Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Mary, Pierced By A Sword

This haunting video shows scenes from the movie, The Passion Of The Christ. The singer of the song, Silently, is Tatiana, a convert to the Catholic Church.

Mary's role in the plan of salvation is to bring her Son to us, and to bring us to her Son.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women,
And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


My middle sister is 17 months younger than me. She's always been bubbly, vivacious and filled with hope and joy. I love her very much. We were very close as children, although we had our share of sibling rivalry growing up. When we were little I called her Sissy, which stuck until she went to junior high school, then she insisted on being called Sandi. After I married my military husband and she moved from Kansas to Texas, we drifted apart somewhat, but always maintained that sisterly bond.

We each have three children. Mine have already given me 5 grandchildren and 1 due in June, but her first grandchild will be born in July. Needless to say, she is excited and delighted. She recently found out her grandbaby is a boy. :o) I can hardly wait for her to hold him and experience the wonder and joy of being a grandmother. It's the best!

My sister is here visiting our mom this weekend, and I spent the afternoon with them. What fun we always have together! We had lunch at the Liberty Bar, a San Antonio institution, and then went to the Oblate Grotto. My Baptist sister loved being there as much as Mom and I did. :o) The grotto is a replica of the grotto at Lourdes, and there is an Adoration chapel underneath it. The grounds are beautiful and peaceful, with lovely Stations of the Cross and statues.

There is never enough time to share our joys and sorrows, but we do the best we can in the short time available. Sometimes we travel together from Texas back to our hometown in Kansas, and by the time we get there we are hoarse from talking non-stop for 600 miles.

We both have good friends, but there is nothing like the bond that siblings have. Something about having shared the same experience during our childhood creates a very strong connection that is like no other relationship. I thank God for my sisters.

Friday, February 22, 2008

What would you say?

Last night I had the opportunity to talk with a new friend about Catholicism when we attended a Rosary for her friend who had died. I discovered that she was a cradle Catholic, who is now Baptist. I asked her why she had left the Church, and she said that it happened after she and her husband were divorced, and the Church “was not there” for her. Her husband was also Catholic. She said that she stopped going to church at all after the divorce, and then after several years she started attending the Baptist church. She said she feels that is where God “wants me to be.”

She shared that her aunt had been a nun, but left the order “because of all the bad things that were going on.” She said that her mother had dated the priest in the small town where she grew up. She said that she thinks all of the sexual abuse scandal was covered up, and that the bishops are still trying to hide things and excuse the behavior of the priests.

Our conversation began after we left the rosary. She said that she wished she had had the opportunity to tell the woman who had died, “Thank you.” I told her that since the woman was Catholic, and since Catholics believe in the communion of saints, that she could still tell her thank you. She said that she doesn't believe that we can communicate with those who have died, because if they knew what was going on on earth, they would be very sad. I said that I don't think God would let them see or know anything that would make them sad, but only those things that He allowed. Then she said that she thinks it is wrong to pray to anyone but God. I explained that by praying to the saints, we are merely asking for their intercession, but she said that she doesn't believe that it is necessary.

She talked for awhile about the things that she doesn't believe are correct about the Catholic Church, and I told her about our conversion, and why we loved the Church so much. I said, “But what about the Eucharist? Do you believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist?” She said she did. I went on to question whether she believed that the Eucharist was the actual body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ, and she said she did. I then asked her how she could leave the only Church where she could receive Him in the Eucharist, and she was startled and said that she receives communion in her church. I then said that only the Catholic Church has the Real Presence, that there is no priest in other churches to consecrate the bread and wine. I said that protestant churches usually believe that the bread and wine are merely symbols. Then she said, “Yes, that is what I believe.” I said, “That the bread and wine are only symbols?” and she said, “Yes.” I went on to explain to her that the Bible clearly tells us that Jesus meant for us to eat his body and drink his blood, and that the Eucharist is not a symbol, but the actual body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus, and that I didn't see how it was possible to ever leave Him. She said that I had more faith than she did when she was Catholic.

I told her that I had some material that I would love for her to read, and she immediately said, “No, I'm not interested.” I told her that the material was merely to help her understand more about Catholicism, but once again she said that she wasn't interested. She went on to say that when she first started learning about the Baptist religion, she was terribly confused. She said that after awhile she decided that she should just stay on one path, and since the people at the Baptist church had been so wonderful to her, she would be Baptist.

The conversation moved on to other topics, but after I dropped her off at her apartment, I felt so sad. I did pray while she went into the drugstore to drop off a prescription, asking God to give me the words to say. But I feel like I said all the wrong things. Instead of gently leading her to want to learn more, I seem to have made her even more determined that she is where she is supposed to be.

I don't know whether I'll have another opportunity to talk with her about the Church (or whether I should even try), but at least I can pray for her. †

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Busy Bee

It's been hectic at our house the past few days.

My husband is out of town for the next two weeks. My mom had a doctor appointment with her new PCP yesterday, which took most of the afternoon, since she is a new patient. My daughter-in-law had a dentist appointment today, so I had my 2 year old grandson for most of the day. He went with me to visit his Great-Gran earlier today, and both of them enjoyed the visit. :o)

Tonight I am taking one of Mom's neighbors to the Rosary of a friend of hers who died over the weekend, so Mom and I will miss our Women of Grace study. Please pray for the repose of the soul of Alice, who was 91 years old, and for all of those who love her.

When Ron is out of town, I'm not very motivated to cook, so I didn't do a menu plan for this week. I put a roast in the crock pot yesterday, and my daughter-in-law made the rest of the meal. Tonight my son will grill hamburgers. I'm so grateful that they fill in when I don't feel like cooking.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Report on the TLM

In an earlier post, I mentioned that I would be attending the Tridentine/Traditional Latin Mass. Today was the day, and it was lovely. The church was full. The priest was very young, and fluent in Latin. We arrived early, thinking that there might be a crowd, so we got to watch as they transformed the altar between Masses.

I'm distressed that I can't remember the young priest's name. He said that he is one of three priests who will be celebrating the TLM at St. Pius X on Sundays. After Mass, we saw him leaving and told him “thank you!” He said that he was on his way to another Mass, and was running late. Now I'm curious to know whether it was another Latin Mass.

His homily was wonderful. He talked about how Latin is the universal language of the Church. He explained why the priest faces the tabernacle, or ideally faces East. (He is facing God, along with the people. In many modern churches, since we can't face East, we face the Tabernacle). He talked about our demeanor and dress at Mass, about how the priest prays many of the prayers privately, but that it doesn't mean that we aren't as engaged in the Mass as we are at the Novus Ordo. He commented that whatever prayers we are praying silently are also being offered up to God, along with the Sacrifice on the Altar.

He mentioned women covering their heads, and told us not to hold out our hands for the Eucharist, because it would only be placed on our tongues. I was glad that I had bought lace mantillas for myself and Mom, and I always receive on my tongue. It was how we received when we were Missouri Synod Lutherans, and receiving any other way seems irreverent. He discussed the importance of going to confession, and of not receiving the Eucharist if we were in sin or did not believe in the Real Presence. Everything he spoke about was what every Catholic should already know and understand, and yet it needed to be said, because so many of us don't seem to get it.

An altar rail was installed in the rather modern-looking church, especially for this Mass. The choir was in a choir loft behind us, and did a beautiful job with the Latin. The altar boys were perfect, but one of the little ones fainted as he was kneeling before the altar, poor baby. The Mass lasted about an hour an a half, a bit longer than the NO Mass, but it was well worth the extra time. There was another priest and two deacons to help with Communion. The priest told us that this is the first TLM in a parish setting in our Diocese in over forty years.

We were handed missalettes to help us keep our place, but I still managed to get lost pretty often. I was so interested in watching what was happening, that I would forget to read. All of the prayers that the priest prayed silently were in the booklet, in both Latin and English. I knew some of the responses, as well as the Agnus Dei and Pater Noster, but most of the Latin was Greek to me. :o) I'm eager to learn, though, and will definitely be going again.

As the servers and the congregation get used to the TLM, things will go smoother and faster. We are all feeling our way, right now. I'm so grateful to those who have made it possible to celebrate this beautiful Mass. Thanks be to God!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Happy Anniversary, Ron!

Thirty-Nine Years Today

I remember the snow on our wedding day.
Our little garage apartment in Muldraugh KY.
Driving through the Smokies.
Our place in Copperas Cove, and then on post at Ft. Hood.
The birth of our first baby.
And our second baby.
And our third baby.
Buying our first home.
Square dancing.
Ski trips in the Rockies.
Living in St. Peters.
The boat and the lake.
Moving to Hawaii.
Vacation on the Big Island.
Bellows Beach.
Dad on the lanai.
Geckos on the window.
Moving to Japan.
Riding the train to Tokyo.
Hong Kong
MAC flights
Josh eating udon in the mountains.
Soccer games, swim meets, t-ball, and football.
Moving to Texas again.
Being with Dad that last Christmas.
Buying our house.
Weddings of our children.
Births of our grandbabies.
New Orleans
Our Conversion to Catholicism.
I would marry you all over again.
I love you.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy St. Valentine's Day!

Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Adorable Heart of Jesus,
the tenderest, the most amiable,
the most generous of all hearts,
penetrated with gratitude at the sight of Thy benefits,
I come to consecrate myself wholly and unreservedly to Thee!
I wish to devote all my energies to propagating Thy worship
and winning, if possible, all hearts to Thee.
Receive my heart this day, O Jesus!
Or rather take it, change it, purify it,
to render it worthy of Thee;
Make it humble, gentle, patient, faithful and generous like Thine,
by inflaming it with the fire of Thy love.
Hide it in Thy Divine Heart with all hearts that love Thee
and are consecrated to Thee;
never permit me to take my heart from Thee again.
Let me rather die than grieve Thy Adorable Heart.
Thou knowest O Heart of Jesus,
that the desire of my heart is to love Thee always,
to be wholly Thine in life and in death, in time and eternity.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I trust in Thee.

Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

I, (name), a faithless sinner, renew and ratify today in thy hands,
O Immaculate Mother, the vows of my baptism;
I renounce Satan, his pomps and works;
and I give myself entirely to Jesus Christ,
the Incarnate Wisdom, to carry my cross after Him all the days of my life,
and to be more faithful to Him than I have ever been before.
In the presence of all the Heavenly court
I choose thee this day for my Mother and Mistress.
I deliver and consecrate to thee, as thy slave,
my body and soul, my goods, both interior and exterior,
and even the value of all my good actions, past, present and future;
leaving to thee the entire and full right of disposing of me,
and all that belongs to me, without exception,
according to thy good pleasure, for the greater glory of God,
in time and in eternity.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A Tridentine Latin Mass

This Sunday, February 17, 2008, at 12 Noon, St. Pius X Catholic Church in San Antonio, TX will have its first TLM. This is not my parish, but you can bet that I'm going to be there!

It will be my first TLM, but not my first Latin Mass. I've been to beautiful Novus Ordo Masses celebrated in Latin at Our Lady of the Atonement, an Anglican rite church, also in San Antonio. In 1983 Fr. Phillips and his entire congregation converted to Catholicism, and Fr. Phillips was ordained. Atonement is a beautiful place to worship.

One night in Jerusalem, our group attended Mass with people from many countries. The priest explained that he would use our "common language," during the Mass. My son and I found ourselves sitting next to a group of French nuns. The Latin language, the familiar ritual of the Mass, and being in Jesus' Jerusalem gave us an even greater feeling of unity with Catholics from around the world.

I'm excited about going to the TLM this Sunday!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Cavatappi w/ 4 cheese sauce, salad, bakery bread

Tuesday: Teriyaki chicken thighs, rice, broccoli

Wednesday: Pork chop/potato casserole, peas

Thursday: Tacos w/add ons (lettuce, tomato, cheese, black beans, sour cream)

Friday: Irish potato soup, homemade bread

Saturday: Crock pot beef stew

Sunday: Out to dinner with husband and mom after Mass. (We go to a 7 PM Mass)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Name Meme

Thanks for tagging me, Angela. :o)


1. You have to post the rules before you give your answers.

2. You must list one fact about yourself beginning with each letter of your middle name. (If you don't have a middle name, use your maiden name or your mother's maiden name).

3. At the end of your blog post, you need to tag one person for each letter of your middle name.

K: Kansas is where I grew up.

Approachable. I must be. People are always sharing their life stories with me, from patients in the doctors office to carry-out boys at the grocery store. I love it!

Young, is what I used to be. ;o)

I tag Therese, Dana, and JoAnn.

Don't forget to offer it up.

I have the virus that has affected the rest of my family over the past week, and as I was praying that God would take away the misery, I realized that I could use my puny suffering instead of whining about it. So I offer the discomfort of having this virus for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, especially for my beloved father who died of leukemia in 1992.

Pope Benedict XVI referred to this practice in his weekly Angelus address on Sunday, November 4:

"Truthfully, the Church invites us to pray for the dead every day, offering also our sufferings and difficulties that they, once completely purified, might be admitted to enjoy the light and peace of the Lord for all eternity."

Friday, February 8, 2008

Daily Life

I've been busy in the real world the past couple of days, just trying to keep up with my life.

My son, DIL and little grandson who live with us have all contracted an upper respiratory virus. My son rarely gets sick, and never complains or talks about it when he does, but this illness has really gotten him down. He finally went to the doctor Wednesday, got 2 shots and 4 prescriptions, and is feeling better. But that day, DIL started feeling bad, and now Reece has it, too. Makes me so sad to see him so listless and tired. I'm praying that they have a milder version of it than my son did.

On a happier note, DIL found out that our newest grandchild is a girl! Her due date is June 27. I'm so excited. We will have 3 grandsons and 3 granddaughters. Of course I'd love to have more than that. :o)

I need to find a dentist; I'm not happy with the one I've been seeing. About a month ago a piece broke off one of my molars. It doesn't hurt, the huge filling in the tooth is still intact. Then two days ago, the molar on the opposite side of my mouth broke. What is going on with my teeth?!! (My husband says they are getting old). That tooth also has a large filling that is still intact, but I know that if I don't have them capped soon, I could lose the fillings. Oh how I hate going to the dentist. :o(

I had lunch with a friend Thursday at my favorite Thai restaurant. That was fun. Eating always make me happy. :o)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Day of Ashes

O Jesus, you place on my forehead
the sign of your saving Cross.
“Remember you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.”

Today we begin the forty day Lenten journey. The crosses of ash on our foreheads are a sign of penance for our sins, and a symbol of death, reminding us of our mortality and the need for repentance. We will spend the forty days fasting, praying and giving alms, in order to come even closer to our Lord as we approach Holy Week and Easter.

This prayer for Ash Wednesday is the alternative Collect for the day.

Father in heaven,
the light of Your truth bestows sight
to the darkness of sinful eyes
May this season of repentance
bring us the blessing of Your forgiveness
and the gift of your light. +Amen.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

I saw this on JoAnn's blog, The Creamer Chronicles, http://creamerchronicles.blogspot.com/ and she found it at orgjunkie.com. I mentioned last week that I am trying to make myself cook at home more, instead of eating out so much. Maybe this will help!

As usual, I'm a day late and a dollar short, but I'm going to go ahead and post my week's menu.

Monday: Pork Chop Supreme, steamed peas (We had this last night).

Tuesday: We're going to the pancake supper at church.

Wednesday: Cajun 10 bean soup w/rice

Thursday: Pot roast, mashed potatoes w/gravy, steamed broccoli

Friday: Grilled salmon w/herbs, rice, steamed green beans

Saturday: Pizza

Sunday: Crock pot chicken w/potatoes and veggies

Thanks JoAnn! :o)

Happy Birthday, Johnnie!

Today (February 5) is my little sister's birthday. In the picture above, she was 4 years old. She still has the same cute face. I'm 8 years and 3 months older than she is, and when we were kids, she was my little shadow. We share so many memories, happy ones and sad ones. I can't imagine my life without my sisters. They are a part of me.

I love you, Johnnie. May this new year of your life be the best one yet.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

About my patron saint of 2008.

I've been reading articles about St. Anthony Mary Claret on the web. Wow, he was amazing and I love him already. There is so much to tell about him that I won't try to put it all into a blog post. Here is an article about him, better than anything I could write: http://www.catholicism.org/anthony-claret.html

Father, you endowed Anthony Claret with the strength of love and patience to preach the gospel to many nations. By the help of his prayers may we work generously for your kingdom and gain our brothers and sisters for Christ. Amen

Excellent Award

My Aussie friend, Therese, has awarded my blog the Excellent Award. Thank you, Therese! Sorry it took me so long to acknowledge the award. I couldn't seem to get the image posted without it being blurry. (I still don't know how I did it). I'm so NOT a computer techie. :o)

You can visit Therese at http://aussiecoffeeshop.blogspot.com/

Saturday, February 2, 2008

St. Anthony Mary Claret

One of my favorite Catholic blogs is Angela's "Where Angels Go...." She has taken up a devotion started by "Moneybags" at "A Catholic Life." "Moneybags" went into the seminary and can no longer blog, so we can now request a patron saint for the year 2008 at "Where Angels Go...." Please read more about it here:

Angela told me yesterday that the saint who has chosen me is St. Anthony Mary Claret. I don't know much about St. Anthony, but our daughter and son-in-law had attended Mass at a Catholic church named St. Anthony Mary Claret for a short time. Our son-in-law is Catholic, but not practicing, and our daughter is Lutheran. I have been praying for years that he will revert and she will convert to Catholicism.

My daughter took me to see the St. Anthony Mary Claret church shortly after they built a new sanctuary. Then I went there again to witness a friend's children's first communion. The priest is orthodox and wonderful. He is Polish, and has the most delightful accent.

I don't believe that it is a coincidence that St. Anthony Mary Claret has chosen me. I knew as soon as I read Angela's message that I am supposed to be asking for his intercession for the reversion of my son-in-law and the conversion of my darling daughter.

Thank you, Angela, for continuing this wonderful devotion.

And now I'm off to learn more about my patron saint for 2008.