>And today a man, my son…


Today is my first born son’s birthday.
It is one of the biggies: his 21st birthday.

Wow, yah, already!
And I know, I know, how did that happen already??
Where did the time go, blah de blah..the usual. 
But, really….

My baby is 21. 
Which means of course this is the landmark bday for being legal to drink….yah yah…
He already has a cultivated fondness for Italian Reds, preferably quaffed in Italy, and for German beer, preferably quaffed in Germany. Or Austria. Or Polish beer in Poland…you get the idea.
Not sure what he’ll do in South Bend tonight…..South Bend brew??  Hmmmm.
Somehow I think he will find some fun….

But my BABY is 21.
And he is a fine, fine young  man.  
But  you probably already know that….or know that I’m partial there, at any rate.

But because he IS twenty-one…I simply can’t let the day slide by without a list.   
You know it had to  happen, because this is my blog and I love bday lists.  
So, without further ado…..

Twenty-one things about my Chris, my Buddybug, on his twenty-first birthday:

1.  He is a senior at Notre Dame and loves it.

2. He is a rabid sports fan; ESPN perhaps his favorite channel.

3. His personal fav game is basketball, followed perhaps by ping pong; but his viewing favs are all over the map.

4. Except for NASCAR.  Happily, never, never did he or will he  like NASCAR.

5. He is a musician; he has an ear and hands and a voice for music, gifted to him…plain and simple.  

6. He likes all kinds of music, except maybe not so much country or heavy metal…for which I as his mom am forever grateful.

7. He is a genial chap.

8. He is a true friend, to so many, and he means it…once you’re his friend, that’s it.  Done deal. 

9.  He is a lightening fast Bananagrams player, able to create word combos at a maddeningly fast clip…..house champion – much to my chagrin.  (And tho I put that up as a bday present of sorts….I can still whup him from time to time, and he knows it.  It’s good, it keeps him humble.)

10.  He is very even keeled, patient, and calm..which is probably the armor God equipped him with in order to grow up w/ me as his mom and this tribe around him.

11.  He loves his faith; it truly deeply and really means very much to him, and for that he inspires me.

12.  He loves to travel, has done so all over the world, and will surely continue….just like his dad.

13.  Even so, he loves to come home too and is content to hang out with his mom, read, and play volleyball in the pool with his sibs.

14.  He is not materialistic….at all.  He doesn’t have cravings for many things.

15.  He is very very difficult to buy a bday present…see number 14.

16.  He does however, and always has, like a good watch (exception to number 14…and good, not necessarily expensive, just “good” simple function.). 

17.  Even as a small boy he was fixated on time, to the point of our exhaustion at his referencing the time, ever so precisely, ALL the time, but particularly as you were running late to school….See number 16.

18. He is often late, despite number 17, and thus, number 19.

19. He is a procrastinator….at odds with number 17, or perhaps because of it (?).  

20.  He loves my cooking, especially my cakes and pie; which makes me ridiculously happy.

21.  He has grown into an exceptional young man, a fine son, brother, friend….and we all love him beyond speaking.

Happy Happy 21st Birthday my Christopher.

You have grown into a fine young man. 
I so very proud of you and love you so on this landmark birthday…..
We all miss  you so much and I am sending you virtual hugs and kisses and birthday wishes today…
Eat some cake!

>Fall? Really? What’s for supper?

>I have less time to blog and surf nowadays (the net….cmon…)
But every now and then I need some inspiration for the relentless question in this house:

“What’s for dinner?”

So, I pass by my many cookbooks and go to the uber hip and happening ‘net to find some cutting edge inspiration, especially on Fridays (which in this house, are usually meatless).

And so, this is just to kind of note that right now, all over the web, we’ve got all those lovely cozy inspiring “fall” stews and ragus and braises and whatnot.

Except for that it is STILL in the mid to high 90’s here and if I could skip cooking entirely until it dips into the 70’s or, even better, the 60’s…well, I would.
My garden is long dead from neglect in the searing heat…
My inspiration to make healthy summer type fare was left in Italy for the most part….

And I’m whining a bit today I guess because I need to figure out a no meat simple easy quick simply tasty simple (did I mention I got very little sleep last night due to a wakeful fussy Gabey and a croupy Em?) supper for dinner tonight.
Not the soup’s I love so much, because it’s not autumn yet here, despite what the calendar says and what the web is cooking…too hot for soups.

Nope….I need some ideas.
So, if anybody is out there…..take pity.
It’s still smothering hot here.
But a mom has to make something easy and kid crowd pleasing and meat free and easy for supper.
And it’s NOT autumn yet…it’s kinda summer, kinda not….and my creative brain is sizzled with the heat….

Little help?
What’s cooking, meatless and easy, at your house?

>International Adoption Conference this weekend!

>This is where I will be this Saturday!
It’s local and has some great forums and best of all, my dear pal and social worker, Amanda Heiderich, is the keynote speaker!
Not to be missed.
It’s called “International Adoption: What to expect when you leave the airport.”

The forums are on:
Older Child Adoptions
Trans Racial and Trans Cultural Adoptions
Special Needs
A Parent’s Perspective

I know! How am I gonna choose?!  Every one, right up my alley.  Oy….choices choices.
Anyhow, I’ve arranged the sitters (thank you Olivia and Tom) and I’m going. I’m excited, I’m gonna Tivo the ND game and go to the conference and clap really loud for Amanda too, because everyone else will be doing the same thing.  She is terrific and a great resource for anyone who has interest in these topics.  This should be a great day of info and hopefully hanging out with interesting folks who are standing on the same page….I”m really looking forward to it!

Be there or be square!
{No, that doesn’t date me….all the really cool hip people are saying that again!}

>Older Child Adoption Adjustment: Niches

>You know, this world of older child adoption is weird.  Ok, I guess the world of adoption itself can be strange and ok, ok, the world of parenting in general has it’s oddities.  Ok ok ok….maybe it’s just my kids and our house.  Ok ok ok ok! It’s me!  It’s always me.  Geez!
 I’m weird, and a dorky goofball who has to overthink things and even so Still can’t figure them out to my satisfaction.
Hence, I have to post and blather on so you all can take pity on me and throw me a bone and pitch in some ideas.
So, now that we know what we are dealing with today, are we ready to move forward with today’s post?  Yes?  Ok, then….

I’ve been thinking about how to talk about this…not because it’s all so profound or important, but as you might gather from my disclaimer in the paragraph above, it’s all about me and I’m stewing about this but it’s a delicate subject.  It’s also the same subject that I have a chronic, just-below-the-surface rant simmering.  I’ll spare you that, you can go here for my lead in on that one if you can’t stand the curiosity.
But in the past few days or weeks, I’ve decided that it comes down to niches.

Yup, that’s right: niches.

What I mean by that, is that I think we all want a niche.  We are surely all so doggone quick to slot everyone else into a niche, aren’t we? Well, I sure am…..really I think we all do it all the time, I know I do consciously or not.  Sue me.  It’s true.  It’s kind of how we make sense in a shorthand way of our world…that’s my theory anyhow, today at least, and I’m sticking to it.
Anyhow…..I think this slotting of things and folks into niches is not just the slick snobbery or critique that it seems on the surface.  I think it has a lot to do with the yearning to connect.  I think it is probably socially quite primal.  Us, them, other….and while my thoughts on “other” do factor in here, they are also sometimes a rant and also really too big for this post.  Another post, another day.  Lucky you.  But, today I want to talk about the inclusive side or concept of niches.
Meaning, today I want to talk about one particular niche: older child adoption.
And I’m telling ya: this niche…it’s kinda lonely.
This niche has little sub-niches.  Honestly, being a very visual gal, I see it almost as sort of a cave/niche (yeah, blog) system.  There is this big sheltered cave: adoptive families, and then there are the big warm welcoming cozy caves connected to that: the domestic, the international, the babies, the toddlers caves, the various countries….heck  you’ve already got a nice little cozy cave city to check out and circulate through and set down and stay a spell (as they say here in the south).

But then back in the beyond of these nice cozy lit up niches and caves, carved and polished smooth and well fortified with gleaming information and supports, are some other niches that are smaller, not as many are back there hanging out, and if they are, it’s so busy and so tough or so unique that there isnt’ a whole lotta room, in fact, I’d say they don’t even really see each other too much.
And one of those niches is a newly carved out niche, and it fits a family of ten it seems…..but it’s far from being polished and it’s got rough walls and a few nice smooth spots of support but really, it’s feels kind of empty; kind of smallish.
That’s our niche.
That’s my niche.
It’s the niche of “older international adoption of teen with developmental delays.”

See how fast that niche cleared out? See how all of those who were kind of peeking in quickly withdrew and moved on? Not because they were mean or threatened or uncaring…but just because they instantly saw, um, no common ground there.  Hard to sit down and get comfy and compare notes or stories or tools because they don’t have that toolkit.
When I add in, “and with a background from hard places“….well, that just scares most anyone else off too.  Not everyone….this gal is one of the bravest women I’ve seen in the blogosphere.  I love her.  Her niche is overlapping mine, close enough that I find comfort there too.  Go see.
As one of the gals from our agency put it, when I asked if they had any connections to folks in the same or similar boat…”um, noooo, that’s a pretty singular niche.”
So, that’s why I’m thinking of niches.
Because I want to compare notes with brighter minds who’ve gone before me, who have tools and ideas for this niche and our particular snags that surely would be common if there were others in this niche too.

I want to connect with others who have adopted a teen (preferably internationally so we can talk about language acquisition) who has developmental delays.

Now I can also go off on one of my numbered rants about the loneliness of being in this niche, and not being able to say it out loud.  Having to whisper “developmental delays” out of some sort of weird political correctness just chafes me.  It is what it is.  It’s not a judgement, it’s not a slur.  It’s objective and shouldn’t be a stigma and if you saw her smile you would never think otherwise.  She’s a teen, with all that entails.
She is a moody hormonal teenage girl who has a caring bossy sweet devout selfish intense stubborn sensitive nature.
Like, um, most teenage girls.
She is exhausting and good.
Like most teenage girls.
She is manipulative and wants to get her way and preferably go shopping as often as possible.
Like most teenage girls.
She has developmental delays and we didn’t raise her from birth and thus learn all about this for the past 13+ years, only for the past year, so that is why my map is limited, and my toolbox is sparse.  It’s why it can be lonely for us all, working with that.  It’s frustrating and glorious both on any given day.  Maybe often even at the same time.

But this niche is lonely…I don’t know anyone else in this niche.
I wish I did.
And yeah, before you get all lofty, we still venture out to all the other niches because our family walks through and fits many many different niches and labels and communities.  We live in them all. Messily.
I don’t even want to leave this niche; I want company.   I want to make this niche beautiful with the companionship and shiny ideas and successes of others who’ve rested here too.
I’m not sure they are out there.
If you are, and you happen upon this blog, please drop me a line and say hello.
Our niche is actually a pretty friendly place.

Actually, I lied up there.  Misspoke, perhaps.  But I would love to leave this niche.  I would love to only have wide open streets with sunshine and walk away from every harder stony niche forever.
But that’s not gonna happen in this life.  Because we create our own niches to define our comfort zones…it’s when the niches are thrust upon us or we into them, alone, unwilling, that we find ourselves, ok, myself, out of sorts and feeling lonely.
So, I think the trick is to stop whispering.
To move that niche if it’s darker or not comfy or lonely.
 Really, I suppose….If it’s my/our niche then we define it and we open it up to company and ideas and other contributions of beauty and support and I learn to see and create the beauty within it.
So I will continue to wish for companions in this niche, but I’m trying to move it to the sun….and maybe, here in the blogosphere someone else will see  a sunny niche where real life is said out loud, not in a hushed whisper, and decide to stop by and stay and visit for a spell.

>For any mom


drawing by Kate Kollwitz, 1903
Today is the day we remember Our Lady of Sorrows.
Oh, there is so much to this one…
As a mom, this resonates with me.  
Ok, maybe as an older mom it resonates.
As a mom of sons who’ve gone to college, who has just sobbed goodbye to them…
as a mom of kids who come from hard places and  have endured hardship and trauma…
as a mom who has held other mom’s babies and children across the world in dark hot smelly orphanages, waving flies off their face as I feel their damp bottoms but also their arms clinging to my neck, or see them lying limp in my arms just gazing out – disconnected…
as a mom of kids who have struggled with different needs, some of them very hard and/or intense…
as a mom of kids who’ve gone through life-threatening events and as a mom who has sat vigil bedside in the PICU….
gosh as a mom who has lain awake countless nights worrying over  her kids…
over things big or small….
As a friend to moms who have lost children…
as a friend to moms who’s kids have been in the PICU, or hospital too….
as a friend to moms who have had kids go through the hardest scariest time in their lives and/or those of their parents…
goodness, as a mom who WATCHES THE NEWS, for pity’s sake…
….this memorial is for us.  
Because this Blessed Mother, she is us.  
She is every mom.  
She is the mom giving  her portion of food for her hungry child.
She is the mom sitting bedside by her sick child.
She is the mom who weeps sending her child off, to work, to college, to a new life in a new country.
She is the mom who wishes she could hurt so her child doesn’t have to.
She is the mom who carries them, bodily, but also in mind and heart….all day, every day, all night, every night. 
She is the mama.
She is us.  
She gets it.  
And she helps us carry it all….all those things that no one but a mom can fathom, truly…well, she does.  
As I wept and wept a few weeks ago, worried over my son, him moving out and having to say goodbye to him in a new place that didn’t feel like home, at all, to him or to me…my other son said this: “Our Lady of Sorrows mom….the litany, it will help.”  I said, “She didn’t send her son to college!” (I know, I’m a selfish idiot)  He smiled and said “Yuh, she watched him be crucified.”  
So…with that, I give you this, it helped me then, and it is a reminder that she is not just the remote Mother of God.  
She is everywoman.  
Everymom.  Us.
 Litany of Our Lady Of Seven Sorrows 
By Pope Pius VII
Leader Response
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of heaven, Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, Have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us.
Holy Virgin of virgins, Pray for us.
Mother of the Crucified, Pray for us.
Sorrowful Mother Pray for us.
Mournful Mother Pray for us.
Sighing Mother Pray for us.
Afflicted Mother Pray for us.
Foresaken Mother Pray for us.
Desolate Mother Pray for us.
Mother most sad Pray for us.
Mother set around with anguish Pray for us.
Mother overwhelmed by grief Pray for us.
Mother transfixed by a sword Pray for us.
Mother crucified in thy heart Pray for us.
Mother bereaved of thy Son Pray for us.
Sighing Dove Pray for us.
Mother of Dolors Pray for us.
Fount of tears Pray for us.
Sea of bitterness Pray for us.
Field of tribulation Pray for us.
Mass of suffering Pray for us.
Mirror of patience Pray for us.
Rock of constancy Pray for us.
Remedy in perplexity Pray for us.
Joy of the afflicted Pray for us.
Ark of the desolate Pray for us.
Refuge of the abandoned Pray for us.
Shield of the oppressed Pray for us.
Conqueror of the incredulous Pray for us.
Solace of the wretched Pray for us.
Medicine of the sick Pray for us.
Help of the faint Pray for us.
Strength of the weak Pray for us.
Protectress of those who fight Pray for us.
Haven of the shipwrecked Pray for us.
Calmer of tempests Pray for us.
Companion of the sorrowful Pray for us.
Retreat of those who groan Pray for us.
Terror of the treacherous Pray for us.
Standard-bearer of the Martyrs Pray for us.
Treasure of the Faithful Pray for us.
Light of Confessors Pray for us.
Pearl of Virgins Pray for us.
Comfort of Widows Pray for us.
Joy of all Saints Pray for us.
Queen of thy Servants Pray for us.
Holy Mary, who alone art unexampled Pray for us.
Pray for us, most Sorrowful Virgin, That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray.

O God, in whose Passion,
According to the prophecy of Simeon,
A sword of grief pierced through
The most sweet soul
Of Thy glorious Blessed Virgin Mother Mary:
Grant that we, who celebrate
The memory of her Seven Sorrows,
May obtain the happy effect of Thy Passion,
Who lives and reigns world without end.

>Triumph? A cross, really…..?


 Dali, of course.

Today is the feast of the Triumph of the Cross
Which always seems all counter-intuitive.  Like we Catholics and Christians have lost our collective minds.  Really? A cross? That horrible gory ghastly unspeakable death?  Or, that so common it’s lost it’s punch story of the crucifixion….yeah yeah yeah, I know I know.  Easy to kind of give a mental nod to it and move on, right? 
Well, yeah……..except when it’s YOUR cross. 
Because that’s what this is about: You.  Your cross too. 
By which I mean, mine.
And then it all takes on QUITE a different tone doesn’t it?
Because these “crosses”…..doggone if they don’t HURT!
Like HELL!

Yeah, see, you get the idea. 
Takes me a while and I still forget, but yeah.
That’s the idea.  Because you don’t get to Christ without the Cross.
But you don’t. 
And really, you don’t even want to. No, really, think about it, you don’t…because it is in our suffering that we strip away the dross, the unimportant, and find the realest of real, the true.  It is in that process that we find what is most important about our lives, ourselves….and it is always the same truth: Love.  And that of course, is God.  God is love.  Done.

Why it takes the Cross to get that through our stubborn mulish heads I don’t know.  I guess because I am so stubborn.  Such a mule.  Such a slow slow learner. 
So proud. So controlling. 
All of that has to be kicked out of me, again and again before I can set it all down and give over…. 
so that I can let real love wash over me, the way it’s supposed to instead of the way I’d like to direct it…. to learn to actually LOVE, in action and deeds instead of only good intentions….to just do it {and yes, I”m still working on it, thanks for asking…sigh}

And it’s that. In the doing, where we find the love, even as we might be carrying the cross.  Then too is when we see the triumph, yeah, even the exaltation and joy of that very cross, so despised before.  We see it’s beauty.  Because it transformed…..everything.  It transformed suffering. It transformed ugly, and pain, and horror, and fear, and weeping, and exhaustion.  It took it all and flipped it inside out….into our very reason for shouting and clapping for joy, for hugging with grateful tears, for that catch in our chest when we know that it’s ok, not even ok, but oh so unspeakably good. 
Because it is love.  It is our suffering, which is our giving to the last drop of ourselves that we go the cross, Christ’s cross, and only then do we get to really learn what it means to really love, in the way that is real. 
Love that word.
Today’s the day to remember it.


“We adore you Oh Christ, and we praise you, because by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.”

>Praying for Bishop

>Today is a day of much import:
It’s the anniversary of 9/11, of course.
It’s Ethiopian New Year: Melkem Addis Amet!
It’s game day for the Irish.

Most of all however, for us here in the coffeehouse, today is a day of prayer for our dear Bishop who is recovering from heart surgery.
He needs our prayers and I ask, if you have a moment and the inclination, to pray for this holy and dear good man.
He is one of the good guys.
He is my spiritual father…..our family’s spiritual father and we love him.
Please pray for the swift and full recovery of our Bishop, David Choby.

Praying for Bishop…….

>Political interjection…Korans and 9/11


**Update: I’m relieved that the plan to burn the Korans has been shelved.  Hopefully, it will stay that way and we can have a day of peace and prayer on this sad anniversary**

Ok, I don’t do politics too much on this blog.

However, now and again, I can’t help it, I have to say something….
especially when life and faith and politics intersect in such a firestorm.
(Ok, strike that, all too often they intersect in a firestorm and they intersect,  um, daily….still…).

Others more erudite and thoughtful than myself have said this so much better. 
But I’m weighing in.
I’ve been trying to find a simpler place overall….to simplify and quiet some (I know, hard to believe, but I’m TRYING, people).  Hence my blog has been a touch quieter, or a lot. I’m trying to be more present to the kids instead of my usual distracted….hence less blogging.

But I have to speak up and say this quickly and simply:

The Koran burning that is all up in the news for Saturday on the anniversary of 9-11?

I’m against it.  
I think its inflammatory (no pun intended) and not helping and wrong.

And even Il Papa, Pope Benedict, is against it…..and I trust his judgement (big surprise, I know).

B16 is shown above receiving a copy of Islam’s sacred text 
during his 2008 meeting with the interreligious community at 
Washington’s Pope John Paul II Cultural Center.

Go here and read this, I’ll excerpt it here but go read the whole thing (this pic and excerpt shamelessly stolen from the great Whispers in the Loggia blog):

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue received with great concern the news of the proposed “Koran Burning Day” on the occasion of the Anniversary of the September 11th tragic terrorist attacks in 2001 which resulted in the loss of many innocent lives and considerable material damage.

These deplorable acts of violence, in fact, cannot be counteracted by an outrageous and grave gesture against a book considered sacred by a religious community. Each religion, with its respective sacred books, places of worship and symbols, has the right to respect and protection. We are speaking about the respect to be accorded the dignity of the person who is an adherent of that religion and his/her free choice in religious matters.

And I’m just gonna point out that some of these old tried and true adages still hold and apply, even in international issues: “Treat other people how you want to be treated.” Simplistic? Perhaps, but ya know, respect goes a loooong way, and respecting the dignity of persons and faiths is still appropriate even after such unspeakable grief as experienced in the tragedy of 9/11…perhaps even  more than appropriate, it is critical for all of us to retain our foundation of humanity.

If we cannot treat the greater community that is our new small world with respect, then we are lowering ourselves as a culture to play on the extremists playing field.  What a loss, literally and figuratively.  If we cannot rise above and live our lives, even as a culture, with respect to the dignity inherent in each human person, no matter their differences, then we  have lost…..so much, too much…and we continue to cause potentially irreparable damage. 

My fav, JP2 possibly said it best (again shamelessy nabbed from Whispers in the Loggia):

“Recourse to violence in the name of religious belief is a perversion of the very teachings of the major religions”

  Prayer of Pope Benedict at Ground Zero, during his visit to USA:

“O God of love, compassion, and healing,
look on us, people of many different faiths and traditions,
who gather today at this site,
the scene of incredible violence and pain.

We ask you in your goodness
to give eternal light and peace
to all who died here-
the heroic first-responders:
our fire fighters, police officers,
emergency service workers, and Port Authority personnel,
along with all the innocent men and women
who were victims of this tragedy
simply because their work or service
brought them here on September 11, 2001.

We ask you, in your compassion
to bring healing to those
who, because of their presence here that day,
suffer from injuries and illness.
Heal, too, the pain of still-grieving families
and all who lost loved ones in this tragedy.
Give them strength to continue their lives with courage and hope.

We are mindful as well
of those who suffered death, injury, and loss
on the same day at the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Our hearts are one with theirs
as our prayer embraces their pain and suffering.

God of peace, bring your peace to our violent world:
peace in the hearts of all men and women
and peace among the nations of the earth.
Turn to your way of love
those whose hearts and minds
are consumed with hatred.

God of understanding,
overwhelmed by the magnitude of this tragedy,
we seek your light and guidance
as we confront such terrible events.
Grant that those whose lives were spared
may live so that the lives lost here
may not have been lost in vain.
Comfort and console us,
strengthen us in hope,
and give us the wisdom and courage
to work tirelessly for a world
where true peace and love reign
among nations and in the hearts of all. ”

>Holy Cake!


It’s the feast of the Nativity of Mary! 

Today is the day we celebrate and remember the nativity of our Blessed Mother, Mary. The birth of the Theotokos, Mother of God. I know some have questions or issues with this whole concept…but I am all about loving our Blessed Mother, and all about celebrating birthdays, so I can run with it! Go here for a quick bit on it as well.

I am so grateful for her and for her birthday that we will celebrate with flowers for her and maybe even a yummy dessert….Because living the liturgical year is fun and cool and gives much needed texture, rhythm, and depth to the warp and woof of our lives.

And here is a lovely prayer for the day:  from the Liturgy of the Hours: 

Father of Mercy, give your people help and strength from heaven.
The birth of the Virgin Mary’s son
was the dawn of our salvation.
May this celebration of her birthday
bring us closer to lasting peace.
Grant this through Our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. Amen.

— the Liturgy of the Hours

Birth of Virgin Mary to St. Anne in Santa Maria Novella, Florence.  By Domenico Ghirlandio

So, this is a bit rambly…but well, think of your Mother today…your Blessed Mother and maybe say a prayer of thanksgiving for her. Because like all of us moms, she loves us even when we don’t love her nearly well enough back….and, yes, in case you’re wondering, we will have cake!

Happy Birthday Mary!

“Nativitas tua genitrix virgo gaudium annunziavit universo mundo”

(Thy birth, O Virgin and Mother of God, brings joy to all the world).

>Servant of Servants


Drawing by Matt Alderman, a fellow “Domer.”  
His pen and ink work is always fantastic.

It’s the feast of Pope St. Gregory the Great!
Or, as we know him around our house: St. Gregory, Chris’ patron.
We hit him up for prayers, ok, I hit him up for prayers for my eldest son quite often.
By which I mean, I’m a dreadful nudge about it all.  But he is a faithful patron, and I am grateful for his prayers for my son.

It’s the feast day of Pope St. Gregory the Great.

 I don’t remember all of Buddybug’s reasons for choosing St. Gregory the Great as his patron. But I suspect that his love of music was one of the links. St. Gregory promoted sacred music, now known to us as, duh: “Gregorian Chant.” And Buddybug (and his mom and dad) love Gregorian Chant. So, no surprise there.

St. Gregory is one of the few who have “the Great” attached to their name, and is also a doctor of the Church (meaning a great teacher). He sent missionaries into England and Ireland, and then Germany – spreading the hope and faith throughout Europe. He was highly educated and founded seven monasteries. Eventually he even was elected Pope. As Pope, he tirelessly worked in service for the Church.  Indeed, he is the one who so aptly coined the most appropriate and under-used title for the Pope: “Servant of the servants of God.”

I always just mostly think of my son when I think of St. Gregory the Great. And another little but extra pleasing link for me: St. Gregory’s mother was St. Silvia. My mother’s first name is Sylvia (hence, Buddybug’s grandma is Silvia). I know, teensy nothings, but yet, they make me smile. And since this saint and my boy are connected in my daily prayers, they are kind of supernaturally and eternally connected I think too (and certainly are in my head).

So, I thank St. Gregory for his prayers for my boy.
And I wish him and my Buddybug:

Happy Feast Day!!
St. Gregory the Great, pray for us!

>The whisper in lonely

>Well, maybe it’s because I’m kinda missing my boys today.  But I read this on my Buddybug’s blog and I’m linking to it. It’s lovely.  Worth a click.
And even better, I think it’s true.

I remember telling Chris this a long time ago, and I forgot (ack) to tell Jon this, as he forges new friendships in a new place and also has to endure a bit of the lonesome that comes with that process.

What I mean is that sometimes, I truly believe, that when we feel a little lonely, lonesome, and get that soft ache deep in our chest and  heart, I think it’s not only missing the friend(s) or missing the family…

Sometimes I think, I believe, it is God himself calling his own back to himself.  Us.  It’s God’s whispering at us to come back to him, go, visit, talk, pray, connect, love.  It’s the deepest aching craving of all and one that we all too often smother over with um, anything and everything; from food to noise to drink to business to texting.  I think we do all that sometimes to drown out that clanging din of whispering aching lonely…..for God himself.

Thus, the best answer to that lonesome is prayer.  And I guess I needed that reminder today even more than I needed to remember to remind my JonJon.  Thanks Buddybug for reminding me.

Go see.  Remember.