Monday, January 22, 2018

Worth a Thousand Words: Black Cat

Black Cat (Kuroki Neko),
Hishida Shunso, 1910

Well Said: Bandaging the wounds of the world.

In observing the poor, I too have learned to say, in poverty: My God I am glad about all the trials I have experienced, and I thank you in advance for all the ones yet to come. I hope they will help to bandage the wounds of the world.
Cardinal Robert Sarah, God or Nothing
I am not yet advanced enough to be able to thank God in advance for the trials to come in my life. I am always hoping to dodge the Cross.

However, that idea of trials helping to bandage the wounds of the world is one that helps me reconcile myself to those advance trials. Almost (not quite) to be able to embrace the idea. Baby steps, baby steps.

Valentine's Day is on Ash Wednesday. That's bad.

Beyond Cana is on Feb. 16-18. That's good!
That's very good!

If you live near Dallas, we've got a great romantic package that lasts for more than one evening.

The Beyond Cana® marriage retreat offers the time and tools to restore and strengthen marriages - with God and His direction for us at the center.

It's a 2½ day retreat designed to enrich the marriages of couples who want to focus on the communication, respect, love, and intimacy that are so integral to a good marriage. With date nights!

Tom and I've been helping present this retreat for over ten years and can vouch for the way it has made our good marriage better.

To sign up or for more information, go to the St. Thomas Aquinas website.

Litany: To Jesus in the Womb of Mary

This litany seems a good one to remind us that all life, whether or not we can see it in front of our eyes at the moment, is precious.

Today is the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision that made abortion legal. Let's take a few moments to reflect on Jesus in the womb of Mary. It is a reality of the Incarnation that we don't often consider, but he was the unborn baby of a single mother.
Jesus, knit so wonderfully in the womb of Mary,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of Mary,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, uniquely human from the moment of conception in the womb of Mary,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, present at creation, created in the womb of Mary,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, word made flesh, taking on a human body in the womb of Mary,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, subject to human development in the womb of Mary,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, whose Precious Blood first flowed through tiny arteries and veins in the womb of Mary,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, hidden nine months in the womb of Mary,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, begotten by God, nourished by the substance and blood of His Most Holy Mother in the womb of Mary,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, leaping from eternity into time, in the womb of Mary
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, revealing with His Father and the Holy Spirit all wisdom and knowledge to His Most Holy Mother, in the womb of Mary,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, aware of His role as Redeemer in the womb of Mary,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, Sanctifier of His Precursor from the womb of Mary,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, Eternal Word, Divine Child, embraced by the Father, in the womb of Mary,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, raising His Mother to the heights of sanctification, in the womb of Mary,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, everlasting delight of heaven, in the womb of Mary,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, manifesting His Incarnation to His Holy Mother, in the womb of Mary,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, adored and contemplated by His Mother in the sanctuary of her womb Jesus,
before whom the angels prostrated themselves, in the womb of Mary,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, in whom the very angels beheld the humanity of the Infant God and the union of the two natures of the Word in the virginal womb of Mary,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, whose Holy Limbs first budded in the womb of Mary,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, whose Godhead the world cannot contain, weighing only a few grams in the womb of Mary,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, Divine Immensity, once meaning only tenths of an inch in the womb of Mary,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, Sacrificial Lamb, Docile Infant in the womb of Mary,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, who was to suffer the agony and passion of death, accepting the human capacity for pain ad grief, in the womb of Mary,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, Lamb of God in the womb of Mary Spare us, O Lord.
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, Holy Innocent in the womb of Mary Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, Son of God and Messiah in the womb of Mary Have mercy on us, O Lord.
Have mercy on us.


God, our creator, You formed us as women and men,
equal partners in the stewardship of Your world:
joined forever as sisters and brothers,
yet within each of us lives a rich diversity of different gifts,
different hopes and different limitations.
In Jesus, Your word born fully in our flesh,
You have seen and loved in us all that You have made us to be.
Though graced, we are limited and often weak.
But our weaknesses themselves are no obstacle to Your passion for us.
Teach us to see in ourselves what you have seen in each of us from birth.
Teach us to know our gifts and limits.
Keep us confidently on the path of self-knowledge,
fullness of wisdom, and joy in being Your children.
We ask this through Christ and the Holy Spirit, with You,
One God, forever and ever.


Saturday, January 20, 2018

Weekend Joke: What Causes Arthritis?

A drunk man, who smelled of liquor, sat down on a subway next to a priest. The man's tie was stained, his face was plastered with red lipstick,and a half-empty bottle of gin was sticking out of his coat pocket.

He opened his newspaper and began reading.

After a few minutes the man turned to the priest and asked, "Say Father, do you know what causes arthritis?

The priest replies, "My Son, it's caused by loose living, being with cheap, wicked women, too much alcohol, contempt for your fellow man, sleeping around with prostitutes and lack of a bath."

The drunk muttered in response, "Well, I'll be damned."

He returned to his paper.

The priest, thinking about what he had said, nudged the man and apologized. "I'm very sorry. I didn't mean to come on so strong. How long have you had arthritis?"

The drunk answered, "I don't have it, Father. I was just reading here that the Pope does."

Friday, January 19, 2018

Well Said: To have a child ...

To have a child is to embrace a future you can't control.
Tom French, RadioLab, 23 Weeks 6 Days episode

Worth a Thousand Words: Pathway

Charles Guilloux, Pathway
via Arts Everyday Living

Give 2 Hours, Once a Year, for Life

If your area has a local March for Life, please consider going.

It doesn't take much time, especially when you consider that this may be the only physical action you take against abortion all year. (Not counting kneeling in prayer, that is.)

In Dallas, if you only attend the march, it takes maybe half an hour to get to City Hall, an hour to march and listen to some speeches and (admittedly not my favorite) sing-along music.

But you will be participating in the one thing that the general public, the media, and government understand.


Your mere presence will help show that more people care about all phases of life than most people realize.

If everyone in Dallas/Fort Worth attended who really believed killing the unborn is wrong, I think the streets would be clogged for hours. The media, who generally ignores the thousands who attend here each year, would be unable to ignore those numbers.

We all have our reasons to stay home.

I understand. Every single year I battle the reasonable rationalizations that spring to mind. But those rationalizations are not really true a lot of the time. In my case, they always boil down to:
  • It's inconvenient.
  • I might get embarrassed.
  • I don't like that music (now I'm clutching at straws).
  • I'd rather be doing something else (anything else).
So, I'll just say it. I'm lazy, easily embarrassed, snobbish, and selfish. Welcome to my inner life.

But I can't get away from the truth of what Jesus tells me about how I'm being judged in the end.
‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ (Matthew 25:40)
Considering Mary's situation when she said, "Yes" to bearing Christ for us, I feel as if I can't ignore these littlest ones among us and their parents who are being lied to by everyone else in our society. Who need someone to stand up for them and tell the truth.

One of the things I like about the march is that this is my chance to simply "be there." Simply taking this walk lets my presence count without having to achieve another thing. There's a symbolism about that I like. A connection with the unborn whose value is in "being."

That's worth two hours, once a year.


Here is the schedule for the DFW March for Life  which is this Saturday, January 20.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Wednesday, January 17, 2018


We are always interested in Indian/Bollywood movies, especially after liking Lagaan so much. However, when we've tried the real thing (as opposed to films like Monsoon Wedding) we've often had a really hard time following them.

So we were interested but wary when we got a recommendation from a computer guy in India that my husband's been working with. He first mentioned Slumdog Millionaire which was interesting because we like it but never really knew how accurately that conveyed a feel for India. Then he recommended Baahubali. Amazingly enough, the Dallas library had copies of parts 1 & 2, making for 5 hours of movie goodness.

You've got to be willing to let the movie wash over you because we're not going to catch the cultural shorthand that Indians would. However, we liked the first so much that we watched part 2 the very next weekend.

The young Shivudu is left as a foundling in a small village by his mother. By the time he’s grown up, it has become apparent that he possesses exceptional gifts. He meets the beautiful warrior/princess Avanthika and learns that her queen has been held captive for the last 25 years. Shividu sets off to rescue her, discovering his own origins in the process.
We had absolutely no idea what to expect but was an exciting movie. It had many familiar story elements: the young man seeking his place in the world (and romance), finding a new path (and romance), and learning about his unexpected history (and romance). Along with epic battle scenes. And some singing. (That much of the culture we knew to expect.)

Interestingly, this echoed the main themes of The Last Jedi, which we had seen at the theater that day. Some themes are common to us all, despite the cultural differences.

Note: The CGI in this is painfully obvious. We weren't sure if that was due to the quality of the original or the transfer to DVD. Whatever. Just ignore it and keep watching. It's worth it.

It's as if they cut a long movie in half and this is literally the second part. 'Nuff said. If you watched the first, you're good to go on this one. Here was my husband's reaction.
Epic. And he tied all 5 hours together. Myth. Battles. Good. Evil. Singing. Dancing. And war elephants.
I loved this beyond all reason ... it was Shakespearean in the family complications by the end. And it had enough crazy amazing action for anyone who is a fan of superhero movies.

Also, you could tell the budget was bigger. The CGI was much improved.

Worth a Thousand Words: Palau Baro de Quadras

Palau Baro de Quadras, Carlos Lorenzo

Well Said: Good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being

If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Well Said: We may neither change nor desert the Lord because of his wounds

[The Catholic] will understand that all the known or unknown betrayals by the few or many members of the Church, the sordidness of soul, the narrow-mindedness, the cruelty, and all the infidelity that the Church may have had and lived within herself are only the counterpart to the sweat of blood in Gethsemane and of the wounds and blood of the Cross. That is why we must think about the holy being of the God-Man. We may neither change nor desert the Lord because of his wounds.
Cardinal Guiseppe Siri

Worth a Thousand Words: Memory of a wonderful winter day

Remo Savisaar, Memory of a wonderful winter day

Monday, January 15, 2018

Well Said: The Catholic Church and the end of all governments

There is not, and there never was on this earth, a work of human policy so well deserving of examination as the Roman Catholic Church. The history of that Church joins together the two great ages of human civilisation. No other institution is left standing which carries the mind back to the times when the smoke of sacrifice rose from the Pantheon, and when camelopards and tigers bounded in the Flavian amphitheatre. The proudest royal houses are but of yesterday, when compared with the line of the Supreme Pontiffs. ... She saw the commencement of all the governments and of all the ecclesiastical establishments that now exist in the world; and we feel no assurance that she is not destined to see the end of them all. She was great and respected before the Saxon had set foot on Britain, before the Frank had passed the Rhine, when Grecian eloquence still flourished at Antioch, when idols were still worshipped in the temple of Mecca. And she may still exist in undiminished vigour when some traveller from New Zealand shall, in the midst of a vast solitude, take his stand on a broken arch of London Bridge to sketch the ruins of St. Paul's.
Thomas Babington Macaulay, On Ranke's History of the Popes
You know, I never really thought of it that way before. "A 2,000 year old institution" is a phrase I hear a lot but this brings it sharply into focus. People may call the Church old fashioned but what that means is that she has outlasted all the other fashions and trends of two millennium.

Worth a Thousand Words: La Tour Eiffel

Robert Delaunay, Tour Eiffel, 1926
via Arts Everyday Living