Friday, January 30, 2009

Divine Mercy for Flight 1549

This email was sent to Vinny Flynn, author of Seven Secrets Of The Eucharist. The story can be found on his website, MercySong. It's amazing, but not surprising if you know about the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.

Sat, 24 Jan 2009 2:08 pm
Subject: Passenger of flight 1549


I sincerely hope this email finds its way to you. I was a passenger on
flight 1549 and my name is Fred Berretta. You might have caught a
glimpse of me or heard me on CNN or Fox the night of the crash. I
interviewed with Lou Dobbs, Wolf Blitzer and Bill O'Reilly and
discussed the crash that night.

I had been on a one day business trip to NY and sat in seat 16A just
behind the left engine. My trip was a last minute decision the day
before. I finished my meetings early on Thursday and realized I had
time to attend the 12 noon mass at St. Patrick Cathedral. It was
unusual for me to have the extra time, but that day I did. After Mass,
I stopped by the gift shop just across from the cathedral and purchased
your book, 7 Secrets of the Eucharist. As I waited to board flight 1549
bound for Charlotte, where I live, I began reading your book. I
continued reading while we taxied until just after take off.

I think I got through about half of it and then decided to close my
eyes and reflect on the incredible insights your book gave me regarding
the Eucharist. We were climbing out and just a minute or so into the
flight I heard the impact of the bird strikes and then the explosion in
the left engine. I could see it on fire and the cabin began to smell
like jet fuel. As a private pilot, once I realized the second engine
was also not functioning, things became quite tense.

While I had known about and prayed the Divine Mercy chaplet years
before, I had not really focused on it in quite a long time.
Ironically, I had prayed the chaplet the day before at 3 pm. I had
forgotten that in my briefcase I had long kept a copy of a booklet of
the Divine Mercy chaplet which had exerpts from St. Faustina's diary.
When I arrived in NY, I had some time at my hotel and decided to clean
out my briefcase, something long overdue. I found the Divine Mercy
booklet, prayed the chaplet, and read some of the words of Jesus to

Before we hit the water, I thought about the words Jesus said, that
nothing would be refused if asked for during the hour of mercy. I
really thought there was a good chance myself and others would die that
day, but I asked God to be merciful to us, I prayed the Lord' prayer
and a Hail Mary. I then prayed to St. Michael, and we impacted the
water. The odds were not with us that day, but God clearly was. I
believe it is the only jet airliner to successfully ditch in the water
without fatalities in the history of aviation.

I just want you to know that your book gave me comfort as we were going
down, and for that I am grateful. I know a lot of people prayed on that
plane, and I believe the Miracle on the Hudson was a testament to the
mercy of God, and a sign of hope.

Take care and may God continue to bless your ministry and all you do to
spread the message of Divine Mercy and the wonders of Holy Communion.

Best regards,

Fred Berretta

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Kelly's Haiku

Haiku of the Japanese Red Maple

Spring breezes caress --
Three generations of woman
hug a Momiji.

Gran, mom and I visited the botanical gardens last spring. I wrote the haiku above while looking at the picture I took of this Japanese red maple and remembering the three of us enjoying the day with each other and nature. Momiji means red maple in Japanese (Acer palmatum).

This portion of the botanical gardens is one of my favorites and is called Kumamoto En, which is the Japanese sister city of San Antonio.

I mentioned in another post that the Japanese Garden is our favorite spot at the Botanical Gardens in San Antonio. This is my daughter's picture, commentary and haiku that I mentioned, posted here with her permission. She makes me happy. :o)

My Fascinating Life--NOT

I slept late today and can't believe it is 4:30 already! That's what happens when Ron is out of town and I turn on the television when I go to bed. I was up half the night watching old Law and Order re-runs and knitting a bit. Oh, and untangling yarn.

I stopped at Whataburger on the way to Mom's today, and got chicken strips with fries, Texas toast and gravy for our lunch. Yeah, unhealthy, but tasty. And we had diet Cokes. ;o) Then we took Chuy for a walk, stopped to visit with one of her neighbors (another dog walker), and enjoyed the beautiful weather. I'm so glad she has Chuy. Not only is she crazy about him, but because of him she gets out and about every day, at least for a little while. So many of her elderly neighbors rarely go outside, and that can't be good for them.

I left there about 1:30, came by the house for half an hour, then ran some errands. And Mom needed a few groceries, so I did a little shopping. Of course I wound up buying more than what I went for; that always seems to happen. :o\

I have everything put away, and Mom's bags of groceries are sitting in the entryway so that I won't forget to take them to her tomorrow. (Except for her coffee creamer, which is in the fridge and will probably be forgotten in the morning). I'm sitting here eating Cajun Trail Mix that I got in the check-out line. I'm as bad as the little kids. If I have to stand there for long, I always find something to put into my basket. Oh well, at least it's not M&Ms. :o)

Ron will be home tomorrow afternoon, and I haven't reorganized the bedroom or our closet as I had planned to do while he is gone. I'm the world's worst procrastinator.

And that's how my day has gone so far. Hope yours has been a good one!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

"I Thought You Should Know"

Bishop Robert Hermann of St. Louis has written a very strong pro-life column that every Catholic should read. In it he mentions some of the promises Barack Obama has made, such as removing restrictions on stem cell research, signing the FOCA, and supporting the Born Alive legislation. But rather than putting the blame only on Mr. Obama, Bishop Hermann places the guilt squarely on the heads of those Catholics who have compromised their Catholic faith by failing to live their Catholic identity.

As Catholics, we are not guiltless. It seems to me that when President Kennedy compromised Catholic teachings and accommodated political pressures in order to be elected to the highest office in the land, he set the tone for many Catholic leaders to follow and to compromise their Catholic principles to get ahead.

In our Supreme Court and in our Congress, we have a plethora of so-called Catholics who are failing to live their Catholic identity. Over 50 percent of our electorate voted for a president who is one of the most pro-culture-of-death candidates from a major party to run for the highest office of the land.

Yes, we can thank one-half of our Catholics for bailing out on their faith!

Bishop Hermann believes that if even 75% of American Catholics were to become steeped in their faith again, that there would be no abortion issue in our country.

Read his entire column here.

Driftwood Horses

My sister Johnnie sent me an email with pictures of these remarkable sculptures made of driftwood. I'm just posting a couple of them. Aren't they wonderful?

I googled them, and discovered they are the creations of a UK artist, Heather Jansch.

You can see more pictures of her beautiful sculptures at her website, here. She makes other animals from the driftwood, and sculpts in bronze as well.

Stealer of Cookies and Hearts

Reece spent the night last night. We played with toys, watched Pingu and Frances, read lots of books, talked to Papa on the phone and made cookies (lazy gramma no-bakes). He could hardly wait for them to cool and harden.

Here's the grin he gave me when I caught him in the act. :o)

But then he got sidetracked and decided to do a little work on his car. Note the stolen cookie on the floor.

Is this a happy kid, or what? :o)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Vintage Kid's Books

Here are the books and phonics puzzle I got at the thrift store.

The puzzle is a floor puzzle and has huge pieces. I think Reece and Jacob will like it. :o)

The little Richard Scarry book will help Reece with counting, but it's the other two books I really like.

The book jacket on The Little River Of Gold is pretty ratty, but it looks perfect without the jacket.

It was published in 1947.

I love the old fashioned illustrations. The inside covers have drawings in color, but the illustrations inside the book are black and white.

The jacket on the other book, God Gave Me Eyes, is in bad shape, but the cover underneath is not bad. The book has a copyright date of 1942.

What I love about it are the illustrations by Ellen Segner. Aren't they beautiful?

I will probably keep the book as is, but the pictures could be framed for use in a child's room.

The little verse by Olive W. Burt is lovely, too.

God gave me eyes that I might see
The wonder of a blossoming tree,
My dolly's face, my story book,
And how the various creatures look.

God gave me ears that I might hear
The laugh of brooklets ringing clear,
My kitten's purr, a violin
And Mother, when she calls me in.

God gave me a nose that I might learn
The perfume of each flower in turn,
Of fragrant foods prepared to eat,
The dusty smell of new cut wheat.

God gave a tongue that I might know
The flavor of all fruits that grow,
The taste of honey from the bee,
And good things Mother cooks for me.

God gave me a sense of touch that I
Might do my work, feel wind pass by,
Might know the sun's caressing heat
And dusty roads beneath my feet.

I thank You, God, for making me
So that I hear and feel and see;
And since these dear gifts came from You
I'll use them as You'd want me to.

Tuesday Bargains!

I stopped at the thrift store on the way home from Mom's today. Look at these cute little dresses I got for Aubrey. They are too big for her now, but she will be able to wear them some day.

I can't resist buying them when I find good brands in perfect condition for such low prices. I'm really picky, and won't buy them if they look worn or have anything wrong with them.

The four on the back of the couch have already been washed. I bought them a couple of weeks ago at the same thrift store. The other six still have to be washed. I have four more washed and ready to go in the spare bedroom. They range from 9 months up to size 4T, so she will have dresses to wear for quite some time. :o) I got Reece a long-sleeved tee shirt (Children's Place) and got Aubrey a little fleece top (Carters), not pictured.

Also bought some patterns, drinking glasses for little hands, and some educational place mats. There were 11 patterns in a bag for $2, but one fell on the floor, so I only have 10 pictured. I'll show you the books and puzzle in another post.

I love a bargain! :o)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Catholics Live Here Picture Mosaic

Mexican tin icon of Jesus' Face on Veronica's Veil from the flea market in my little closet chapel.
Mexican tin mission church from Goodwill on the bar in the family room.
Rosaries hanging on Ron's dresser.
Kids books from thrift store, Catholic Treasure Box.
Holy water font inside front door, gift Ron brought back from his travels.
Iron cross on fireplace mantel.
Holy cards on bulletin board in my office.
Catholic book shelf in my office.
Stack of books on a chair in my office.
Wall crosses in the family room.
Rosaries on my dresser beside the bed.
Kitchen madonna at the kitchen sink.
1962 Roman Missal on my desk.
OLPH in the hallway.
Fun with camera when home alone. :o)
There's more pics, but it messed up the "arrangement" when I tried to add them. Oh well. :o)

A Simple Woman's Daybook

Monday, January 26, 2009

Outside my window...

it's dark at 6:40 PM. Warm though. The temp got up to 80° today, and it's still in the high 70s.

I am thinking...
I need to put the recycle bin away and make sure the doors are locked.

I am thankful...
Ron made it safely to Colorado with no problems. He just called.

From the kitchen...

Mom and I ate lunch at Cracker Barrel, and I'm still not hungry. I had chicken and dumplings, of course. I may not eat anything else today.

I am wearing...
Dark blue jeans, black smock top, black socks.

I am creating...
a plan for a garden--flowers and some veggies. A lesson plan for Reece for tomorrow.

I have been...
to the airport, to Mom's, to the chapel for Adoration, to Cracker Barrel and home.

I am hoping...
for rain. We are in a drought.

I am hearing...
my playlist, as usual.

Around the house...
Laundry to be put away. Other than laundry, I haven't done a thing today--lazy, and no motivation because no one else is here.

One of my favorite things...
the fragrance of roses.

A few plans for the rest of the week...
since Ron will be gone all week, I'm going to concentrate on cleaning house, especially our room.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

It's a snapshot of the corner of one of the bulletin boards above my desk.

Hmm, that gives me an idea for another post.

Visit A Simple Woman's Daybook to read more daybooks.

The Fog

The fog comes on little cat feet.

It sits looking over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

Carl Sandburg (1878-1967)

This is how it looked as I drove Ron to the airport this morning. Spooky.
(AP news photo, not mine).

Dominus Est

--It is the Lord!

That's the name of a little 63 page book we got at Mass yesterday evening. Written by The Most Reverend Athanasius Schneider, it contains the Reflections of a Bishop of Central Asia on Holy Communion. The visiting priest, Fr. Stravinskas, who had the books available after Mass, also wrote the publisher's foreword, which is strikingly similar to his homily last evening. :o)

Here's a little blurb from the back of the book:
"Holy Communion is not simply a convivial moment of spiritual nourishment; it is the most personal encounter possible in this life between the faithful Christian and his Lord and God. The best interior attitude for this encounter is one of receptivity, humility, and spiritual childhood. Such an attitude, by its very nature, is expressed through gestures of adoration and reverence. We have eloquent witnesses to this truth from the tradition of the Church, summarized by the sayings cum amore ac timore (with love and fear) from the first millennium and quantum potes, tantum aude (dare to do as much as you can) from the second. To illustrate how this attitude manifests itself, the author shares stories of three "Eucharistic women" known to him from the Soviet Underground. This book encourages Catholics of the third millennium to treat the Lord, in the august moment of Holy Communion, in a manner appropriate to the Church's tradition."

The preface of the book is written by Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith, the secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. The book also has the endorsement of the former prefect of that dicastery, Francis Cardinal Arinze.

The book was first published by the Vatican's own library in Italian, but has been translated to English and published by Newman House Press. You can order from their website if you like.

I found particularly poignant a section in the book describing the "attitude of reverence" we should have for the Body of Our Lord as being like that of a child, who humbly allows himself to be fed.

One paragraph says, "In Holy Communion, we receive the Word-made-Flesh--made Food for us little ones, for us children. And so, when we approach Holy Communion, we can remind ourselves of this gesture of the prophet Ezekiel or of the word of Psalm 81:11, which one finds in the Liturgy of the Hours on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi: "Open your mouth, and I will fill it" (dilata os tuum, et implebo illud).

The book is filled with wonderful little nuggets. I'm thinking they might make good gifts for some liberal priests and other Catholics that I know. *evil grin*

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday Summary

It's been a lovely, busy Sunday. Reece stayed overnight last night, and having him here when I wake up is always a happy start to my day. I dropped him off at home on the way to Mom's, was at her place until around 12:30, then met my daughter Kelly for Dog Days at the Botanical Gardens at 1 PM.

Darcy and Banzai loved exploring the Gardens and meeting lots of other dogs. They were so good. In fact, all of the dogs we saw were very well behaved. One lady said that since none of them lived there, no one was territorial, and that was true. They were just curious and eager to meet one another. :o)

The Gardens were beautiful, even in mid-winter. There were lots of things blooming--roses, pansies, snapdragons. Our favorite part of the Gardens is the Japanese Garden. We went back there to sit for awhile after we had been through the whole thing. Because that is her favorite garden, Kelly has done some research about it and discovered some interesting things. I'll ask her for permission to share her pics and commentary here.

This evening, Ron, Mom and I went to Our Lady of the Atonement for the Novus Ordo Latin Mass, which I absolutely love. The Mass is always done beautifully, and I'm crazy about the schola. They are so good, their chant sounds like a CD. The picture above is the Our Lady of the Atonement shrine, which is near the altar.

Atonement's priest, Father Phillips, is leading a pilgrimage to the Holy Land this week. Visiting priest, Father Peter Stravinskas celebrated Mass tonight; he had a wonderful homily! (More about his homily in another post).

After Mass we stopped to eat at Alamo Cafe (chiles rellenos--yum!), then took Mom home. It was 9 PM by the time we got home.

Blog Friendship Award

Angela, at Where Angels Go, has given me an award. Thank you so much, Angela! :o)

Here are the rules:

“These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.”

I am awarding these lovely blogs, where I often lurk but seldom comment:
Gumbo Lily
A Gypsy Caravan
Catholic Fire
Brambleberry Cottage
Starry Sky Ranch
Don't Poke The Baby
One Thing

The Conversion of St. Paul

Today is the third Sunday after the Epiphany. January 25th is also the Feast Day of the Conversion of St. Paul.

Saul of Tarsus was full of hatred for Jesus and his disciples. From a bitter persecutor, he became an ardent apostle and the irresistible preacher of the Gospel.
(The Roman Missal, 1962)

Collect for today:
O God, who hast taught the whole world by the preaching of blessed Paul the Apostle: grant, we beseech Thee, that we who this day celebrate his Conversion, may through his example draw nearer to Thee.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Mad Cat

I was looking at some old saved files on a CD today and came across these pictures someone emailed me a few years ago.

If I remember correctly, the story was that a lady from the south had moved to the north and took her cat to be groomed. She told the groomer she wanted a "line cut," but the groomer thought she said "lion cut," because of her strong southern accent. It's probably a tall tale, but the pictures still crack me up.

The cat looks totally ticked. Poor kitty. Please don't send me hate mail. I love cats. :o)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Life: Imagine The Potential

Please continue to pray for our president to have a change of heart regarding life issues.

A Day of Prayer and Penance

Today is the 36th anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision. Please join in prayer with those across our country and around the world who are praying for an end to abortion. Please pray for those who are marching in Washington DC today, and for those who will march for the right to life in state capitols all over the country during this week. (Texans will march in Austin on Saturday, January 24th). And most especially, please pray for those who hearts are hardened and whose minds are closed, that they understand the reality that abortion is wrong, that it kills a living child. Pray that God will touch the heart of our new president, so that he will see and understand the truth.

Prayer of Reparation

God and Father of Life,
You have created every human person
And have opened the way for each to have eternal life.

We live in the shadow of death.
Tens of millions of your children have been killed
Thanks to the Roe vs. Wade decision legalizing abortion.

Father have mercy on us.
Heal our land
And accept our offer of prayer and penance.
In your love for us,
Turn back the scourge of abortion.

May each of us exult in hearts full of hope
And hands full of mercy
And work together to build a culture of life.

We pray through Christ Our Lord.

“In His name you are also called to pray for an end to abortion in the United States and throughout the world. Roe versus Wade is incompatible with human dignity. It must not stand. It cannot stand. It will not stand.”

Cardinal Justin Rigali, homily at the
Basilica of the National Shrine of the
Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C.
January 21, 2008

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

R is for Reece

I love getting new school supplies to help Reece learn. :o) I got the Dick and Jane books at Borders on sale, the letter train puzzle and a package of flash cards at WalMart, and the magnetic letters, the counting bears, more flash cards and some pencil grips at a wonderful little store called the Education Shop.

Reece knows most of his letters already, but our unit this week is about the alphabet. We are working on letter sounds and recognizing his name.

One of his tasks yesterday was to place the letters of his name in Alpha-Bits underneath his printed out name on a paper plate. He had no problem with that one, but kept wanting to eat the Alpha-Bits. :o)

We're both enjoying the lessons. It's fun for him because he thinks we are just playing. And it's fun for me because we are playing, but I can see the little wheels turning as he learns.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Those Apple Dumplings

I made the apple dumplings yesterday evening.

Here they are at the beginning, just apple wedges wrapped in crescent rolls.

Here they are covered with the sugar/butter/cinnamon mixture that makes them yummy.

This was just before I poured that can of 7-Up around them.

And 45 minutes later, just out of the oven.


We had them with Bluebell Homemade Vanilla ice cream. My house smelled like heaven all evening.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Simple Woman's Daybook

Monday, January 19, 2009

Outside my window...

blue skies, 75° and still getting warmer, a bit windy but a beautiful day.

I am thinking...
that the kids will be here soon, and I need to unload the dishwasher and put the clothes from the washer into the dryer.

I am thankful for...
this gorgeous day.

From the kitchen...

I had a pastrami sandwich, a few potato chips, blackberry yogurt and peach tea for lunch earlier.

I am wearing...
denim capris, a brown v-neck tee, bare feet.

I am creating...
not me, but Ron, is creating a cabinet for me using the glass sidelights from our old front door. He is making it from some cedar that he already had. The sidelights will be the front part of the cabinet doors. I know it will be beautiful. I'll keep Reece's homeschool books and supplies in it.

I have been...
to Adoration with Mom. We didn't go out to lunch today. I took her some leftovers and heated them for her when we got back to her place.

I am hoping...
to get Mom's house in Kansas on the market soon.

I am hearing...
the wind rattling the screen on the window. Otherwise, it is quiet.

Around the house...
Ron will go back to work tomorrow (he's been off for 4 days), and I'm going to reorganize our bedroom, our closet, and our bathroom. Too much clutter!

One of my favorite things...
the ocean.

A few plans for the rest of the week...
the reorganization I mentioned, work on baby blanket, buy new stove top (no, I still haven't done that).

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

One of the doors in progress. The blue looking squares are tinted glass. It doesn't look so dark when the light is shining through. I liked the sidelights on the old door, so I asked the construction guys to save them for me when they replaced the door. (Our home was broken into last spring and the door and frame damaged).

To see other daybooks, or start your own, see Peggy at A Simple Woman's Daybook.