is very appropriate to my spiritual journey this Lent. Since this is my blog, you all get to share in my find and maybe get some insight into the dark and disturbing world of angelmeg's Lenten journey.
Here is what I wanted to share with you
How am I to find the strength to live as a free man, detached from all that was unjust in my past, and all that is petty in my present, and so daily to forgive myself? Life will judge me by the measure of the love I myself am capable of, and with patience according to the measure of my honesty in attempting to meet its demands, and with an equity before which the feeble explanations and excuses of self importance carry no weight whatsoever.
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Monday, March 02, 2009
A young woman was about to finish her first year of college. Like so many others her age, she considered herself to be a liberal Democrat, and among other liberal ideals, was very much in favor of higher taxes to support more government programs, in other words, redistribution of wealth.She was deeply ashamed that her father was a rather staunch Republican, a feeling she openly expressed. Based on the lectures that she had participated in, and the occasional chat with a professor, she felt that her father had for years harbored an evil, selfish desire to keep what he thought should be his.
One day she was challenging her father on his opposition to higher taxes on the rich and the need for more government programs. The self-professed objectivity proclaimed by her professors had to be the truth and she indicated so to her father. He responded by asking how she was doing in school.
Taken aback, she answered rather haughtily that she had a 4.0 GPA, and let him know that it was tough to maintain, insisting that she was taking a very difficult course load and was constantly studying, which left her no time to go out and party like other people she knew. She didn't even have time for a boyfriend, and didn't really have many college friends because she spent all her time studying.
Her father listened and then asked, 'How is your friend Audrey doing?' She replied, 'Audrey is barely getting by. All she takes are easy classes, she never studies, and she barely has a 2.0 GPA. She is so popular on campus; college for her is a blast. She's always invited to all the parties and lots of times she doesn't even show up for classes because she's too hung over.'
Her wise father asked his daughter, 'Why don't you go to the Dean's office and ask him to deduct 1.0 off your GPA and give it to your friend who only has a 2.0. That way you will both have a 3.0 GPA and certainly that would be a fair and equal distribution of GPA.'
The daughter, visibly shocked by her father's suggestion, angrily fired back, 'That's a crazy idea, how would that be fair! I've worked really hard for my grades! I've invested a lot of time, and a lot of hard work! Audrey has done next to nothing toward her degree. She played while I worked my tail off!'
The father slowly smiled, winked and said gently, 'Welcome to the free world.'
Little is known of her life, except what can be gleaned from the record of her trial where she was falsely accused, and sent to her death. Such was that sad time in our history when many men and women lost their lives in the name of the institutional church. The fact that after her death her words lived on is a testament to the Spirit that flowed from them.
Here is a snippet from her most famous work The Mirror of Simple Souls whose central tenet was that annihilation of the will is a form of freedom.
"When I expressed these precious unspeakable things,
I encumbered myself by writing these words.
But thus I took my elan
And by this I was helped
To reach the last stage
Of the estate of which we speak,
Which lies in perfection,
when the soul dwells in pure no-thingness and without thought,
and not before."
Here is another bit from the Mirror for you to ponder:
[A dialogue between Love and the virtues, on the impossibility of
identifying the souls ruled by perfect love:]
"O Holy Trinity," say Faith, Hope, and Charity, "where are there such sublime Souls as this book describes? Who are they, and where are they, and what do they do? Reveal them to us by Love, who knows everything, and so they will be set at rest who, hearing this book, are dismayed. For all Holy Church, if she were to here it read, would be dismayed by it...."
"Truly, this is Holy Church the Less," says Love, "who is ruled by Reason, and not Holy Church the Great..., who is ruled by us."
"Now tell me," says Love to the three divine virtues, "why do you ask us who these
Souls are, and where they are, and what they do?... All three of you know where
they are, for you are with them at every moment of time, for it is you three who
ennoble them. And what they do you also know. But who they are---to speak of
their worth and dignity---neither you nor they know that, and so Holy Church
cannot know it.... That God alone knows...." [ch.19, pp.38-39]
I have added the RSS feed to my sidebar so that you can link to it if you wish
It is the one called Good News on Tap--------------->
Check it out. You won't be disappopinted.