Feast of the Holy Family

It’s still Christmas!

It’s the Feast of the Holy Family!

Michelangelo, Holy Family

Pope John Paul II – Prayer from Angelus Message for the Feast of the Holy Family 2004

“May the Holy Family, who had to overcome many painful trials, watch over all the families in the world, especially those who are experiencing difficult situations. May the Holy Family also help men and women of culture and political leaders so that they may defend the institution of the family, based on marriage, and so that they may sustain the family as it confronts the grave challenges of the modern age!

 

 

 

Fabulous Fourteen!

Oh my, my Emmy is fourteen!

My girl, who has a heart of beauty that surpasses all…she is a wise old fourteen today!

She’s my other “old soul” in the house and I hope she has a fabulous happy birthday! She’s the only kid who gets a visit from Peter Joseph for her birthday, so that’s pretty special too.  The WHOLE family here to celebrate with her; yeah, because she’s all that.

Happy Birthday beautiful Emily!

We are SO proud of you and love you so!

The Holy Innocents

I hate this memorial.  I know it, as a Catholic, I pray it and ponder it.

It’s a hard kind of Hallelujah, knowing that once again, and then, our hard cold world is willing to steal innocent lives….all too often with some twisted evil agenda or just plain broken minds and souls.  Then. Now.  It’s too close to us, once again, this year.

But as I pray through this hard solemn day in the feasting of the octave of Christmas, I take blind faith and cold comfort in the knowledge that these kids – all the kids from way back to these first innocent babes to the shocking ones this month – ARE INNOCENTS.  And in our faith, we are taught that they are martyrs and immediately received into the joyful comfort and bliss and understanding of their role in the unfolding of creation and our world.

So, today I weep, again, for these babies.  I don’t begin to understand. I weep for the the hard extraction of holiness from our hell on earth.  And I cry out to find the goodness in such unspeakable hard.  But I trust, I trust in the promise of my  faith, and the grace that fills the void.  And, just as with the first innocents…..we remember these.

Feast of St John, Apostle

It’s still Christmas!

It’s the feast of St. John the Apostle!

I love this one because it means it’s also my Jon’s feast day and it’s all about friends.  Even Jesus had a good best friend.  What a great example that is to all of us; how important close friends are to us all!

El Greco, St John

Collect: O God, who through the blessed Apostle John have unlocked for us the secrets of your Word, grant, we pray, that we may grasp with proper understanding what he has so marvelously brought to our ears. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Feast of St Stephen

It’s still Christmas!

It’s the feast of St Stephan!

by Pope John Paul II: Angelus Message: Vatican, December 31, 2003

Giorgio Vasari, Stoning of St Stephen

1. Today, in the joyful atmosphere of Christmas, we are celebrating the Feast of St Stephen, one of the first deacons of the Church. He is also known as the “Protomartyr” because he was the first disciple of Christ to pour out his blood for him. Stephen was stoned to death because of false accusations similar to those levelled at Jesus himself and, like the Master, he died forgiving those who killed him.

2. The Church calls the day of martyrdom a dies natalis (birthday). Indeed, by virtue of Christ’s death and Resurrection, the death of the martyr isa birth in Heaven. This is why it is so meaningful to celebrate the First Martyr the day after Christmas: Jesus who was born in Bethlehem gave his life for us so that we too, reborn “from on high” through faith and Baptism, might be willing to give up our own lives for love of our brothers and sisters.

Today I would especially like to remember the Christian communities that are suffering persecution and all the faithful who suffer for the faith. May the Lord give them the strength to persevere and the ability to love even those who cause their suffering.

3. May Mary, Mother and disciple of her Son Jesus, accompany all Christians on their journey, from the baptismal font to the hour of their death. May she, Queen of the Martyrs, help us too to be “martyrs”, that is, witnesses on every occasion to the love of Christ whom we contemplate in these days as a Child in the crib.

Finally, 21!

It’s my Booboo’s birthday! 21!

Oops, maybe now that he’s all officially ‘of age’ and all, I can’t call him that anymore……NAHHHHH.  That’s not gonna happen.  He’s my boy.  No matter how old! Though, I’ll tell you.  This boy, since he was a tiny boy…he’s been an old soul.  He’s always  had a certain gravitas…combined with a wickedly sharp wit.  So funny.  But, even so, this 21 felt a long time coming.  Because really, he’s like a 68 year old man on the inside; complete with cardigan and worn out slippers.

But, on the outside, today…he’s 21!

Jon and his sweet beautiful girlfriend Leslie. Love them!

Unfortunately, he’s also getting SLAMMED by killer engineering finals.  So I don’t know how much big time celebrating there will be going on.  But then again, he’s always been resourceful.  Ahem.  Just stay safe ok, man?

Anyhow, I can’t go off on a tear about all the ways I love this boy.  But you have read the bday posts that came before….so you know.  And if you didn’t, well, you can just know. I LOVE this boy. I am so proud of him.  There just aren’t words to say it well and my fingers would get all crampy doing it.  So, I”m keeping it short and sweet.

We love you Jonjon!

We are SO SO SO proud of you! Not only because you’re doing great and working so hard but because of the core of your character and heart.  Because of the man you have become, and will be.

We wish you the happiest birthday and can’t wait to see you after finals!

Happy 21st birthday Jon Jon.

We love you so.

Joyous solemnity

It’s a high feast day, a solemnity. It’s the Feast of the Immaculate Conception!

It’s a very big feast and a happy great day. I’m happy for it! I love Mary and I love this feast. So, don’t forget your Blessed Mother today, she’s a gift to us all. I’m so grateful.

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God gave her his help from the dawning of her days; the Most High has made his dwelling place a holy temple

A Different Kind of Cookie Bite

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“What’s that you say? How’s that? Come again? Excuse me? Say it again?

Yeah, how about that for the top expressions you don’t want to have on your short list? But, they are mine.

Because I’m losing my hearing a bit. Yeah. It bugs me like crazy.

And, I feel old. I’d like to say that this was just another piece of the hit list that is turning fifty. But I fear that I have that more genetic loss: the “cookie bite.” (I know, so apropos of my sweet tooth, you’d think it was tailor made for me. Oh, it’s genetic, I guess it was….)

But, I’ve noticed this loss for years. In fact, the doc has called me at home after my hearing test for years to say, “You’d really benefit from a hearing aid.” I’ve dismissed it. Pssssh. Moi? Nah. Who’s got time for the fiddle factor? I don’t need to another gadget to have to fool with. And, since my ears already ring a great lot of the time and I don’t need to add hissing or squeaking to the mix. I’ve already got enough of THOSE sounds from the children.

But, I’m starting, after years and years, to finally consider it. I’m even past the point of caring much what it looks like; though I feel bad that poor Tom would have a wife that looks like a senior citizen. I have the hardest time hearing Gabey. He can be my loudest child, to be sure, but when he’s just talking, he can have a voice that sounds muffled, even if he’s talking in english versus Gabelish. I have to ask him all the time, daily, “What? Say it again.” The girls will come down and tell me that the timer on the oven is ringing or that Anthony is calling me. I can’t hear the kids from the far back seat, though, granted, my car is like an ocean liner it’s so big. Don’t even get me started about talking on the phone, it makes me nuts and is making me feel stupid. In fact, lately I feel stupid all the time. I will often guess what is being said, but frequently I’m wrong. Or I will nod and make polite listening sounds. It works pretty well, unless someone actually is talking about something that I’m supposed to respond to, say at a large table dinner at a gala or event. Then, forget it…I usually get up and cruise the room or go refill my drink (Soda, people! Ok, the OCCASIONAL vodka soda…..Gee whiz….)

It’s not that I can’t hear anything, it’s that the hearing is all wonky. Often sounds physically hurt. The TV and radio is usually just WAY too loud. Movies hurt. Unless, they are too low and then I can’t make the voices out. I can hear tiny beeps, sometimes, that others cannot. I can hear footsteps up the stairs. I sometimes have freaky ninja hearing. But I can’t hear the oven timer. I can’t hear my washer spinning though I can feel it. Erratic speaker microphones are brutal. The priests homilies are often a muffle. It’s erratic. It’s annoying, or even crazymaking, to me and to my family.

On the other hand. It might be more peaceful this way, ha! I cope. I compensate. I can’t tell if it’s pretty bad or if I’m just a perfectionist. I KNOW I’m a perfectionist. (except in housekeeping…and fashion…) But, I don’t know if I’m just a perfectionist whiner (sshhh, I know. I am.) or if this is actually a real problem that would be helped with a hearing aid. I suspect it might be. I read an article about the increase in dementia in people with untreated hearing loss. WHAT?! So, that’s a brick on my head. I’ll take the senior style look of a hearing aid over memory loss in a heartbeat!

So, I have a Cookie Bite hearing loss. It’s genetic. I might just be ready and willing to take advantage of modern technology and see if I can hear better. But……my dad has this very same loss pattern too, and he never has gotten a hearing aid. He’s made it to 80 and is still sharp and gets along fine. So, he has been my role model. My measuring stick. I wonder if I should just suck it up and deal like he has. But, I wonder….he didn’t do the hands on, 24/7 mom-raising of 8 kids.

I don’t want to jump the gun if it can’t help or if it’s just me being a drama queen. But, I don’t want to blow it, because I’d see and live with the fallout, even if I couldn’t hear it.

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Feast of St. Francis Xavier

It’s the feast of St. Francis Xavier!

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O God, who through the preaching of Saint Francis Xavier
won many peoples to yourself,
grant that the hearts of the faithful
may burn with the same zeal for the faith
and that Holy Church may everywhere rejoice
in an abundance of offspring.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.
Amen.